COVID-19 has changed things tremendously for a number of industries, and this is certainly true for theme parks. Disney Parks, like its competitors, was forced to close down locations for a large portion of the year and, while not all of its parks in the US have reopened, Walt Disney World in Orlando is currently operating, with COVID-19-related measures in place. One of the park’s biggest efforts is enforcing the use of masks by visitors. A recent report suggests that Disney World is doing an effective job of keeping the rule in check, and it looks like fellow parks have also found some pretty magical ways to enforce the rule.
Len Testa, a computer scientist, has been measuring the percentage of Disney World visitors that wear masks since he noticed a patron try to fool security during a visit to Disney Springs. Through his business, Touring Plans, he found that between 94% and 98% visitors wore their masks correctly, based on a count of 10,000 people.
In the same Orlando Sentinel story, Hollywood Studios Vice President Jackie Swisher weighed in on the reported effectiveness of Disney Parks’ mask-wearing protocols. She believes that this success is a result of the company’s “holistic approach,” which is comprised of “pre-arrival reminders, signs throughout the parks and staff training.”
Aside from this, it would also seem that parks like Hollywood Studios have also found more creative and magical ways to encourage visitors to wear their masks. Just recently, a Hollywood Studios performer reminded patrons to wear their masks right before leading them in a singalong of one of Frozen’s famous songs, “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” And apparently, everyone was able to belt out the fan-favorite tune without missing a beat.
Of course, this other method of enforcing masks has to be the cutest. Within the story, it’s also mentioned that a Disney employee from the social distancing squad has a unique way of encouraging children to wear their masks. This is this done by showing them that if a Mickey Mouse plush can wear a mask, they can as well.
These may not sound like the most conventional ways to get people to wear masks, but you can’t argue with the reported results. And as Jackie Swisher even admits, “We always try to keep it fun — we’re Disney.”
Disney Parks has also found other ways to encourage visitors to wear masks. It was previously reported that the parks were making ride photos unavailable to anyone who does not wear a mask while on an attraction.
Sure, not everyone has been that receptive when it comes to Disney Park’s mask protocols. Despite this, it definitely looks like the theme parks are finding ways to keep the rules in place and keep the public safe in the process.
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