Travel Parents are torn on whether or not they should visit Disney theme parks yet, but experts say it's generally safe

12:45  11 june  2021
12:45  11 june  2021 Source:   insider.com

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a group of people in a park: Disney fans are torn on whether or not they'd feel safe visiting the company's theme parks. Charles Sykes/AP © Charles Sykes/AP Disney fans are torn on whether or not they'd feel safe visiting the company's theme parks. Charles Sykes/AP
  • Parents said in an Insider poll that they'd have COVID-19-related concerns if visiting Disney parks.
  • Other parents said they're not worried about pandemic safety - regardless of vaccination status.
  • Experts say Disney vacations are generally safe, and are becoming increasingly safer each day.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Though Disney theme parks are slowly returning to their pre-pandemic operations, parents are torn on whether or not they'd feel safe visiting with their families.

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According to a new Insider poll, hundreds of parents would feel between "somewhat worried" and "extremely worried" about catching COVID-19 at Disney theme parks, regardless of their vaccination status. Other parents, however, said they'd feel "not so worried" or "not worried at all."

In previous interviews with Insider, infectious disease experts said it's entirely safe for fully vaccinated people to vacation at the Florida and California theme parks. While those with children might want to take stronger safety precautions, like continuing to wear masks, experts say that it's still generally safe for them to visit too.

Insider's survey was done through SurveyMonkey among 1,086 respondents, with a 3% margin of error. It ran on May 13, 2021.

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a group of people standing in front of a statue: People visit Disney World's Magic Kingdom on March 28, 2019. John Raoux/AP © Provided by INSIDER People visit Disney World's Magic Kingdom on March 28, 2019. John Raoux/AP

Survey participants were first asked: "How worried about safety would you be if you were to visit a Disney Park?" They were then able to respond with either: "Extremely worried," "Very worried," "Somewhat worried," "Not so worried," or "Not worried at all."

Of the 1,079 people who responded to the question (four participants skipped it), 360 said they have one or more children under the age of 18. Of that group, 193 people said they'd feel some level of concern about catching COVID-19 while at a Disney theme park.

  • 22 people said they'd be "extremely worried" about safety if visiting Disney while fully vaccinated.
  • Another 35 said they'd be "very worried," and 76 said they'd be "somewhat worried" if visiting while fully vaccinated.
  • 23 participants said they'd feel some level of concern visiting if partially vaccinated.
  • Only 27 people said they'd feel worried about COVID-19 if visiting a Disney park without being vaccinated.
  • 10 more participants said they'd feel worried about safety, though they're unsure what their vaccination status would be if vacationing.

Another 167 participants said they'd have little to no concerns about safety while there. Specifically:

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  • 80 people said they wouldn't be concerned at the theme parks if fully vaccinated.
  • Only 3 people said they'd feel safe if partially vaccinated.
  • 59 participants said that even if unvaccinated, they wouldn't be concerned about catching COVID-19.
  • The final 25 respondents said they wouldn't worry about the virus, though they're unsure about their vaccine status.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, previously told Insider that he thinks it's "fine to go to a Disney theme park with little to no worry" once you're fully vaccinated.

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"The more that vaccinated people go to the theme parks, the safer the theme parks become," he said. "This is the reason why people should get vaccinated - so they can get back to their lives."

In an email sent to Insider on Thursday, Adalja also said he thinks it's "generally safe" for unvaccinated children to go, because he feels the theme park is "becoming safer by the day as more people are vaccinated."

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"The chance of running into COVID-19 is decreasing, even for the unvaccinated," he said.

Still, Dr. Abraar Karan, an internal medicine and global health physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, previously told Insider that the vaccines currently available "don't eliminate" COVID-19 altogether.

"This matters because it means you can carry and still spread the virus to others - and that's a problem if those other people are not vaccinated," Karan said.

As Adalja previously told Insider, parents who have safety concerns about visiting theme parks with their unvaccinated children should continue prioritizing social distancing and mask-wearing because they "have a considerable impact" on a family's safety.

At the time of writing, Disney World is no longer requiring masks to be worn in "outdoor common areas." It's also started removing its social-distancing markers in stores and on ride queues, according to Inside the Magic. That being said, the company is still requiring face masks inside its attractions, shops, theaters, restaurants, and more.

Insider's recent poll also found that hundreds of Americans say they won't consider visiting a Disney park this year because they think it's too expensive, and that people who make under $75,000 per year are most eager to visit Disney theme parks.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income. Polling data collected 1,086 respondents May 13, 2021, with a 3 percentage point margin of error.

Read the original article on Insider

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