If you have been to Disney World in the recent months as the pandemic has changed many of the theme park operations, you definitely have experienced wearing a mask in the parks.
At the moment, Guests are not allowed to remove their masks unless actively eating or drinking while stationary, or unless they are in a designated rest area where Guests can be mask-free yet still socially distanced from others. One of the biggest downfalls to this, of course, was that families and Guests have been unable to take photos with their masks off showcasing their magic-filled smiles.
That being said, that rule is about to change. Disney has now updated the face mask rules on the official Walt Disney World Resort website. Now, it has been announced that Guests can remove their masks for outdoor photos beginning April 8.
Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may temporarily remove your face covering while actively eating, drinking or taking an outdoor photo*, but you must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing during this time. (*Beginning April 8)
This will be a huge benefit for many Guests heading to Disney World this summer who have not wanted to wear their face masks to be in their family photos, especially with the 50th anniversary celebrations coming up on October 1.
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 decide to go against the Walt Disney World Resort’s face mask policy, they will be removed from the park.
In the past, we have seen Cast Members patrolling the parks and ensuring that all Guests are always wearing an approved face mask that is covering both their nose and mouth. Even when Guests have tried to remove their masks in the past on attractions, Disney has stopped the attraction from Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
As noted on the Disney World website:
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.
Face coverings may have an integrated transparent plastic panel to aid in viewing the wearer’s mouth. These face coverings must:
- Be a fabric face covering featuring a solid plastic panel containing no openings that is attached to the fabric on all sides using tight knit stitching
- Meet all face covering requirements listed above
The use of face coverings is not a substitute for physical distancing.
By allowing Guests to take mask-less photos when outdoors, Disney is injecting a sense of normalcy back into the parks, which is something that many Guests who are visiting crave. Considering so many offerings such as the majority of entertainment, meet and greets, and FastPass+ are not currently available, it is great to know that memories from your Disney World vacation will be able to showcase Guest smiles!
Are you glad that you can now take off your mask to take a photo at Disney World?