Orange County Mayor lifts mask mandate for everyone when outdoors - the implications for Disney World

May 14, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Friday May 14, 2021 3:21pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

In a late Friday afternoon media briefing, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has announced that he is lifting the requirement for individuals to wear masks when outdoors.

The decision was made after Orange County reached the 50% vaccination level among Orange County residents that the mayor had set out in late April.

This is a significant development for Walt Disney World as it allows Disney to follow that guidance for its theme parks and eliminate some mask use for the summer. At the same time, it makes it slightly easier for Disney to fall short of the CDC's new guidance to allow those who are vaccinated to eliminate masks both indoors and outdoors. Disney of course has no way to identify those who are vaccinated and those who are not, making following the CDC guidance difficult if not impossible. If Disney chooses to follow the Orange County guidance, masks are still required when indoors.

Bob Chapek indicated yesterday that masks use will be reduced during the summer, but fell short of specifying exactly where mask use will be eliminated.

As of now, Disney has made no changes to its mask policy at Walt Disney World, and facial coverings are still required both indoors and outdoors.

Universal Orlando has announced that it will drop the mask requirement for guests when outdoors effective May 15 2021. Universal will still require masks when indoors, including on attractions.

The next Orange County milestone is when 70% of the population 16+ has received their first dose of the vaccine and/or Orange County's 14-day rolling positivity rate is 5% or below. The current 14 day positivity rate is 5.7%.  Mayor Demings expects that this next milestone goal is possible by July 4 2021.

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DisneyCane9 minutes ago

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

dovetail651 hour 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 hour ago


Chomama1 day ago

And they may not be vaccinated!

helenabear1 day ago

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

peter114351 day ago

Also just because they can doesn’t mean they will

helenabear1 day ago

Per the rules we had before the 15th all ride loading areas were considered indoors. So who knows. Also one doesn't know if the CM is vaccinated or not.

Nick_A1 day ago

The greeters at Everest this evening were unmasked, but the cast on the loading platform all had masks on, which was weird considering we were still very much “outside.” Are they considering a roof over your head to be “inside”?

DCBaker1 day ago

threvester1 day ago

Looks like outdoor kiosks are a go too

threvester1 day ago

Some janitors and 2 girls selling balloons as well

threvester1 day ago

Just got to disney springs..bus employees not driving are unmasked

Bullseye19671 day ago

Almost time for the Friday bad news drop.

helenabear1 day ago

I suppose I get it where there was food around as a double safety thing for them and us, but yeah outdoors? Uh no way at all. I even felt for our tour guide who had to wear it all day with us. He kept up an amazing pace and hardly touched his mask once. So many looked so hot though I give fantastic kudos to all CMs we encountered. They seemed so kind only one, when I remarked how horribly beat up her face shield was as she was trying to fix it, even mentioned a thing about them. For those who are vaccinated, I bet this is a great day for them!