Theme parks reduce mask requirements on CDC guidance

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Disney World and other U.S. amusement parks updated their mask policy following the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week. Masks have been made optional in outdoor areas and pool decks at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, effective May 15, but are still needed for entering rides and at indoor locations, according to the guidelines posted on its website.

Read more from Reuters.

sirloindude's avatar

In most cases, just a little apprehension over how quickly the vaccine got approved and how there isn’t really testing on long-term effects. The family members taking that approach don’t really have any negative feelings toward the vaccines, but they just want to sit tight a bit longer to make sure no ill effects start creeping up.

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

OhioStater's avatar


Keep sitting tight.


How do you refrain yourself from not slapping these people?

Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

eightdotthree's avatar

People say they want to wait and see the long-term effects of these vaccines but I doubt any of them can say how long that would actually be based on previous vaccines. They say it was developed too quickly but they don’t understand why the trials were so short. They say they don’t know what’s in it but never actually looked. They say a lot of things.

RideMan said:

the only situations where I felt the risk was elevated a bit were ... in the extended wait in the "steerage" section of the Voyage station...

Well, if you were stuck below decks on a crowded, disease-ridden ship, that's consistent with the theme.

OhioStater said:

I would love to be wrong about how many people are actually on the fence. I'm also admittingly talking about of my ass to some degree, because everything I wrote is also anecdotal.

I would say we have two real motivators left: 1)"get vaxxed if you want to do X"...or...2) "prove that you got vaxxed and we will give you X".

I haven't kept close track recently, but when I was vaccine hesitancy polled at worst around 30% of the adult population. So it seems like there's quite a bit of ground to cover between the roughly 55% of vaccinated people and the 70% who aren't hesitant. So it would seem that motivating that 15% is what we should be going for.

And even within that 30% of hesitant folks some people can be swayed, since these people aren't necessarily totally against getting it, they're just hesitant to get it, with the most predominant reason being (ignorant) concern about long term side effects. So if they have to weigh the burden of wearing masks and social distancing against those concerns, a nonzero number of them will get the shot.

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Jeff's avatar

American lack basic science literacy. They don't know what the scientific method is, they don't know what a double blind trial is, and frankly many show little interest in learning. I think if you understand these concepts, there's little reason to be skeptical. Heck, the science of mRNA vaccines isn't even new, and it's reasonably straight forward to understand (even if the biochemistry is not). Lack of literacy and curiosity is the reason that every new technology takes time to catch on, even when it's not new (like electric cars).

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

This was a nice breakdown of the main reasons folks are putting off/not getting the vaccine (plus a state-by-state picture of how many are in each):

ApolloAndy's avatar

I do have sympathy for POC who distrust the American medical system. I mean, they’ve consistently been mistreated by it. Until I started really listening to POC, I couldn’t understand why you’d be afraid of the police either.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

OhioStater's avatar


According to the poll, about 20% of Ohio is in the dumbest category. Seems about right.

From age 65 and up (depending on the category), Ohio has anywhere from 76 - 81% of folks vaccinated, so with regards to the goal of "not collapsing the health-care system" (i.e., refrigerated trucks taking away bodies), we're across the finish line.

I'm not sure when it happened, because I'm typically the cock-eyed optimist in the room, but I have grown completely cynical about the notion that we will ever reach anywhere near 75-80% of the population vaccinated, and I've also become apathetic to people who are choosing not to get it.

I was happy to see Busch Gardens Williamsburg officially added to the list of "masks optional" as we are headed here in a couple weeks. Like the others, they're using the tried "cross your heart and hope to die" method, with all outdoor hygiene theater removed.

Like Brett mentioned in the OP, I was a little taken-back by the negative reaction. Since we are headed there I peeked my head into a BGW specific-forum to what was up in Virginia, and the reaction was about a 60/40 split between "Hooray!" and "NO The children!".

It feels weird (but fine) to be happy about something when across the room there are a lot of people with their arms crossed shaking their heads slowly who are clearly not.

