According to the information Disney has shared, right now Disney World is operating at 35% capacity, but that could change.
Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek has previously commented on what it would take for Disney to increase capacity, and recent changes made in Orange County, Florida would allow for increases in theme park capacity to take place. So, we took to our Facebook and Instagram to ask you, our readers, whether you would feel comfortable if Disney increased the capacity in the parks. And here’s what you had to say!!
Where Things Stand With Capacity
Just as a quick recap, when Disney World first reopened, we heard that the parks were operating at around 25% capacity. Later, that capacity was increased to 35%.
When asked about increasing capacity this year, Disney’s CEO, Bob Chapek, said that whether Disney will be able to increase capacity is really going to be determined by the rate of vaccinations of the public.
Chapek noted that the number of vaccinations of the public is really the biggest lever the company has to increase capacity.
COVID-19 vaccines are in the process of being distributed through the United States, and more individuals are becoming eligible to receive them. Dr. Anthony Fauci has previously indicated that COVID-19 guidelines could loosen by the 4th of July as more Americans get vaccinated.
According to CNN, some recent data indicates that about 28.5% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Is that enough of a level to cause Disney to increase its capacity? It’s unclear.
In Orange County, Florida (where part of Disney World is located), some recent changes may also allow for Disney to increase capacity. Recently, the Orange County Mayor changed the distancing policies in the county and specified that social distancing may be reduced from 6 feet to 3 feet immediately.
If Disney were to reduce distancing from 6 feet to 3 feet, it could potentially allow more guests into the park as it would be able to fit more people in any particular space. The Orange County Mayor has indicated that he thinks these changes will allow theme parks (like Disney World) to increase capacity.
Now, to be clear, we haven’t heard anything from Disney regarding any increases in capacity. At the moment, based on the information Disney has shared, the parks continue to operate at 35% capacity. Also, 6 feet of social distancing continues to be required. Although Universal Studios and SeaWorld now operate with 3 feet social distancing. Disney has not yet made any indication that it will reduce social distancing to 3 feet or that it will increase capacity yet.
But, what if it does? What if tomorrow Disney were to announce that they are reducing social distancing and/or increasing capacity in the parks? How would you feel? We turned to our readers to ask them!
Would You Feel Comfortable if Disney World Increased Capacity?
On our Instagram, we reached out to our readers and asked whether you’d feel comfortable if Disney World increased capacity at the parks. Over 13,000 of you responded! And…54% said YES, they’d feel comfortable if capacity were increased, while 46% said they would NOT feel comfortable.
In terms of numbers, it broke down to 7,969 votes for YES and 6,806 votes for NO. That’s a difference of just over 1,000 people.
But, we wanted to hear more of your thoughts, so we threw the question up on our Facebook as well. Let’s see what you had to say.
Some Said “YES” They’d Feel Comfortable with a Capacity Increase
There were some on our Facebook who simply said yes, they’d feel comfortable with a capacity increase, no real reservations or conditions attached.
Some Said “YES…BUT”
A LOT of people, however, were in the “yes…but” category. What we mean by that is that they said they’d feel comfortable with a capacity increase ONLY IF Disney does other things.
For example, many people said they would be okay with a capacity increase IF Disney brings back other things like FastPass+, live entertainment, and outdoor shows. Some mentioned that they’d be okay with the increase IF Disney reopens some of the hotels and restaurants that are currently closed, especially quick-service restaurants. Others mentioned that if capacity increases, park hours should increase too.
One reader said “it would be a nightmare to increase capacity without any measures to spread out crowds.” Another echoed those sentiments and said “If things stay as is and capacity is increased, lines would go through the entire parks!” We certainly have lines stretching out quite far, although some of that does have to do with social distancing requirements.
Several noted that the lines have been long already due to physical distancing requirements and social distancing requirements. They noted that more things need to reopen to “absorb” the crowds or it will “be chaos.”
Some emphasized that if more people will be in the parks, they will NEED things to do other than just stand in line, so more things should be made available to help keep fans entertained and disperse the crowds.
Some said they would feel comfortable with capacity increases if more people get vaccinated and masks continue to be required.
Some Said “NOPE!”
Others said they would not feel comfortable or would not want Disney to increase capacity. One said that they wouldn’t want Disney to increase capacity just because they love having less people in the parks as it gives guests the chance to have more personal space.
Others simply said they’re not ready for it to go to full capacity yet and that they’d recommend waiting until more people are vaccinated. Some specifically noted that they would rather Disney wait as they feel like there’s not enough space to socially distance with full capacity. We have seen social distancing go out the window when it rains, so distancing can already be a bit of an issue in those circumstances.
Others said they were there recently and things were PACKED enough as it is, and that increases in capacity should be held off for a while longer. We have seen some days over the past few months with really large crowds in Disney World.
One definitevely said no and that they think Disney should only let them and their family in. Disney all to yourself?! Throw in unlimited snacks and it’s a dream come true. (Although watching guests and Cast Members interact with other guests can really be a special part of the experience).
Another made an interesting point by noting “I don’t understand why people want capacity increased. On a normal year all you hear is ‘it’s too crowded.'” Crowds at Disney World are a common complaint, so that is an interesting point. It’s possible that in a year where so many things have changed, people are yearning for some “normalcy,” even if it’s in the form of crowds.
Others said that Disney should open up more things first (restaurants, hotels, etc.), see how that goes, and THEN increase capacity.
Overall, it the numbers were pretty close in terms of how many of our readers would and wouldn’t feel comfortable with a capacity increase. Seems the majority of our readers on Instagram did say they’d feel comfortable with an increase in capacity. Many of our readers on Facebook did note that their approvals of increased capacity come with a few conditions, like more dining options, more entertainment options, and other things.
What do you think? Would you feel comfortable if Disney World increased capacity? Tell us in the comments!
We’ll continue to keep an eye out for any updates from Disney about their policies and capacity limits, and we’ll keep you informed.
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Would you feel comfortable if Disney World increased capacity? Tell us in the comments!