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As more and more theme parks get the all clear to begin reopening with new safety measures in place, we are eagerly awaiting an official annoucement from Disney this week as to their reopening plans and most importantly, when their gates will actually open to guests once more.

I think it is agreed that measures such as frequent hand washing, keeping a distance of at least six feet  away from other people (outside your household) and even temperature testing to some degree have been universally accepted as necessary measures in order to protect the safety of employees and guests at theme parks whilst COVID-19 is still present.

Disney's Magic Kingdom, entrance
Image: Theme Park Tourist

During our temperature testing poll there were very mixed views on the reliability and purpose of this measure due to a number of factors, including the Florida heat, certain medical conditions as well as the fact that many people are asymptomatic and therefore may be carrying the virus but won't display a high temperature. This is obviously the case but we are guessing this measure is being put into place to at least eliminate the risk of spreading germs of guests who have a raised temperature and therefore could be unwell with COVID-19 or another virus and would probably be best to be at home. For some individuals a raised temperature may be the norm and unfortunately these guests may have more of an issue with this measure.

We also discussed the fact that temperature testing could prove problematic if guests perhaps decided to take Tylenol as a precautionary measure before they were going to enter the park to ensure they would be allowed in even if they were unwell. In summary, the success of temperature testing as a safety  measure is a difficult one to call but it is mandatory mask wearing that seems to have been the most contentious of any of the measures that will be put into place.

Different governments in every country across the globe are devising specific guidelines that theme parks have to abide by in order to reopen their gates. These guidelines vary based on the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak and number of cases.

We know for sure that when Universal Orlando reopens masks will be mandatory for all team members and guests (including all children over 2 years old). Guests who do not bring a mask will be directed to purchase them. Masks will need to be worn at all times in the park, except when dining. 

Universal entrancec
Image: Theme Park Tourist

Although an official announcement has not been given by Disney at this point, based on Disney Springs reopening and the annoucment that, Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and More Get OK for Reopening With Stipulations, we are almost certain that mask wearing for all cast members and guests will be mandotory as part of their reopening plan. The reason for this decision is also based on the guidelines that have been agreed between Disney and a number of the cast member unions to protect their safety when working.

As of yet, we are unsure how this will be enforced throughout the parks when they reopen. 

Poll 19 - Do You Think Mask Wearing Should Be MANDATORY At Theme Parks?

At the end of April, after the announcement that masks would have to be worn at Walt Disney World, we asked in Poll 12, Would You Wear A Mask If You Had To, When Visiting Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld? There was an overwhelming response to this and it was then that just how contentious an issue this was going to be was revealed. Here are the results to remind you of the outcome:

  • Yes - 40%
  • No - 60%

There is a clear split, maybe, was not given as an option here and it definitely isn't needed. From reading readers comments nobody appears to be on the fence with this one. There are clearly strong reasons for and against this measure being put into place.

Disney's Magic Kingdom
Image: Theme Park Tourist

Mandatory Mask Wearing doesn't appear to be consistent across theme parks in the same areas, with LEGOLAND Florida, strongly recommending the use of masks but not making it mandatory, unlike Universal and Disney. This is perhaps, as mentioned earlier, down to the agreements with worker unions. In Europe, Efteling (Netherlands) strongly recommends mask wearing (although they are not permitted to be worn on rides). Europa Park will open May 29, with mandatory mask wearing. For those parks that have not made mask wearing mandatory, this gives guests the freedom of choice, for some this is the right decision but for others the completely wrong decision.

I know there may be the argument put forward that this poll is the same as poll 12 (Would You Wear A Mask If You Had To, When Visiting Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld?) and I agree there are indeed large similarities but the question is slightly different. For example, for the question, would I wear a mask if I had to?, my answer would be no because I can't as I am asthmatic. However, my answer to the question, do you think mask wearing should be MANDATORY at theme parks?, could be yes or no.

I think it will be very interesting to find out what our readers think on the important question, Do You Think Mask Wearing Should Be MANDATORY At Theme Parks?

The choices are clear:

  • Yes
  • No

As usual, CLICK HERE to vote, and don't forget to share this with your friends and family. As always we love to  hear your views and to see respect and kindness and understanding amongst our readers. 

Animal Kingdom entrance
Image: Theme Park Tourist

I am aware this is an issue that people have very strong and conflicting views about. It's because of this that I feel I need to stress once more, everyone has a right to their own opinion and whilst it is good to debate and discuss this, abuse towards others is unnecessary, especially at a time when it is so important to try to stay kind and positive to each other no matter what peoples opinions are. I ask for everyone to be respectful of each other.

My favorite Facebook comment on one of our recent posts after a long (quite heated) thread was "we will agree to disagree" I thought that was perfect and at times is probably the only way to end a conversation where both people have the opposite view point. I will discuss the results to this poll in my next article which is coming soon!

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