How guests are responding to Disney World's new mask rules as Disney increases capacity at the parks

May 18, 2021 in "Magic Kingdom"

Magic Kingdom masks and capacity - May 17 2021
Posted: Tuesday May 18, 2021 9:45am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

We are a few days into Disney's new outdoor optional mask rules at Walt Disney World and at the same time Disney is reducing physical distancing and boosting capacity at the parks - here is a look at what is happening so far.

As each days go by, it appears to us that more and more guests are opting to go mask-free when outdoors in accordance with the new rules. On Saturday it seemed like there were slightly more mask wearers, but as of today it seems to have shifted significantly to no-masks being the majority. A likely explanation is that simply more guests are now aware of the new rules and choosing the option to remove masks. Cast Members at the main entrances are telling guests about the new rules, and reminding those guests who are not wearing masks that they should keep one at hand ready for when they enter attractions, shops or dining.

The new Disney World mask rules state that masks must still be worn "upon entering and throughout all attractions." This one raised a few questions about what exactly is considered the point of entering an attraction. From our observations, you are generally OK to be mask free in outdoor overflow queues until you reach the Cast Member stationed at the main entrance to the queue, which is typically at the sign for the attraction. However, since you are technically in a queue, you may be asked to mask up as soon as you join the line regardless of where the starting point is.

You can see guests here at Space Mountain in the overflow queue in-front of the building with many guests not wearing masks at this point.

A similar situation can be seen here at the overflow line for the Jungle Cruise.

Cast Members are effectively enforcing mask wearing once you reach the main entrance of the attraction, and it appears that guests are following the rules and keeping masks on.

Restrooms remain a gray area, with no clear rules for expected mask use when inside. We have seen some putting masks on to enter and others entering mask-free.

Along with the new mask rules, Disney is also boosting capacity throughout the parks in a phased roll-out.

More and more attractions are loading a greater number of guests per ride vehicle, and reducing spacing in pre-show areas from 6ft to 3ft.

Splash Mountain is now loading more than one party per log, but still retaining an empty row between the parties.

At most rollercoasters, every row is being filled as we can see here at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and this has been the case for a while now on these types of attractions.

At the Studios, Ride of the Resistance is reducing spacing in the pre-show areas and transport ship. And at Tower of Terror, more guests are being loaded. At Disney's Animal Kingdom, 'A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King' has seen its capacity go from about 30% to 50%.

As we head into the busy summer seasons we expect to continue to see see more capacity added to the parks via reductions in physical distancing and higher density loading of ride vehicles.

Stay tuned for more coverage over the coming days and week as the changes roll-out.

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DisneyCane35 minutes ago

Or at least not two weeks post shot #2 to be fully vaccinated.

dovetail651 hour ago

Or that group people just want to wear the masks because they are touching all the levers and getting closer to more people than most. CM do form clicks, especially the loaders. If they all feel they are safer as their small group when they work we may see CM wearing mask 2 years from now here and there. Now if all loaders on every attraction wore them we would know if it was a CM rule for loaders.

Lilofan1 hour ago


Chomama1 day ago

And they may not be vaccinated!

helenabear1 day ago

Absolutely! Some people just aren't comfortable yet. It takes time...

peter114351 day ago

Also just because they can doesn’t mean they will

helenabear1 day ago

Per the rules we had before the 15th all ride loading areas were considered indoors. So who knows. Also one doesn't know if the CM is vaccinated or not.

Nick_A1 day ago

The greeters at Everest this evening were unmasked, but the cast on the loading platform all had masks on, which was weird considering we were still very much “outside.” Are they considering a roof over your head to be “inside”?

DCBaker1 day ago

threvester1 day ago

Looks like outdoor kiosks are a go too

threvester1 day ago

Some janitors and 2 girls selling balloons as well

threvester1 day ago

Just got to disney springs..bus employees not driving are unmasked

Bullseye19671 day ago

Almost time for the Friday bad news drop.

helenabear1 day ago

I suppose I get it where there was food around as a double safety thing for them and us, but yeah outdoors? Uh no way at all. I even felt for our tour guide who had to wear it all day with us. He kept up an amazing pace and hardly touched his mask once. So many looked so hot though I give fantastic kudos to all CMs we encountered. They seemed so kind only one, when I remarked how horribly beat up her face shield was as she was trying to fix it, even mentioned a thing about them. For those who are vaccinated, I bet this is a great day for them!