Disney to relax mask policy at Walt Disney World theme parks

8 days ago 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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danlb_20001 hour ago

I will be interesting to see if state prohibitions on covid passports will hold up. The campaign season for NJ governor has started up and I have already seen one candidate making prohibition of vaccine passports a campaign promise.

Mindy552 hours ago

Amen

legwand774 hours ago

Isn't that the truth, enjoyed the window when they first opened it was awesome, now it is terrible in comparison.

Lilofan5 hours ago

Have you ever heard of guests doing bad behavior are banned from Disney? It happens.

DisneyCane6 hours ago

Do you have an example of this? Any stories I've seen involve refusal to comply and conflicts with CMs. I do follow the rules when at WDW. I visited frequently in the first few months of reopening. The annoyance of wearing a mask was far outweighed by the pleasure of low crowds and low wait times (historically low in the first few weeks like FoP being a walk on). Once the crowds went up, I stopped visiting for the time being because wearing a mask all day is no longer worth it to wait in long lines that aren't any better than 2019.

peter114356 hours ago

Repeat offenders are also tracked and have been removed from the park. Follow the rules

DisneyCane6 hours ago

I think this only happens if a CM requests compliance and the guest refuses. I'd imagine you could wear your mask on your chin all day and only put it on when told to by a CM and they aren't going to eject you.

Archie1236 hours ago

He was some religious nut who had done his stupid stunt before. Morons gotta be morons.

Lilofan7 hours ago

There was an infamous video on a male guest who was escorted out of the park ( I think DAK ) mask less followed by Security . While he was escorted out he was ranting and raving like a lunatic.

peter114358 hours ago

Obviously you will have cast members who either don’t notice or don’t want to bother enforcing the policy. But it’s more than just talk. Guests have been removed from the parks for non compliance nearly every day since reopening. Some have escalated even further than just removal. Just because you haven’t seen it does not mean it’s not happening.

Dan Deesnee13 hours ago

Kind of like a private business being able to choose to stay open and operate at full capacity? I think the last year has shown us that nearly anything is possible. Whether we like it or not.

Daily Magic15 hours ago

The current mask policy is all paper talk. It looks good on paper and that’s as far as it goes. Going to any point in the park I guarantee you that you can do a quick 360 spin and see at least one person breaking the current mask policy. Either they have it pulled down below their chin, they are eating/drinking on an internal line, or they have it off completely on a ride. Every time I’ve seen it I’ve looked for a cast member to see what they would do. Many times they ignore the situation even when they directly interact with the person (give them directions for a ride for example). When they do address it they have the very meager “hey, next time make sure you have your mask up”. I saw this on Everest where the family behind me had their masks off the entire ride. All they got was a that simple “don’t do it again” but nothing more. The rule is very loosely being enforced while the signs and the audio recordings keep reminding you of them. Does anyone even have a record of someone being ejected from the parks for simply not wearing a mask? Not that they aren’t permitted in without a mask or they were unruly and physical, simply that they didn’t wear their mask when required and they were ejected? It’s stated all over the park but it’s really a weak policy just for the sake of covering themselves with the lawyers.

homerdance17 hours ago

Another opinion that “covid passport “ is legal. All this bluster about a private business not being able to set the rules of admission is nonsense. https://www.cato.org/blog/can-businesses-require-proof-vaccination

ThemeParkJunkee1 day ago

While not earth shattering, I welcome the news. Trip reports will be ever so much more enjoyable with faces.