Disney to relax mask policy at Walt Disney World theme parks

4 days ago in "The Walt Disney Company"

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)

Discuss on the Forums
Article Posted: Apr 06, 2021 / 12:19pm ET
View all comments →

JD20009 minutes ago

I need to word this correctly; as this does not go along with the narrative and moderators could decide to remove it. But that may not be the case. For instance; there is research that new viruses can take over and dominate others. Also, we can not ignore everything we previously knew about mask effectiveness against influenza.

Ken R16 minutes ago

What does that have to do with anything I wrote? I adhere to any businesses policy. I just disagree with continued mask mandates, especially government ones. In fact, I wish it was just private business deciding for themselves what rules to implement and not the state governments.

RSoxNo11 hour ago

My father still has an inventory of the old napkins that he busts out for special occasions. That and a shoebox of crushed red pepper he stole from Disney for some reason.

Chi842 hours ago

“That’s not a napkin. That’s a roll of toilet paper.” 😂😂😂😂😂 Thanks so much!

spock81132 hours ago

Liability with things such as this are very difficult to prove. Just like if Disney relaxes the mask rule and people spread the virus far and wide, even with contact tracing, you can’t really pinpoint such a dispersed population. This happened at Mardi Gras, rallies, Memorial Day Weekend, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Channukah, Sturgis, Daytona Week and Spring Break. You know people have it but they return home to friends, families and neighborhoods spread across the entire country, or more. Disney can’t relax because that is what happened to California. In fact the only thing still left closed was Disneyland. California has the highest number of cases And the highest number of deaths. Not only are there more contagious and constantly mutating strains out there, it is because people are just tired of it all and not using masks or social distancing is what keeps this at bay. Then throw in the people who won’t get the vaccine and could be carrying the virus around to their family and friends who have not been vaccinated. And if you think masks don’t work, just look at this year’s flu season or serious lack thereof. Masks and washing hands frequently basically stopped the flu in it’s tracks. The flu shot is whole other beehive of discussion. There are court cases on vaccines such as the 2011 Supreme Court ruling on the DPT shot: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/supreme-court-rejects-vaccine-lawsuit/ Then there’s the required meningitis shots for college kids or the required vaccines for kindergarteners. You’re required to wear a seatbelt in your car and you’re required to have a driver’s license and you’re required to get a social security number and you’re required to pay your taxes. This is all for the greater good of us as a people. And don’t forget the 1905 ruling in Jacobson v. Massachussetts: https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/on-this-day-the-supreme-court-rules-on-vaccines-and-public-health And then there are cases like these where private business can/cannot decide who they wish as customers: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/supreme-court-tosses-ruling-against-bakers-who-refused-cake-for-gay-couple As far as 4th wave, it is too soon to see where this is headed with the new, more contagious strains. But look at the 1918 pandemic and that was a bit different because the soldiers from WW1 were spreading it and it seems to have originated here, they think. Look at the 3rd wave in 1918 that came after the 2nd major wave. Our 4th wave may actually be the 1918 3rd wave. Look at the time spans, it’s a bit freaky: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/three-waves.htm If this so called 4th wave arrives and we're lucky enough to follow 1918 and get everyone vaccinated, there is a light at the end of the tunnel that is not an oncoming freight train!

danlb_20002 hours ago


Chi842 hours ago

Printed napkins? What was that about?

danlb_20002 hours ago

Yes, then we can go back to arguing about important things like printed napkins and pool hopping.

RSoxNo12 hours ago

I'm guessing (hoping) that in the coming months Disney will relax the outdoor mask policy as more states and the CDC make similar changes.

JoeCamel2 hours ago

That too

Chi843 hours ago

I thought it was the Service Trades Council Union that made the deal about face masks.

JoeCamel3 hours ago

The entertainment union but yeah

Chi843 hours ago

You’re assuming quite a bit about liability, but discussions about the law seldom go well here. The cast members’ union will surely be a factor.

JoeCamel3 hours ago

As soon as the insurer's and lawyers say they can. They don't want masks any more than we do but err on the side of safety and not gamble with your reputation.