Vaccinating theme park workers could give boost to Central Florida economy, experts say

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Many theme park employees think the governor and Orange County’s mayor should put them next in line to get vaccinated.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he’s not doing vaccine changes by occupation anymore.

However, Mayor Jerry Demings has been making some special requests to get certain jobs covered.

READ: Orange County Convention Center expands vaccines to all law enforcement, corrections, fire department employees

While theme park employees wear masks all day, every day, many said they’d feel a lot more comfortable around tourists being vaccinated.

“At the end of the day, DeSantis has said he’s not putting workers first, he’s putting seniors first.” Said Eric Clinton with Unite Here Local 362, which represents thousands of hospitality workers in Central Florida. “And you know, at this point, I think it’s time to move on past that.”

Clinton said there’s more than 30,000 service workers back at work in the theme park and hotels. Tens of thousands more are still furloughed or laid off.

Looking back: Walt Disney World shuts down a year ago today, impacting Central Florida economy

“That’s no small number,” he said. “30,000 people is a lot of people that primarily live in Orange County.”

Clinton said vaccinating theme park employees could get them back to work for a few reasons.

“I think Disney would have an interest in being able to say very publicly, ‘Our employees are now getting vaccinated,’” Clinton said.

READ: New MagicMobile service will allow Disney guests to use smart devices like MagicBand

Demings said it all depends on how much inventory of the vaccine the county gets.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.