What has changed as Disney no longer requires masks to be worn and physical distancing is gone at the Walt Disney World theme parks

Jun 15, 2021 in "Magic Kingdom"

Disney removes mask requirements, barriers and physical distancing at Walt Disney World
Posted: Tuesday June 15, 2021 10:36am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Walt Disney World theme parks feel a lot more normal today, as new mask guidelines mean that guests no longer need to wear face coverings anywhere inside the Disney theme parks.

As the parks reopened from the COVID-19 shutdown, Disney has been slow and cautious, choosing to use a phased approach to reopening, and this latest milestone is no different.

So what has changed, and what do you need to know ahead of your visit in the coming days and weeks?

Crowds and Physical Distancing at Walt Disney World

There is no question that the crowds are back at Disney's theme parks. The end of mask requirements gives those guests who were holding back a reason to return to an experience that is far more normal than it was last year.

Most guests are choosing not to wear masks either indoors or outdoors. Masks are however still present on some guests, and on all Cast Members. Shields are now optional for Cast Members, and there are a lot less of those on show.

Nearly all physical distancing markers on the ground have been removed, and physical distancing is really no more.

Signs are still in place advising guests to maintain spacing, but there is nothing in place to enforce any kind of distancing. In fact, it is interesting to see that guests appear to have already reverted back to pre-COVID days, and are happy to be shoulder to shoulder in tight groups.

Disney World Transportation

On the busses, Disney has removed all of the plexiglass dividers, and is loading more guests onto each bus. Masks are still required, but the boost in capacity should greatly help to improve the bogged down transportation system.

Like the busses, the Disney World monorails are also now clear of plexiglass dividers. Guests are still loaded to a specific row by a Cast Members, and capacity appears to be around 16 guests per cabin. Small parties may be seated with other parties on the same bench. Masks are still required.

The watercraft have all social distancing removed, and as of today are not enforcing mask use when onboard.

On Disney World Rides

Capacity has been increased slowly over the last few months and weeks, but today we are seeing some rides operate at, or very close to maximum capacity.


The Jungle Cruise is now loading in a mostly pre-COVID manner, filling every available space, including the center bench.

All plexiglass has been removed, with the exception of the barrier between the guest area and the Cast Member skipper.

Other attractions still have plexiglass dividers in the queue area, typically those that were semi-permanently installed.

Dividers are still in place at Peter Pan's Flight, it's a small world, and Haunted Mansion.

While we are seeing pre-shows return, including yesterday at Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, there are still some exceptions. At the Haunted Mansion, guestsare still bypassing the stretch room scene.

Walt Disney World Dining

Mobile Order is still required for quick service, but once inside, more tables are open, with dining rooms being at or near 100% capacity.

Table Service dining, where open, is operating mostly as normal. Modified menus are still in place, and availability is limited with not all locations yet open.

What's Next?

The changes are ongoing and will continue on a daily basis in the weeks ahead. Expect to see more of the plexiglass removed from queues, more rides operating at full capacity, the return of more missing pre-shows, and perhaps as soon as July, the return of much more entertainment, including fireworks.

Discuss on the Forums
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MousertainmentJun 29, 2021

I know this thread is referring to WDW, but at DL the trams aren't running either. Per my phone, it was 1.3 miles of walking to get from my car to the front gate of the parks at DL. So if you include there and back again, that's 2 1/2 miles. Which is 2 1/2 miles more of the park that could be enjoyed that didn't need to be walked to and from the parking structure, no matter how good your physical condition may be. The trams are needed.

disneygeek90Jun 28, 2021

I mean... I understand the sentiment but you're going to a theme park that requires lots of walking. If someone is physically unable to walk to the front of the park before needing to rent a wheel chair, they should probably have that handled before arriving at the park.

Baloo62Jun 28, 2021

Oh, I don't know, maybe for the elderly...young children...those with mobility issues. But yeah, screw 'em for a few extra bucks of profit. You're really walking the walk with that inclusion key there, Disney.

dreday3Jun 22, 2021

Anyone know the reason why the Mexico Pavilion is still having guests wait in line to get in? I thought distancing was relaxed?

wdwmagicJun 22, 2021

Yep, it is all just a matter of labor now to rip these things down. Probably a safe bet that give it another week, and everything will be gone.

DCBakerJun 22, 2021

Reportedly the plexiglass in queue lines of Haunted Mansion, BTMRR and Peter Pan are now gone.

Captain BarbossaJun 22, 2021

Lol, maybe, but my sniffer works just fine with the masks I wear/wore.

GimpYancIentJun 22, 2021

It's the masks not the social distancing that obscured aromas.

Captain BarbossaJun 22, 2021

I’m sure gonna miss social distancing. It really was nice not to be able to smell other guests.

SirwalterraleighJun 22, 2021

…oh brooke… its not “the first time” at all…you’re just obsessed 👍🏻

DCBakerJun 22, 2021

GimpYancIentJun 22, 2021

I am waiting to see when they get moved to Living W The Land to protect the growing produce.

donsullivanJun 22, 2021

Everything is a day-by-day change right now but when I rode Safari on Saturday afternoon they were still there.

dreday3Jun 22, 2021

Sorry if I missed this - have the plastic barriers been removed from the Safari vehicles?