I'm certainly not going to think oddly of anyone who still chooses to wear a mask. If it makes you feel safer, awesome. That said, since I have "come out" as a person happy to take our unvaxxed 9-year old into the scary maskless world, I have certainly gotten a heavy dose of this attitude from the same crowd that thought we were taking some kind of parenting risk by sending our kids back to live school last fall.

Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

On NPR's "The Takeaway" they discussed incentives with a couple professors who study this stuff. Their, um, takeaway was that various different kinds of incentives are good because they reach different people - Krispy Kreme will get some folks, million-dollar lotteries other folks. And that, inevitably, we're going to have to move from carrots to sticks (you can't attend university, you'll lose your job, etc.)

(May 14 show - doesn't seem to have its own page.)

ApolloAndy said:

600,000 Americans never died from a vaccine.

It may be a personal decision, but aside from ultra rare exceptions it's absurd to say that your health, not to mention community health, is better off without the vaccine than with. Are there people with good reasons that we shouldn't judge? Maybe. Is the 60% of America that hasn't gotten a vaccine in that camp? 59.999% of them aren't.

As soon as my kids can get the vaccine, I won't especially care about vax holdouts, but I'll still think they're wrong.

Knowing the individual's condition and the concern their doctor brought up it makes sense to me that they should skip it or at least wait. Maybe in the future the doctor will have enough data to say that what they were concerned about isn't likely to happen but they can't know that without time passing.

Jeff's avatar

I think we all know the ire is not directed toward the medically exempt. With 50% of eligible people not vaccinated in some states, that's what we're talking about. Focusing on rare exceptions muddies the conversation.

Last edited by Jeff,

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

You know, I never expected that Six Flags would end up being the hold-outs on reducing or eliminating mask requirements, but they were...until yesterday.

I kind of like the symbolism of what Holiday World has done. There is (as of now) a link on their park hours page that says, "For the latest safety information, please visit our COVID-19 page." The COVID-19 page, in turn, is 404. I kind of hope they don't fix it.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

One of the biggest groups of people being completely missed or ignored by the government and the media are those that have recovered from the virus and, therefore, have natural immunity. A recent study determined that those that have recovered have shown to have long lasting immunity, and they are also highly likely to be protected against any new variants that may appear. So, what would be the reason they should get the injection? They are not posing any risk to themselves or others since they have immunity.

Another group of people do not want to take the injection because they do not wish to volunteer to be part of an experiment. Remember that the injections are approved for Emergency Use Authorization, and they are not officially approved by the FDA. There have been many deaths and injuries of people who have received the injection, although very little has been reported by the media. Aside from deaths, problems that have occurred are blood clots, changes in menstrual cycles (including some women who have gone through menopause and have started cycling again), Bell's Palsy, strokes, heart attacks, seizures, and the list goes on. Also, the long term effects of this injection cannot possibly be known at this time, as it has only been seven months since injections were first administered. There is no way of knowing what health problems people may see from this in 1, 5, 10 years or beyond. Only time will tell of the long term effects that may occur, which is what has been left out of the "scientific method" for this injection.

Just because someone chooses not to receive the injection does not make them science deniers, ignorant, uneducated or defiant. When it comes to health, everyone needs to weigh the options and determine what is best for them and their children. Nobody should berate others for the choices they make regarding their health, especially when it comes to something that has not been proven to be fully safe.

One final comment- if we allow our government to mandate something like an injection on us, what will be next? Will they allow people to only consume certain foods to try to reduce the obesity epidemic? What about making people give up their cars and air travel to reduce climate change? If we allow the government to start telling us what we must or can do, and we are not allowed to choose what we determine is best for us, then we will lose the liberty we have, and the people of the United States will no longer be free. And freedom is what the United States is all about. That is what makes our country better than any other. As Ronald Reagan said,

"Freedom is a fragile thing and it's never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. And those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again."

This is why it is so important to always stand up for freedom, because if we lose it, we will most likely never get it back.


