Disney CEO: U.S. Parks Will ‘Likely’ Require Guests to Wear Masks After Reopening

Disney-New-CEO FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2015, file photo, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Bob Chapek poses with Minnie Mouse during a ceremony at the Hong Kong Disneyland, as they celebrate the Hong Kong Disneyland's 10th anniversary. The Walt Disney Co. has named Bob Chapek CEO, replacing …
AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File

Visitors will probably have to wear masks once Disney reopens its U.S. theme parks, CEO Bob Chapek said Monday.

Although it remained unclear how long the Florida and California parks would remain shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, Chapek told CNBC that when they do reopen, guests should expect some changes.

He stated:

Along with social distancing, one of the things that we’re likely going to require is masks for both the cast and the guest. And I think the masks for the guests will be something that is culturally different. In Asia, as you know, its fairly commonplace, even before COVID, for folks to walk around in public with masks on.

“That is not the case in the U.S., so that will be something that will be a little trying I think for some of the guests, particularly in hot, humid summers that we tend to have,” Chapek continued.

Even though there was no firm date for reopening, Disney World in Orlando, Florida, will begin accepting reservations on July 1, according to the Today Show.

“The location has been closed along with Disneyland in California since March 27 because of the pandemic,” the article read.

Monday, the Disneyland park in Shanghai, China, reopened with tight restrictions and a limited number of visitors allowed inside, according to the Associated Press (AP).

“Disney guests, many wearing Mickey Mouse ears, and children dressed as movie characters were checked for the virus’s telltale fever at the gate,” the report noted.

In addition to wearing masks, guests were also required to show government-issued IDs and download a smartphone app that city officials used to track their health and their contacts with people who might have been exposed to the coronavirus.

The park’s Senior Vice President for Operations Andrew Bolstein said the measures helped the company “understand and regulate the flow of traffic.”

Monday, Chapek called the Shanghai park reopening a “stair step” in getting things back to normal.

“We’re going to be very conservative, we’re going to be very prudent, we’re going to be very disciplined about how we open up. And then we’re going to ramp up and increase,” he concluded.


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