Disney’s New Mask Mandate Sets Off Extreme Debate Among Guests

in Walt Disney World

magic kingdom halloween face masks

Credit: Disney

Today, we got some very big news when it comes to the mask mandates at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

Disneyland Paris Guests wearing masks speaking with a Cast Member
Credit: Disney

For so long, both theme parks have been altering their operations to find ways to give Guests a normal theme park experience while also implementing the proper health and safety protocols that are needed to operate a theme park safely. Disney World has gone through various iterations of their mask mandate, moving from a constant requirement, to slowly removing it altogether for vaccinated Guests, to reinstating it indoors, and so on. Neither Disneyland or Disney World checks for proof of vaccination, and it seems neither will continue to do so even with the new mask mandates incoming.

At Walt Disney World Resort, as of February 17, Guests and Cast Members who are fully vaccinated have mask-optional guidelines both indoor and outdoor, which means they are no longer required. Although Cast Members must be verified as fully vaccinated, Guests will continue to use the honor system.

Cast Member Mask
Credit: Disney

According to Disney:

Beginning February 17, 2022, Face coverings will be optional for fully vaccinated Guests in both outdoor and indoor locations. We expect Guests who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations, including indoor attractions and theaters. Face coverings will still be required by all Guests (ages 2 and up) on enclosed Disney transportation, including Disney buses, monorails, and Disney Skyliner.

Related: Disney Guests Call Out Mask Rule Breakers at the Parks

Disney does note that for those Guests who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing their face coverings at all times, except while eating or drinking while stationary:

We expect Guests who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations, including indoor attractions and theaters.

Guests wearing face masks at disneyland resort
Credit: Disney

At Disneyland, the same rules will apply as of February 17, 2022 as well. 

The update to the mask policy can be read here:

The State of California strongly recommends that all Guests be fully vaccinated or obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the Disneyland Resort. Beginning February 17, 2022, face coverings are required for unvaccinated Guests (ages 2 and older) in all indoor locations, including throughout indoor attractions and indoor queues. Face coverings are required for all Guests, regardless of vaccination status, in certain indoor settings including Disney shuttles and in health settings, such as in First Aid. Face coverings are optional for Guests in outdoor areas. If planning to travel, please check and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and any State travel advisories. Do not travel to or enter Disneyland Resort unless you are free of any COVID-19 symptoms and otherwise comply with the requirements of such advisories and restrictions.

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

As we reported, this change applies everywhere except Disney public transportation, including the shuttle buses and monorail when it reopens at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. Masks will not be required on the Mickey and Friends and Pixar Pals parking trams returning on Feb. 23 or the Disneyland Railroad.

After shortly dropping its mask mandates in June of 2021, Disneyland Resort reinstated indoor mask requirements regardless of vaccination status on July 30, 2021 amid the Delta variant surge.

These changes come shortly after Universal Orlando Resort dropped their mask mandate, however, Universal Hollywood still requires mask wear both indoors and outdoors.

After these changes were made Inside the Magic readers had a lot of opinions regarding the new rules, which we saw flooded on both our Facebook page, and article comments.

Guests in Mask
Credit: Disney


In terms of Disneyland, here is what Guests had to say:

Los will not be returning to the Parks.

Well I guess yesterday marks the last day I’ll be going until the numbers drop. Man people have such short memories. Unitl Cases are drop below 150 a day we are never really out of this. Thanks Disney for screwing the responsible people (i.e. vaxed and masked). I leave you to the Trumpsters we’ll see how much those mor**s spend $$$.

Alex responded, noting that enough is enough, however he has other reasons to not go.

“Until Cases are drop below 150 a day we are never really out of this”

This is an insane statement. We’re out of this. We’re done. with vaccines and therapeutic treatments, there is no reason to continue asinine policies that simply do. not. work. I’ll repeat that: mask mandates do. not. work. If you’re so frightened (still), then you can stay home. And how dare you accuse those who are opposed to masks and vaccine mandates accuse others of being “irresponsible.” I got vaccinated. My family got vaccinated. We’ve been putting up with mask bs for 2 years. My dad got vaxed AND boosted. And guess what? He still passed from COVID. So forget you and your judgmental attitude.

As for my family, we’re not going because I refuse to be nickle-and-dimed.

Guests in Face Masks
Credit: Disney

Jennifer is happy to do away with the mandates.

I think all of it should go away. At this point people should be responsible for themselves. If you’re scared, stay home or wear a mask that actually protects YOU. I prefer to breathe and am willing to take the risk. It’s no different than the flu at this point. If you’re still scared, do some actual research on the numbers and you should feel better. People in charge benefit by keeping you scared, but I choose not to be. And yes, I was vaccinated and then had Covid and it was a mild cold. Masks don’t work and vaccinated or not it spreads. Take a breath and learn to enjoy life again

Criss wishes that Disneyland would use a vaccination card.

Ok except Disney isn’t requesting vaccination cards when entering so how will they know. That’s the problem here

Disney World

When it comes to Disney World, we have a lot more debate!

Drew is happy to finally be able to visit Disney.

Best news in a long time! We’ve postponed our trip three times. Finally going to go now!

Jeff shared the same sentiment.

Great news! We are going next month so I was hoping the masks would be gone by then.

disney parks face masks
Credit: Disney

Sen was happy, but also worries about the honor system.

Good to news hear, but how would they know if the guests are fully vaccinated or unvaccinated? Are they going to go by the honor system and trust what they say? Or will guests need to show proof of vaccination?? Let’s just say some unvaccinated guests go to the parks and just say they are fully vaccinated(when they actually aren’t) just so they don’t have to wear a mask?!?!? Do you think that’s right?!?!? Just curious on how they actually will handle this on that day.

As was Lee.

I am very concerned about guests being honest about being vaccinated. I am not happy with wearing masks all the time; however, there are many people who are unvaccinated and refuse to have their children vaccinated and refuse to wear masks. To me this is selfish for others. I am very concerned that this will allow COVID to spread more at Disney.

Sue thinks if you are worried about people not wearing masks, to stay home.

Good. And if you are so worried about someone not wearing a masks who is not vaccinated then don’t go.

father and daughter wearing masks in front of cinderella castle at disney world
Credit: Disney

RJ still has deep worries.

Most not vaccinated are also anti-vax and anti-maskers so they still represent a danger to the public who are vaccinated as breakthrough contamination and infection is not uncommon. This will force those already vaccinated to keep wearing masks to protect themselves from those who lie.

Pap is ready for the change!

Great news! I agree unvaccinated guests should be monitored somehow! Guests should shoe proof of vaccination. We’ve come this far… let’s go the extra step!

young girl wearing minnie mouse mask downtown disney
Credit: Disney

Disney is located on private property, and is, therefore, able to instate its own rules and regulations at either Park. If you are visiting before February 17, please be sure to continue to respect the mask mandate currently in place.

What do you think of Disney’s new mask mandate? Or lack thereof?

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disneyland Resort, including Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney District. Or what about Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!

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