From the time Disney Parks and Disney Store locations around the world began reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic last summer, Disney has been clear about their face mask policy.
All Guests age 2 and over at any Disney property must wear an appropriate face covering at all times (unless in a stationary position while actively eating or drinking).
Now that COVID-19 vaccine rollout is progressing and cases are trending downward nationwide, some states, such as Florida and Texas, are removing statewide mask mandates.
Disney, however, is still being vigilant regarding their face mask policies. This was recently evidenced at the Disney Store location in the Staten Island Mall. It is worth noting that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has not removed the state’s mask regulations at this time.
New York City news station PIX 11 reported on the situation:
…Alexis LaGrega, 8, was wearing a double ply Neck Gaiter.
She was born with a condition called Microtia; her right ear is small and misshapen and she is partially deaf in that ear. She said when she has attempted to wear a face covering with ear loops, it often slides down her face and is painful. She wears a Neck Gaiter to school, to dance class and cheerleading without any objections from anyone .
Holly LaGrega, Alexis’s mother, said she spoke with the salespeople and store manager about her daughter’s condition.
“Even after I pointed it out and explained, it was like they could care less what I said. They just kept saying store policy is she has to have a mask on with ear loops,” she said. The family was turned away.
A Disney spokesperson shared the following with PIX 11:
“We are always focused on the health and safety of our Cast Members and Guests. At all of our Disney stores we have implemented a number of enhanced measures, including a face covering requirement. During these unprecedented times we all have a shared responsibility to do our part. We regret if Guests are disappointed.”
It is worth noting that Disney has not allowed neck gaiters at any of their theme parks (including Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort properties), stores, Disney’s Aulani (the Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii), or beach resort properties — Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort — since July 2020.
The Staten Island Disney Store is one of about 20% of all Disney Store locations that will be closing by March 23, 2021. However, they are still required to enforce the official Walt Disney Company face mask policy until that time.
Disney has previously enforced its mask policy at various properties. At Walt Disney World Resort, for example, Guests have been denied entry to Disney’s Pop Century Resort for wearing improper face masks, and rides, including the classic Carousel of Progress, have been stopped because Guests removed their masks while riding.
Also at Walt Disney World, a Guest was even recently arrested for spitting on a security officer over mask guidelines. The Florida man did not want to abide by posted regulations.
As you can see, Disney is serious about promoting proper mask use, social distancing, and other health and safety measures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
What do you think about a child being denied entry due to the Disney Store mask policy? Are the Disney Stores in your area closing? Let us know in the comments.