With central Florida beginning it’s re-opening, the pubic has seen a lot of announcements regarding the different attractions and resorts plans to get businesses up and running again. From additional sanitizing procedures to social distancing measures- these plans have been pretty detailed and consistent in their requirements across the board- with the exception of one thing- the requirement to wear Face masks.
The potential for required face masks has fueled a debate amongst guests that foreshadows some of the enforcement challenges these resorts and parks have ahead. As the parks devise safety plans for the reopening during these unprecedented times- will their guest wear masks?
Universal CityWalk, the first to open, requires masks for employees and visitors. Masks will also be mandatory for guests when Universal theme parks reopen on June 5th.
Disney Springs, open since May 20th, also requires face masks to be allowed entry. And, while Disney has not announced its exact plan or reopening date for its resorts and theme parks, CEO Bob Chapek, was quoted as saying “Along with social distancing, one of the things that we are likely going to require is masks for both the cast and the guest,”
SeaWorld theme parks will require masks for employees, although company officials declined to say if those rules would apply to visitors, too. There have been reports of Mako being tested with masked riders in the past few days, however.
LegoLand is NOT requiring face masks- but rather strongly suggesting them. They are also distributing disposable masks to guests, who would like them. Entry into LegoLand however will not be denied should you choose to forgo a mask.
Several other area attractions such as GatorLand and FunSpot America are opening and not requiring masks. While they are not required, both suggest them on their website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cloth mask coverings because a significant number of people don’t show symptoms while still passing the virus to others. Medical professionals say social distancing protocols and regularly washing hands are equally important.
However, not everyone should wear a mass. CDC cites exemptions for children under 2, people with breathing problems and those who couldn’t take masks off on their own
“Masks may feel new and unusual, but it gives guests a feeling of safety and security,” said Merriman, president of MR-ProFun, comparing it to the way tourists felt when Disney added bag checks and beefed-up security after the 9/11 terror attacks.
Meanwhile, theme park fans ponder and debate on social media with what-ifs scenarios. What if I’m on a high-speed roller coaster or a water ride or posing for photographs? Must I leave it on then?
Disney’s CEO said employees and guests will have to cooperate with each other to make the mask policy work. “Everybody knows COVID-19 is a serious matter,” Chapek said in his CNBC interview. “We’re going to do our part, and we need our guests to do their part, too.”