Going to Disney World during the pandemic is still a magical experience, but if you do visit, you will notice that many changes have been made in the parks to ensure the safety of Guests and Cast Members.
Plexiglass has been added to many attraction queues, social distancing markers are placed throughout the parks, and signage reminding Guests of the new rules being scattered everywhere — These are just a few of the changes.
Disney World has truly adapted to the pandemic to ensure the safety of as many Guests and Cast Members as they possibly can. Of course, the biggest change has been the mask requirements in the parks. Disney Guests who are 2 years of age or older must wear a mask at all times throughout the parks, unless actively eating or drinking in a stationary position.
Beginning today, however, Disney has relaxed and updated its face mask rule. The theme parks are now allowing Guests to take their masks off for a quick outdoor photo.
According to Disney’s updated policy, Guests are now allowed to remove their masks to take pictures at Disney World, so long as they at an outside location and not walking around while doing so. Additionally, Guests must ensure they are socially distanced from other groups to ensure the safety of all Guests and Cast Members.
This is a huge change for many, as taking photos with a visible smile is something that many Disney World Guests have been waiting for. Previously, we even asked our audience what offerings they would like back most, and taking a picture without a mask on was at the top of the list for many.
That being said, now that the option has been granted, we wanted to check in again to see how everyone feels about the changes. Surprisingly, it seems that although many are glad about this new step towards normalcy, not everyone thinks that Disney World is ready to have Guests removing masks more often.
For starters, let’s take a look at those Guests who are happy about the change. Inside the Magic fan, Angela M. (@eattradetravel) shared:
We need more smiles, it’s about time
Another ITM fan, Gemmak78 (@Gemmak78) was very happy with the change, writing:
It’s a step in the right direction!
And Gavin (@Prince_gavin95) mentioned that:
I hope this happens at Disneyland
At the moment, the maskless photo rule does not apply on the west coast, so once Disneyland Resort opens both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on April 30, Guests will have to keep their masks on at all times unless actively eating or drinking in a stationary place. If this changes, Inside the Magic, will be sure to let you know! For Disneyland’s official face mask rules, visit their official website here.
And for the current Disneyland vs. Disney World mask rules, visit our article here.
Gwen (@gwendo.lynn) thinks that it is okay because of how short-lived the mask-off period will last.
Yes this is great!!! We are outdoors so the split second you take off your mask won’t matter
And ITM follower Emily (@emilyazd21) mentioned a huge perk of the new change:
YAY!!! So glad I will be able to see my kid’s beautiful smiles in our Memory Maker pictures
Angelica (@angelica_cataldo25) expressed her happiness because of Memory Maker as well, writing:
My Memory Maker will be SO worth it now
Many other Disney fans commented positive notes to the tune of “awesome”, “fantastic”, and most commonly, “about time!”. That being said, the audience was pretty split when it came to which people wanted to embrace this new change, and who did not love it.
In fact, Elaine (@virgoinwonderland) was so against the change that she decided to forgo her upcoming vacation to the Most Magical Place on Earth:
Just cancelled our trip because of it. Paves the way for relaxing mask rules too soon
Amy (@disney_cruise_luvr) did not necessarily think Disney shouldn’t move forward with this, however, she did bring up that the state of Florida has been hit with many COVID-19 cases. (Note that COVID-19 cases per capita change daily state-to-state, but these statistics are up-to-date as of this article’s publication.)
Bad idea, especially since Florida is one of the 4 highest states for COVID cases
ITM follower Kenzie (@kenzzjohnson) shared a thought that many others also wrote to us, expressing:
Feel like people will take advantage of this
Chrystal (@chrysasaff) was wondering why today, specifically, Disney decided to change the rules:
Why? Is COVID over that day? Nonsense.
And Inside the Magic fan R TruPass (@romitrupass) also was worried about the leeway this could give Guests:
This is a bad idea. So anyone at any time could hold up their phone and go maskless.
Although I, personally, understand the possibility of some Guests taking advantage, if Guests are outdoors and roaming around maskless with a camera up, they will be stopped by Cast Members who will be enforcing the new rule.
The new face mask rule clearly states that this is for outdoor photos only and Guests must be stationary and socially distanced from others. Prior to the new rule, we have seen Cast Members step in front of cameras for maskless folk to alert them that they must put it on before taking the photo, so they will likely continue to patrol Guests to ensure the proper rules are being followed and make sure Guests and Cast Members remain safe while at the theme parks.
For the rest of those uncertain about the changes, it seems that many fall under the category of it either being “too soon”, or that Guests will take “advantage” of the situation.
Personally, I am excited to have photos that show not only my eyes smiling, but my entire face as well! That being said, I am hoping that Cast Members continue to be as vigilant as they have so far with Guests who may try to take advantage of the new rule.
Again, please note that aside from outdoor photos, and actively eating or drinking while stationary, Guests are still required to wear a mask in Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If Guests cannot comply to Walt Disney World Resort’s face mask policy, they will be removed from the park.
Find up-to-date information on COVID-19 and face masks on the official website for the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What do you think? Is it too soon to allow Guests to remove masks at Disney World?
Editor’s Note: The opinions reflected in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Inside the Magic overall.