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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DisneyCane3 hours ago

Hopefully they will allow the fully vaccinated CMs to dispense with the masks indoors soon and a very high percentage of CMs are fully vaccinated. Muffled speech through a mask is from a CM is not exactly good show either.

jlhwdw14 hours ago

This. As much as Disney doesn't care about protecting show like they used to, the whole COVID operation things with the signage, distance markers, etc., was the absolute opposite of what they want "good show" to be as there were constant reminders of the outside world. From the day the parks reopened they were waiting for the moment there would no longer have to be a mention of COVID in the theme park bubble.

Chi8422 hours ago

I suggested back in January (?) that instead of checking vaccination status WDW would just put up signs saying unvaccinated persons are strongly encouraged to wear a mask. That didn’t go over well with the people who were convinced Disney has an obligation to protect its guests from COVID. Now I’m wondering if they will even go as far as putting up warning signs. So much for Disney being stricter than the CDC and not removing masks until children can be vaccinated.

Tom P.22 hours ago

Disney wants the parks back to 100% normal. They are going to do the absolute minimum they can, in terms of notifications to guests, to cover themselves legally. But they are going to do their best to get rid of any visual reminders of the previous Covid policies.

Chi8422 hours ago

It’s just been reported that WDW has removed signage about wearing masks from Main Street in MK to bring the park back to its “pre-COVID appearance.” No mention of whether there are still signs at the park entrances or on buildings. Im assuming they’re still putting up some warnings about COVID.

jaklgreen23 hours ago

Come on now, wearing a mask for their health and safety is not a punishment. We all have had to do things that others have not. It is that type of mentality that made it so much harder to get rid of covid. Too many did not want to wear their masks and went out and about spreading it. I don't understand how you can possibly see keeping your child safe a "punishment". Good Lord.

LittleBuford23 hours ago

Continuing to wear a mask is not the same as mistakenly thinking it’s still required. I suspect the difference you noted is more to do with the fact that those choosing to visit a crowded theme park during a pandemic are likely to be less risk-averse (and thus readier to ditch masks) than other people.

DisneyCane1 day ago

One thing that was surprising to me last week is that, only two days after the policy change for guests, it seemed that 99% of people knew masks were no longer required. WDW was very different than going to a national retail store shortly after the policy change where a high percentage still continued to wear one.

DisneyCane1 day ago

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

dovetail651 day 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 day ago

Bingo!

Chomama2 days ago

And they may not be vaccinated!

helenabear3 days ago

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

peter114353 days ago

Also just because they can doesn’t mean they will