Though this week has already seen work start on the Jungle Cruise refurbishment and the extension of Universal's annual Mardi Gras event, the big news outside of attractions in the state of Florida has been the expansion of COVID-19 vaccine availability to all state residents over the age of 16. And though this certainly has big implications for public health in the state, we couldn't help but wonder if this milestone could potentially also allow theme parks in Florida to increase capacity limits ahead of what is expected to be a VERY busy summer season.
Thus far, the spring break travel season has seen a LOT of traffic at the theme parks, with Universal Orlando Resort closing theme parks for capacity almost every day over the last month, most times before noon. And over at Walt Disney World, the theme parks have been similarly packed, with Disney's current reservations system showing some or all parks booked to capacity limits through the end of May.
However, with more and more Floridians getting vaccinated by the day and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demmings estimating that about 50% of the Orange County population could be vaccinated by June 2021, theme parks may be weighing their options when it comes to increasing the current 35% capacity caps for the summer, which may be one of the busiest in years in Central Florida thanks to pent up demand and new CDC guidance that indicates travel is safe for vaccinated individuals, who no longer need to test or quarantine to safely travel.
Though nothing has been officially announced, with vaccination efforts increasing not only in Florida but around the United States, it seems like it may be a good time for theme parks to start working on a plan to slowly begin increasing park capacity in the near future so that guests will be able to visit later this year without having to worry about reservations "selling out" or parks hitting capacity at a certain time.
What do you think? Do you think theme parks should start increasing their capacity caps as vaccination levels rise, or should they wait just a little longer before increasing guest levels?