Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced today that the state would move to Phase 3 of reopening, which removes restrictions on bars, dining, and indoor entertainment, as well as getting rid of all penalties or fines for refusing to wear masks. In addition to these broad measures, this new opening phase specifically states that theme parks can return to normal operations, with no mandatory regulations or attendance caps.
Of course, right now all major theme parks in Florida have self-imposed restrictions, with Universal Orlando Resort, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando and other theme parks controlling capacity according to internal metrics and using barriers and social distancing markers to keep guests spaced out. However, with Universal Orlando Resort ending social distancing on rides and Walt Disney World increasing Parks Pass availability every few weeks, it may not be long before we see a return to "normal" at the theme parks, perhaps with the exception of the mask requirement, which seems to be well enforced, despite some unfortunate outlying incidents.
Walt Disney World has also been sending periodic surveys out to guests who have visited the parks in recent months, asking how they feel about mandatory masks, capacity caps, temperature screenings, and more, which likely means that the resort has been at least considering modifying or rolling back some of their internal restrictions.
In a statement, Disney said "We received the Governor’s executive order and are evaluating it to determine what it may mean for our business. We are not making any immediate changes. As a reminder, face coverings are still required at Walt Disney World Resort"
Ultimately, it will be up to the theme parks themselves to decide how they want to proceed, as there will no longer be any firm rules from the state government enforcing any kind of health and safety procedures, which will probably mean we will see at least some rolling back of restrictions very soon. Would you feel safe at theme parks if capacity were increased? How about if mandatory mask wearing was no longer required? Let us know what you think below!