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.

Discuss on the Forums

Get Walt Disney World News Delivered to Your Inbox

View all comments →

wdwmagicApr 14, 2022

This thread is going to take a break for a while until any changes are announced at Disney in regard to the last remaining mask requirements on transport.

Andrew CApr 14, 2022

If we are talking about WDW, put the blame on the company for keeping this silly rule in place. For airplanes, put the blame on the feds. When people realize stupid rules are in place and have no impact, they are going to be challenged. That’s just human nature and the reality throughout history. On the other end, when rules tend to make sense, people are more receptive. WDWs transportation rule is illogical. The feds 14 day extension of the public transportation rule at this point is the same. Expect more push back. It’s all about appearances than anything else and more and more people will pick up on that.

Chip ChippersonApr 14, 2022

No, you're not following the rules. You're planning the mask version of holding your finger an in from your siblings face and saying, "I'm not touching you!" And for the record, on my recent flights, the message was that masks had to be replaced between bites/sips, so unless you plan on holding g a drink to your mouth for the entire flight then you're not following the rules - but if you do that, please report back and let us know of how that worked out for you during turbulence.

Club CooloholicApr 14, 2022

I already explained it. It slows things down and makes it harder for the employees. And some might not really want to sit for 3 hours on a flight next to a guy sipping coffee the whole time.

Nonsensequitter75Apr 14, 2022

I don’t understand why you’re mad at me.

G00fyDadApr 14, 2022

There. Fixed the stupid. Now, go create ANOTHER account for me to ignore. :rolleyes:

Nonsensequitter75Apr 14, 2022

Thanks for understanding

G00fyDadApr 14, 2022


Nonsensequitter75Apr 14, 2022

God bless, but no thank you.

G00fyDadApr 14, 2022

They are flag carriers for the socially inept and the self-important. They have one job here. It's stupid but they're going to do it.

G00fyDadApr 14, 2022

Just go back to your regular account. Please? For everyone.

Nonsensequitter75Apr 14, 2022

What can I say? I’m so lonely at this stage in my life, that the (virtual) company of people who hate me is better than the alternative, which is no company at all.

DisneyCaneApr 14, 2022

Hence why I asked the poster if they were intending to only experience outdoor attractions with outdoor queues. If yes, then I can at least understand their logic. If no, then the obsession about people not masking on transportation doesn't make any sense.

Disney4LyfeApr 14, 2022

What do you mean? Oh, hahah, I get it. The name!