Walt Disney World to end temperature checks for guests and Cast Members

May 05, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday May 5, 2021 7:00pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney has announced late today that it plans to end temperature checks at Walt Disney World just short of a year since they were introduced.

The temperature screenings will end beginning May 16 2021 for guests visiting all areas of the Walt Disney World Resort, which includes the theme parks and Disney Springs. Cast Member temperature screenings will end beginning May 8 2021.

Operated by Advent Health, temperature screenings began at Walt Disney World alongside the reopening of Disney Springs on May 20 2020, and have continued since. The checks were determined necessary to attempt to screen anyone who may be carrying COVID-19 and reduce the risk of transmission to other guests and Cast Members.

Waits for temperature screenings have become particularly problematic at Disney Springs in recent months as more and more guests visit the shopping and dining district. Significant wait times and crowding of guests has occurred as a result of the screenings.

This change would appear to be the first in a series of changes that will likely soon see the reduction of 6ft physical distancing and mask usage. Orange County mayor Jerry Demings has said that when 50% of the population 16+ has been vaccinated, the facial covering mandate will be lifted for all individuals outdoors.

Here is the full statement from Disney on the upcoming changes to temperature checks.

From the very beginning of our phased reopening, we have considered guidance from public health authorities, appropriate government agencies, and our own team of health and safety experts as we assess and update health and safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. As this guidance continues to evolve, and with the support of local health and government officials, we are making some additional adjustments. Following the advice of the CDC and our local health officials, we will phase out onsite temperature screenings at Walt Disney World Resort for Cast Members beginning May 8 and Guests on May 16.

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Parker in NYCMay 16, 2021

I always thought the temp checks were ridiculous, good to see them go.

CntrlFlPeteMay 16, 2021

queue for security still snaked through that one area, just no temp checks.

TrojanUSCMay 15, 2021

Can anyone verify how Disney Springs is working now? They were taking up far too many parking spaces in the garages for the temp + security checks. Hopefully they've found a better solution now that the temp portion is gone.

ToTBellHopMay 14, 2021

Exactly. He is spinning this as, “our guests will be much more comfortable (they will), so they’ll stay longer and spend more.”

peter11435May 14, 2021

He wasn’t really saying the heat is part of why. The why is because the science and guidance has changed. His comments about the heat were to reference a benefit of them being removed not a cause.

RSoxNo1May 14, 2021

Chapek explicitly mentioned on the earnings call as part of why mask policies may be changing. I'm sure it was tongue in cheek (at least in part) but the CEO did mention it.

ToTBellHopMay 13, 2021

You would see it on a large-scale in a virus that has infected many millions. Plenty of places contact trace better than us.

Chi84May 13, 2021

I think that's where the science regarding transmission would have to come into play. If people got COVID from simply walking past each other, the number of cases would be off the charts. The CDC said from the start that the virus is primarily transmitted from prolonged contact, usually indoors, with an infected person. That hasn't changed.

disneygeek90May 13, 2021

Just playing devil's advocate but even if there were a case of walking by someone, how would that possibly be tracked?

JD80May 13, 2021

Not sure anyone ever was worried about wearing a mask walking on a path or down the street. Even in NJ when things were bad last year, no one wore masks jogging/riding bikes/walking on the street. (No one meaning very very few people.)

EricsBiscuitMay 13, 2021

“There is not a single documented Covid infection anywhere in the world from casual outdoor interactions, such as walking past someone on a street or eating at a nearby table.” Per the NYT. The outdoor masking should be ended tomorrow. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/11/briefing/outdoor-covid-transmission-cdc-number.html#click=https://t.co/2swKO58tOO

Chi84May 13, 2021

Maybe not, but it has a definite impact on compliance. The weather was unusually hot last week at WDW and many people were completely lowering masks outside, wearing them under their nose or finding some shade to sit and pass around a bottle of water. I didn’t see anyone being admonished. If WDW increases capacity this summer, I don’t think they’re going to have much success with enforcing mask-wearing outside. Im just basing that opinion on what I actually saw last week - not saying people were in the right to bend the rules.

matt9112May 13, 2021

This is a good change.