Ever since the Walt Disney Company announced that its theme parks would require Guests aged 2 and up to wear mandatory face masks, Disney park goers have had all sorts of opinions about the policy.
No matter what your opinion of the Disney face mask requirement is, however, the fact remains that if you want to visit a Disney World theme park right now, you’ll have to “mask up.”
Here, we look at what doctors are recommending as the most effective face mask styles for Disney World visitors.
What exactly is Disney’s face mask policy?
The Walt Disney World Resort’s face mask policy continues to evolve, with new changes regarding masks with valves being implemented this week. Disney also recently banned neck gaiters from their parks, stating they do not meet requirements.
The face mask policy on Disney World’s official website now reads:
Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing.
All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) must:
- Be made with at least 2 layers of breathable material
- Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the Guest to remain hands-free
At this time, based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind are not acceptable face coverings.
Costume masks are also not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn, in alignment with our existing rules.
The use of face coverings is not a substitute for physical distancing.
What are doctors saying about face masks?
Now, Fox 35 Orlando has shared important information about what the healthcare community is saying about wearing face masks to theme parks like Walt Disney World.
Their report stated:
The type of mask you wear is becoming all the more important as theme parks continue to add rules about what’s acceptable and what’s not.
“We always watch for the theme parks and what they do because they have a lot of scientists,” said Dr. Raul Pino, with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.
Researchers who conducted this study, unrelated to the parks, found particles from an unmasked cough can travel 12 feet.
A stitched cotton mask keeps particles traveling only one foot.
But a bandana still allows particles to travel four feet.
Dr. Pino acknowledged that neck gaiters and bandanas that fit around the neck are the least effective face covering option, so it makes sense that that Disney World has banned them.
He said of this face covering style, “They are normally made out of one layer. It’s all synthetic and very flimsy and stretch.”
As logic dictates, the more layers a mask has, the fewer particles will escape into the air. Furthermore, the less a face mask stretches, the more effective it will be at stopping the spread of illnesses.
Dr. Pino also told FOX 35’s team that “any kind of face covering is better than none at all and a lot of how effective it is depends on the amount of time you wear it, your exposure and the type of activity.”
In short, the best mask for Disney World is one that fits snugly around your face and jawline, doesn’t sag, and has multiple layers. Many reusable fabric masks and surgical masks meet these standards.
What do you think about a doctor’s opinion about the best masks for theme parks like Disney World and Disneyland? What face mask style do you plan to wear (or have you been wearing) to Disney theme parks?