It is time to talk about face masks and what its like to wear them for almost the entirety of your Disney day.
This issue is as plain as the nose used to be on your face–before you had to wear a mask–and one that several of our readers have asked us about. So I thought it prudent to share how I felt having to wear it all while at Magic Kingdom for the Annual Passholder preview on July 9.
Wearing a face mask at Magic Kingdom or anywhere on Walt Disney World Property is not that bad. It does not inhibit or limit your Disney experience at all. You will get used to it, and if you leave it alone long enough, you will forget that it is there. It does put one at ease, and, in a weird way, you can use the situation to enhance your experience in the post-closure Magic Kingdom.
- Buy a cloth Disney mask. If you have to wear a mask, and if you have to make sure your kids wear masks, it might as well be Disney-themed. Just like wearing a Disney shirt and your favorite pair of ears, a Disney mask just helps you and your party stay in a Disney mood. Besides, who doesn’t want another excuse to buy more merch?
2. Block out time out of your day to stop at Silly Pete’s Sideshow in Storybook Circus, New Fantasyland. This is one of three mask-free “relaxation zones” established throughout the theme park, but it is by far the best. It has the most space and it is air-conditioned. Seriously, the mask mandate got Disney to essentially create a pseudo-lounge Guests can use to cool off and relax. And, yes, all kinds of drinks and snacks are allowed inside.
3. Keep your mask on during the rides. This one is a necessity rather than an option, especially if it has a photo op like Splash Mountain and Space Mountain. Disney World will not give you the pictures if you or anybody in your party are not wearing your face mask.
But there are also two things to keep in mind when heading out to Magic Kingdom or any of the Walt Disney World theme parks this summer:
- Central Florida is HOT and HUMID to the point that it can be tough to breathe even without a face mask on. Stay cool, hydrated, and relaxed. Do not overexert yourself while wearing a mask. I, myself, walked a little over 6 miles throughout my day at the Magic Kingdom, and I got to a certain point where I had to seek refuge in a relaxation zone because I overexerted myself.
The weather is just the nature of the beast. But it is important to remember, especially when you have to wear a mask that makes you breathe more hot carbon dioxide than you would otherwise.
- Masks muffle your voice so you will need to speak up. Cast Members are also speaking a bit louder than normal and are using hand signals to reiterate what row number they are directing you toward. This is only awkward while riding Jungle Cruise in Adventureland and the masks hide your smiles and muddle your giggles leaving your poor skipper with nothing to feed off of.
But here’s the best part about wearing a mask at Disney World: everybody else is wearing masks, too. When I visited Magic Kingdom last week, Guests were extremely compliant with wearing the face masks properly as well as social distancing, and that genuinely created an atmosphere of reassurance. I felt safe. Yes, the mask started to get uncomfortable in the afternoon, but I felt safe, especially when you factor in the social distancing and the plethora of hand sanitizer stations.
Standing in the park with my Mickey Mouse-themed mask on, taking pictures in front of Cinderella Castle, I also felt as if I was a part of history in a rather frivolous way. There will come a day when the pre-pandemic normalcy returns to the Walt Disney World resort, and when people will look back and remember the days when we all had to wear masks. When that day comes, you will get to say you were one of those Disney fans wearing a mask and will have pictures and a mask to prove it.
You can also look at it as part of the price to pay for a fraction of a normal Disney crowd and minimal wait times.
Long story short, wearing a face mask is absolutely worth it to be able to go back to Walt Disney World.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this review do not necessarily reflect those of Inside the Magic overall.