Bob Chapek appears to suggest that masks may be gone at Walt Disney World this summer

May 13, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Thursday May 13, 2021 5:05pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney CEO Bob Chapek this afternoon commented on theme park capacity at Walt Disney World and his expectations for the reduction of COVID-19 restrictions.

Bob has indicated that capacity has been raised in response to recent CDC updates, and today's news of the CDC change to recommendations in regard to masks is "big news." He went on to say how no-masks would make Florida a more pleasant experience in the summer. However, he did not give specifics of attendance number increases or exactly when he expects Walt Disney World to make changes to its mask policies.

Chapek also went on to say that 80% of Cast Members who have been asked to return to work have done so.

Here is the excerpt from the earnings call relating to masks and capacity at Walt Disney World.

"In terms of the parks, and when we're going to sort of be able to raise our capacity limits, we've actually already started that, given the guidance that just came today, from the CDC, and earlier guidance that we got from the governor of Florida, we've already started to increase our capacities, those obviously today's guidance that we got from the CDC in terms of those that were vaccinated do not necessarily need to wear masks anymore, both outdoors and indoors. Is very big news for us, particularly if anybody's been in Florida in the middle of the summer with a mask on. That could be quite daunting. So we think that's going to make for an even more pleasant experience and we believe that as we're now bringing back a lot of people back to work, that it's going to be an even bigger catalyst for growth in attendance, and we've been quite pleased to date."

We expect to hear from Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings late tomorrow that the county has reached its goal of a 50% vaccination level and will drop its mask requirement for everyone when outdoors. This may be the point that Disney feels that it can follow that guidance and drop masks for all guests at least outdoors, and may be the reason for Chapek's comments about being in Florida during the summer.

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DisneyCane4 minutes ago

Or at least not two weeks post shot #2 to be fully vaccinated.

dovetail651 hour ago

Or that group people just want to wear the masks because they are touching all the levers and getting closer to more people than most. CM do form clicks, especially the loaders. If they all feel they are safer as their small group when they work we may see CM wearing mask 2 years from now here and there. Now if all loaders on every attraction wore them we would know if it was a CM rule for loaders.

Lilofan1 hour ago

Bingo!

Chomama1 day ago

And they may not be vaccinated!

helenabear1 day ago

Absolutely! Some people just aren't comfortable yet. It takes time...

peter114351 day ago

Also just because they can doesn’t mean they will

helenabear1 day ago

Per the rules we had before the 15th all ride loading areas were considered indoors. So who knows. Also one doesn't know if the CM is vaccinated or not.

Nick_A1 day ago

The greeters at Everest this evening were unmasked, but the cast on the loading platform all had masks on, which was weird considering we were still very much “outside.” Are they considering a roof over your head to be “inside”?

DCBaker1 day ago

threvester1 day ago

Looks like outdoor kiosks are a go too

threvester1 day ago

Some janitors and 2 girls selling balloons as well

threvester1 day ago

Just got to disney springs..bus employees not driving are unmasked

Bullseye19671 day ago

Almost time for the Friday bad news drop.

helenabear1 day ago

I suppose I get it where there was food around as a double safety thing for them and us, but yeah outdoors? Uh no way at all. I even felt for our tour guide who had to wear it all day with us. He kept up an amazing pace and hardly touched his mask once. So many looked so hot though I give fantastic kudos to all CMs we encountered. They seemed so kind only one, when I remarked how horribly beat up her face shield was as she was trying to fix it, even mentioned a thing about them. For those who are vaccinated, I bet this is a great day for them!