Computer scientist tracking mask compliance at Walt Disney World
ORLANDO, Fla. - Since face masks are now required at Walt Disney World, one company is tracking customer compliance.
“I’m a computer scientist and my job is to write software that tells you the order in which you should ride rides to minimize your wait in line at theme parks. That was my master’s thesis,” explained Len Testa, who runs TouringPlans.com.
Since the pandemic hit, he’s had some new material to research at the theme parks.
Testa says one idea from an unusual sighting at Disney Springs about a month ago.
“There was a woman trying to get through the security screening wearing - and I’m not making this up – what looked like a napkin attached to her nose with a close pin,” Testa said.
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That got him thinking, how many people are following Disney’s requirements when it comes to masks?
That day, Testa counted 96 out of 100 people in compliance. It grew from there.
“To date we’ve counted around 14,000 people, 500 people a day almost every day and it’s never been below 94 percent compliance and it’s been up to 98 percent,” Testa explained.
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Some travelers say those strict mask rules are why they’re spending their Thanksgiving holiday at Disney this year.
“We were going through our options of the safest place we go on a family vacation and Disney we felt since opening has not had any outbreaks or occurrences,” said traveler Stacy Deitelzweig.
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Testa thinks this week and Christmas will be the busiest at the parks since the pandemic began – so will mask compliance remain high?
“It’s extremely rare for someone not to follow the guidelines once they’re reminded of them – no one wants to get kicked out of a theme park after you paid $100 to get in,” he said.
Testa says other things they’ve been tracking since the pandemic is ride wait times since the lines are now social distanced as well as restaurant capacity.