The resort located in Orlando, Florida announced Friday that masks and face coverings for guests will be “optional in outdoor common areas” at Disney World starting on Saturday. The exception being that guests “must wear face coverings from the entrances at all attractions, theaters or transportation and throughout those experiences,” the company said.
So that means if you’re walking down Main Street, U.S.A., you don’t have to wear a mask but if you’re riding Space Mountain, you’ll still have to.
The adjusted safety requirements could have huge ramifications for Disney’s attendance numbers and the theme park industry as a whole since Disney parks are an industry leader. And as goes Disney, so usually go other amusement parks.
Disney generated more than $26 billion in sales at its parks division in fiscal 2019, the year prior to the pandemic, representing 37% of the company’s overall revenue. Returning to those levels would obviously be a boon to not just the parks unit, but all of Disney.
“This is the next step in their recovery,” Robert Niles, editor of ThemeParkInsider.com, told CNN Business before the announcement on Friday. “They’ve built a foundation at the parks that they can expand upon. I don’t think you’re really going to see the result of that expansion in 2021, but you’re going to see the beginning of it.”