Disney to relax mask policy at Walt Disney World theme parks

Apr 06, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Tuesday April 6, 2021 12:19pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney has today modified its mask policy for Walt Disney World to slightly loosen the requirements for when masks must be worn at the theme parks.

Specifically, the latest update beginning April 8 2021 allows guests to remove masks when they are taking photos outdoors while socially distanced. Masks must be worn at all other times, in accordance with the original guidelines for the park's reopening back in July 2020. Exceptions include when dining or swimming, and while actively eating or drinking, but must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing.

The new policy will also apply when taking photos with Disney's PhotoPass photographers who are stationed around the parks.

Disney's strict mask policy, and in particular not allowing guests to remove masks during photos, continues to be a pain point in the parks. Cast Members are frequently having to enforce the mask use as guests take photos, and often receive some push-back from the guests. This new policy should go a long way to helping to reduce those confrontations.

This is the first time since the reopening that Disney has been able to loosen mask requirements. Previous updates have seen stricter guidelines introduced.

Today's update also comes alongside recent comments from Orange County Mayor Demings that suggest he may be in a position to cancel the mask mandate for the county in June 2021.

Here is the updated Walt Disney World mask policy in its entirety:

Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may temporarily remove your face covering while actively eating, drinking or taking an outdoor photo*, but you must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing during this time. (*Beginning April 8)

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Trauma6 days ago

Yeah that’s the point I think I would like to hammer home to people. From reading these forums before travel I had the sense that the masks rules where very strict and compliance was very high. It’s not even close to what I feel like was being described. If you need indoor mask compliance to feel safe on your trip I would strongly recommend you don’t go. The mask compliance is no where near what I would consider acceptable if that mattered to me.

Trauma6 days ago

It was not open.

Animaniac93-986 days ago

I spent the last two weekends at DLR and had a similar experience. Safety guidelines and guests compliance of them was poor. DLR always had narrower queues than WDW, and they were packed. Parks were as busy as ever. While CMs would remind guests to wear a mask indoors, as soon as the guest thought they were out of sight, off went the mask, or at least went below the nose. Hand sanitizers were empty more often than not, probably only refilled overnight. If you think Disney is safer than anywhere else right now, it's not. That's just PR. If you're thinking of going, assume it's a regular pre-COVID day at the parks and plan accordingly if that concerns you.

helenabear6 days ago

I heard October https://chipandco.com/jellyrolls-in-disneys-boardwalk-will-be-reopening-in-october-444985/

Bullseye19676 days ago

Is Jelly Rolls open also? One of our favorite spots at the Boardwalk.

Chi847 days ago

Yes, I believe that part was implied.

TrainChasers7 days ago

Yes, I look forward to a day when Covid isn’t filling up our hospitals because it’s being spread around the country and world.

maui2k77 days ago

Anyone else look forward to the day when the subject of wearing masks is no longer a topic of conversation when it comes to WDW and visiting the parks?

Trauma7 days ago

So I’m sitting at the airport waiting to board figured I give some thoughts on my experience with the mask requirements. Good news - Had a great trip and the masks really weren’t an issue at all. That being said it would be worth mentioning that the parks where empty. For example FoP was a walk on. The longest line I waited in was for Rotr. Bad news - I guess this depends on your point of view but I would say if your concerned at all about covid just don’t go. Even with no crowds the mask reminder was often followed by “please fill in all available space”. The firework shows where still shoulder to shoulder. As for mask compliance? So this is what I found interesting. I thought that mask requirements would be strict however that wasn’t the case. Resort- In the hallways for the resort ( Boardwalk for me ) mask compliance was ok. I would say like 70%. The dance hall at the boardwalk though was dancing and drinking all night with no masks. The shops and stores had very good mask compliance. Transportation - Very good mask compliance except for the skyliner where I would say almost nobody wore a mask after departure. Parks - Well I can only speak for the men’s washroom but almost no one wears a mask in them. The rides where very interesting. For example last night on splash people actually boarded the boats with no mask at all and where not stopped. Others would remove their mask as soon as the ride started. It honestly seemed like the later in the day it would get the less cast would care about and mask compliance. In summary the cast would do a good job throughout parks and resorts but it seems most people just don’t care about the rules and don’t seem interested in following them. If you are concerned about covid and thinking that the indoor mask mandate will keep you safe, you should rethink your trip or accept you will be in close quarters with people indoors who are not masked at all, or masked improperly. If you are concerned that masks will ruin your trip, well don’t be. At least while crowd levels continue to be low.

SteveAZee8 days ago

Do they put the unvaccinated in the rear cars? Just thinking about wind direction. :)

Trauma8 days ago

Also some attractions require no masks at all like slinky dog.

disneygeek908 days ago

I think about 2 weeks after the indoor masking that was re-assessed. Makes sense and I have no problem wearing a mask inside at this time. Universal indoor “recommended” mask wearing is about 15%

DisneyCane8 days ago

I don't know if it's been mentioned but when I was in the parks Thursday and Friday, for attractions where part of the queue was outdoors you weren't required to put the mask on until you got to the indoor part. I'm not sure if this has been the policy since the return of indoor masking since this was my first visit since.

Heelz23158 days ago

With things improving in Florida, does anyone think the indoor mask policy will be removed by Christmas, or will they wai till Spring?