Face masks have in many ways become a regular part of our everyday lives. And with some private businesses requiring the use of face coverings and masks for their employees and customers, we have all needed to become experts on the do’s and don’ts of masks!
Mask rules at Disney World have changed over the past several months, so we’re taking this opportunity now to review exactly what face mask requirements are in effect right now at the resort as well as some useful tips that you should be aware of if you’re heading to Disney World soon.
Mask Requirements in Disney World
To start off, it’s important to know the exact protocols and regulations at Disney World when it comes to face coverings! Keep in mind that these rules can change.
We’re regularly looking for updates to subscribe to our newsletter and look for our latest posts on any changes. If you have any questions or concerns, look for the park signs during your visit or ask a Cast Member for assistance.
Here’s a screenshot of Disney’s current mask policy. We’ll break it down below.
Masks are optional for all guests in outdoor areas in Disney World, which includes outdoor queues, outdoor attractions, and outdoor theaters.
Masks are optional in all indoor locations. Guests who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to keep wearing masks in indoor locations (including restaurants, except when actively eating and drinking while stationary; and including ALL indoor attractions and indoor queues).
Masks are no longer required in Disney buses, the Disney Skyliner, and the Disney monorail.
As noted above, wherever masks are required on property, they will be required for ALL guests ages 2 and up.
Where Masks Are NOT Allowed
Masks are not allowed while on water slides or in the water.
CDC Mask Recommendations
If you want to continue to wear a mask to protect yourself and others, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has certain mask recommendations.
When to Wear a Mask
Outdoors, the CDC notes that people generally don’t need to wear masks.
Whether individuals need to wear masks in other areas can depend on the Community Level of the area they are in.
In areas with a “low” COVID-19 community level, the CDC merely recommends that individuals stay “up to date” on their COVID-19 vaccines. In “medium” areas, the CDC notes that those at high risk for severe illness should talk to their healthcare provider about whether to wear a mask. For “high” levels, the CDC recommends that all individuals wear a mask indoors in public.
The CDC defines being “up to date” on COVID-19 vaccines as having received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines in the primary series AND one booster dose, when eligible.
Note that both Orange County and Osceola County (the two counties where Disney World is located) are in the “high” community level category.
This means that in those areas the CDC simply recommends that individuals stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines. But, it does note that “People may choose to mask at any time,” and “People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.”
What Type of Mask to Wear
The CDC also has recommendations about what types of masks to wear. Specifically, the CDC states, “Loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection, layered finely woven products offer more protection, well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer even more protection.” Additionally, the CDC notes that “well-fitting NIOSH-approved respirators (including N95s) offer the highest level of protection.”
Where Can I Buy Masks in Disney World?
Face masks can be found at a variety of stores throughout the Disney theme parks, resorts, and Disney Springs. Previously, more general cloth masks were available (like the ones pictured below).
However, recently (as of around February of 2022) we’ve generally only seen masks like the ones below sold in stores. The style of the masks available in stores seems to be significantly more limited (at least from what we’ve experienced). This is something to keep in mind as it might mean you’ll only have very limited choices when it comes to buying a mask in the stores.
In some locations (especially in front of some of the parks or at Disney Springs), you may find a vending machine with disposable masks available. These will likely be more expensive than what you would pay at a local store or online, but they are available if you need them.
You may also find disposable face masks for sale inside some of the stores in Disney World.
Within Disney Springs, you may also find a number of third-party retailers with face masks of their own. In the past, we’ve seen masks sold at places like Vera Bradley, American Threads, Sephora, The Polite Pig, Everglazed, and even Gideon’s Bakehouse.
Availability of these masks can vary and some stores may not have these face masks for sale when you visit. Be sure to check during your trip.
You may also see masks available at some third party stores or restaurants in the parks, like the Yak & Yeti Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
shopDisney previously sold face masks online, but none are in stock as of February 2022. You can, however, find a number of masks online at other places (and we even have our own DFB masks!!) — more on that in a second.
Mask Tips and More Places to Buy Them
Keep in mind that the CDC notes that an N95 provides the highest level of protection. KN95s and well-fitting disposable surgical masks provide the next best level of protection. And layered finely woven products offer a lower level of protection, but are still better than loosely woven cloth.
So you’ll want to look for a mask that is both lightweight and breathable, but also effective (whether that means a KN95, a surgical mask, or another option).
One common type of mask you may find are cloth masks. These can often be the most comfortable. The CDC says that (per their recommendations) cloth masks should have a proper fit to prevent leaks, multiple layers of tightly woven fabric, a nose wire, and fabric that blocks light.
Not all masks are created equal. Some masks are going to be comfier than others. Some will be more protective than others. Do your research and shop around. Try different fabrics as well as different elastics (also try masks that tie around your head!).
You can buy a number of masks online. For example, click here to see 7 masks your kids might not hate wearing on your Disney trip.
Want to get some unique Disney masks? Check out our DFB Mask collection! We’ve got an online store FULL of masks inspired by all kinds of Disney things including the Purple Wall, the Dapper Dans, the lanterns from Tangled, and SO much more!
If you want a mask that will add some more Disney style to your look, these could be a good choice!
When it comes to staying comfortable once you have your mask on, we recommend you take your masks on a test run BEFORE you leave on vacation. Wear them around the house, go for a long walk outside, and get used to the feeling of wearing a mask for a prolonged period of time.
You’re going to want to be prepared by packing extra masks for you and everyone in your family, or be ready to wash those masks! The CDC recommends that you wash your face mask at least once a day.
You will need to hand wash your mask (or machine wash…but hand washing works fine), or you will need at least one face mask per person per day.
We’d recommend bringing MORE than 1 face mask per person per day as you never know if something could spill on the mask, it might get dirty or sweaty, or you might just want a new one to feel fresh and clean.
We also recommend that you bring a couple of masks in your park bag per day in case it rains. A wet mask is considered no longer useful, and who wants to wear a wet face mask around all day?
Other great mask accessories to buy and bring include mask chains to help keep your masks in an easy-to-reach place (right around your neck), a bag to hold your clean masks and a bag for dirty masks, and mask extenders to help take off some of the pressure from your ears.
With a bit of research, you can make the best choices to ensure you’re comfortable. If you’re planning a trip to Disney World soon, you’ll need to do the extra work to be READY with your masks. We’ll keep you posted with the latest Disney news so be sure to check back for more!
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What are YOUR top tips for staying comfortable in a face mask for a prolonged period of time? Share your expertise in the comments!