Florida now has lowest COVID rates in the U.S.; what does that mean for holiday crowds at Disney World?

Credit: Becky Burkett

Florida now has the lowest number of COVID cases among the 50 United States of America, based on daily averages.

The Sunshine State is currently averaging 1,700 new cases daily, or approximately 8 cases for every 100,000 Floridians. The only other state in the union to have single digits per 100,000 residents is Hawaii.


Many who have watched the most recent numbers of COVID infections and hospitalizations and deaths related to the virus in Florida are very surprised, especially when you consider that in mid-August, a little over 2 months ago, the state saw an average of 25,000 new cases every day of the week. That’s about 116 cases per 100,000 residents.

RELATED: Some Disney World Guests will have to sign COVID waivers before coming into the parks

In just over two months’ time, daily averages in Florida have dipped a remarkable 90%. The state of California, which has arguably the most stringent mask and vaccine requirements of these 50 states, sits at a daily average of more than twice Florida’s, and the daily average of new cases in Florida is less than a quarter of the daily average of new cases in Vermont, the state that boasts the highest number of vacated residents by percentages.

RELATED: Guests of some California theme parks will be required to be vaccinated before visiting

These are positive things for Florida, and they signal the beginning of two things: first, the mud-slinging across the party lines and politicizing of the virus, its spread, how to handle the spread, and what role the government is Constitutionally capable of playing in individual’s choices about wearing masks and getting the vaccine, and second, a talk about what these improved COVID case numbers might mean for crowds at Walt Disney World this holiday season.

Credit: Becky Burkett

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We already know that Disney’s new Annual Passholder program that debuted in early September will play a role in attendance numbers at the parks. At the end of last week, almost all spots for New Year’s Eve in the parks were already booked, and Christmas Day was in 2nd place.

Credit: Becky Burkett

We’re far enough along in the pandemic to know that a rise in cases comes in waves–numbers rise; then they peak, and then they recede, and that’s been the case for a while now. What we don’t know is the timeline: when will the next significant rise in cases come?

We’re not entirely convinced that a rise or a recession in the number of COVID cases will necessarily encourage fans to head to the parks for the holidays. Then again, we aren’t entirely convinced that the lower number of cases will preclude fans from coming.

Credit: Becky Burkett

RELATED: Is COVID to blame for the closing of Disney Stores in North America?

Most Americans feels adamantly one way or the other about the virus, and you can bet that anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers won’t let some numbers–large or small–on a CDC press release dictate to them what they will and won’t do with their holiday season.

Credit: Becky Burkett

And in the same respect, those who won’t leave home without a mask–if they leave home at all–will most likely not be swayed by the aforementioned numbers either.

Has the pandemic sullied your plans for a trip to Disney World? Or do you ignore the numbers for the most part and continue with your life? Let us know in the comments!

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!