Disney to increase park capacity; CEO hints that mask mandates could be lifted by summer

ORLANDO -- Good news for Disney fans! Its California and Florida theme parks are already increasing capacity, and CEO Bob Chapek said he expects "an immediate increase in the number of folks that we're able to admit into our parks."

Chapek shared this news on the company's second-quarter earnings call Thursday, around the same time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it is easing mask-wearing and social-distancing guidance for fully vaccinated people.

He also hinted its parks' mask mandates could be lifted by the summer, saying not having to wear masks would be a "bigger catalyst for growth in attendance" and "make for an even more pleasant experience."

Disneyland in Anaheim, California, reopened on April 30 after a 13-month closure. For now, the park and neighboring Disney California Adventure are restricted to operating at 25% capacity under state health rules.

The state of California is aiming to fully reopen June 15.

Disney World in Orlando, Florida, a state with fewer COVID-19 restrictions, has been operating at a lower-than-usual capacity since July 2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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