ApolloAndy's avatar

Wow. Okay. All slippery slope fallacies aside (and by the way, there’s a huge difference between the gov. recommending and the gov. mandating - you are certainly “free” to choose to not get the vaccine, but why does it always seem like these “freedom” arguments center around the freedom to not give a flip about other people?) there’s still no evidence of the vaccine causing any real harm in anyone. The blood clotting rates in under age 50 women was the same as it is for under age 50 women who didn’t get a vaccine. The fact that it became a media story is a sign that the scientists were being ridiculously overcautious. There were 6 total cases over 6.8 million of doses given. And never has a vaccine had major side effects beyond 45 days, in the history of anything. mRNA takes a few hours or days to degrade. The idea that it could hurt you 1 year or 10 years later is not realistic.

So there’s every reason and evidence to believe that getting the shot, even if you’ve tested positive, is safer than taking your chances with the virus. But since each person impacts the people around them (bingo!) not taking the shot not only hurts yourself, but it hurts the people around you, like kids under 12 (bingo again!). Should you be free to choose to not care about kids? I guess.

Receiving the benefit of lower community transmission and reopening economy from other people getting the shot, but not getting the shot yourself is akin to being the person in a group project who does nothing and still gets the same grade. You’re certainly “free” to be that person, but I’m not a big fan of that person, let me tell you.

But obviously you shouldn’t trust me, a random dude on the internet. If you want real answers, ask your doctor.

Last edited by ApolloAndy,

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

After reading the last two posts:

I Wanna Be ApolloAndy's friend

ApolloAndy's avatar

And I’m not sure what studies you’re citing, CoastingInMN, but “media not reporting it” is often because it’s not credible or being misrepresented. For instance “X number of people who got the vaccine died the same week” was a typical anti-vax headline, but didn’t mention that statisticaly X people would have died anyway, so there’s actually no correlation between the shot and dying. Would love to see these “underreported” cases of seizures, Bell’s Palsy, etc.

Last edited by ApolloAndy,

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

My daughter and I are just about to leave on an amusement park trip, so I don't have a lot of time to give supporting evidence now. I will try to post more when I have time.

Here is one study on natural immunity from

SARS-CoV-2 Infection Induces Long-lived Bone Marrow Plasma Cells in Humans

The National Vaccine Information Center website lists incidents that have been reported. The data comes from our government's raw data of reports. Keep in mind that many issues do not get reported to the system, so the numbers are lower than actual. Here is the list of all reported incidents:

Reported Covid-19 Vaccine Incidents

And this is the number of reported deaths, which has grown by nearly 1000 in the past two weeks, so the rate appears to be ramping up (yes, I realize that many more deaths have been reported for the virus itself):

Reported Covid-19 Vaccine Deaths

I will say that I would not pay much attention to data for "Age < 3", as all incidents where the age was not entered gets dumped into this category.

Thank you for trying to keep this conversation civil. I will try to add more information when I have time, but we need to get on the road.


Well I guess the data for the deaths is indisputable. That table does look pretty official. Oh wait, per Wiki...

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), founded under the name Dissatisfied Parents Together (DPT) in 1982, is an American 501(c)(3)[1] organization that has been widely criticized as a leading source of fearmongering and misinformation about vaccines.

I just wonder if there is a table that lists how many people have died and didn't get the vaccine? I bet those numbers would be shockingly high. I trust that NVIC would present that data as well, just to be fair.

Jeff's avatar

CoastingInMN said:

One of the biggest groups of people being completely missed or ignored by the government and the media... the "scientific method" for this injection.

Yeah, if we're going to start with media conspiracies and using "scientific method" in quotes, you're not arguing from a point of reality or facts.

Drug trials involving tens of thousands people are not "experiments" once the resulting data has been studied. The infected need to be vaccinated because we don't know the length of their immunity. Given the similar nature to other coronaviruses, we can expect that it isn't long. And you can find a hundred anecdotes about allergies, and they're all less likely to harm you than actual infection.

The more you try to stretch rationalizing why not to get vaccinated, the weaker your case is.

If everyone old enough would be grownups and get it done, my 11-year-old wouldn't have to wear masks in stores at this point. All this "freedom" bull**** pretends that we have no social contracts or accountability to each other in our communities, which has never been the case. (And where have all these "champions" of health rights been while women have been losing theirs?)

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

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