Face masks are becoming a regular part of our everyday lives as businesses reopen and resume operation. And with more private businesses requiring the use of face coverings and masks by their employees and customers, we have all needed to become overnight experts on the do’s and don’ts of masks!
As Disney World prepares to reopen their theme parks on July 11 and 15, this is a great opportunity to review exactly what the face mask requirements are at the resort as well as some useful tips that you should be aware of if you’re heading to Disney World this summer!
Protocol & Regulations in the Resort
To start off, it’s important to know the exact protocols and regulations at Disney World when it comes to face coverings! In general, if you’re outside of your hotel room, you should plan on having a face mask on at all times, unless you are seated at a restaurant, eating or sipping on a drink on-the-go, or you are swimming.
In Disney Springs
All guests must wear face coverings when entering Disney Springs, meaning if you don’t have one on you when you arrive, you will NOT be allowed in. We were told by a Cast Member that a small number of disposable masks will possibly be available at the checkpoint for guests without one, but we recommend not counting on that and bringing your own.
Once you have entered Disney Springs, you are still required to keep your mask on at all times. The exceptions to this rule are when you are seated at a restaurant or if you take a bite to eat or sip on your drink while walking around Disney Springs.
In the Theme Parks
Disney World notes that face coverings will be required for Cast Members and for guests.
Disney has floated the idea of “relaxation zones” where guests may be able to briefly remove their masks while in the parks. We’ve seen this same concept in effect at reopened Universal Orlando, where they offer URest Areas to guests.
See all of the details from Disney World’s May 27th presentation, including the health and safety measures they will be implementing.
In the Resorts
When Disney Vacation Club Resorts & Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campgrounds reopen on June 22, face coverings will be required for Cast Members and guests when they are in public resort areas, including lobbies, pool areas, gyms, etc.
Face masks will NOT be required when guests are swimming in the pools.
In case there was any doubt pertaining to Disney’s authority to enforce these policies, remember that Disney World is private property. And as private property, they can deny any Guest service if that Guest does not comply with their policies.
Where can I buy masks in Disney World?
As of this writing, Disney Springs is the only retail location open in Disney World. Within Disney Springs, only a select number of third-party retailers have been seen selling face masks including Vera Bradley, American Threads, Sephora, and The Polite Pig.
With shopDisney selling Disney-themed face masks, we thought we might spot them being sold in World of Disney, but so far that has NOT been the case. Only time will tell if Disney will sell any masks within the theme parks once they reopen in July.
Best practices & tips for staying comfortable
For optimal comfort, you are going to want to shop for masks made with lightweight, breathable material. For maximum effectiveness, you are going to want a face mask made with a tightly-woven cloth. The material that checks both of those boxes seems to be regular old cotton.
Not all masks are created equal. Some masks are going to be comfier than others. Do your research and shop around. Try different fabrics as well as different elastics (also try masks that tie around your head!). If you don’t want to spend money on face masks, consider making them yourself!
When it comes to staying comfortable once you have your mask on, we recommend you take your masks on an all-day 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 nightly! The CDC recommends that you wash your face mask after every use. 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 also recommend 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?
You may also want to consider taking a longer midday break if you find it difficult to wear your mask for prolonged periods of time. Leave the parks and go back to your hotel room where you can take your mask off, or go swimming! We recommend working at a slower pace than you may be accustomed to in the theme parks. Try not to run around & get yourself worked up, especially in the summer. It was hot in Disney World BEFORE all these masks, just imagine it now!
Masks are new for most of us, but with a bit of research, we can make the best choices to ensure we’re all 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 and the new challenges that they will bring. We’ll keep you posted as Disney announces more regarding their reopening. In the meantime, start picking out those masks!
What are YOUR top tips for staying comfortable in a face mask for a prolonged period of time? Share your expertise in the comments!