UPDATE: Disney World has released new guidelines that specifically state that gaiters are not allowed. Click here to read all about the update.
Even before local health officials mandated face masks in both Orange County, Florida, and Anaheim, California, Disney stated that all Cast Members and guests over the age of two would be required to wear a face covering while inside Disney World’s theme parks, hotel common areas, and Disney Springs.
We’ve shared information about what Disney considers to be an acceptable face covering. But, there have been some inconsistencies between guest experiences and Disney’s official policy that could impact what type of face covering you should bring with you to Disney World.
The confusion has to do with gaiters, a popular style of face covering that is worn around the neck and lower face. Gaiters are an accepted form of face-covering in many places, but whether or not they’re considered adequate for entry to Disney World has been a bit of a mystery. Disney’s policy doesn’t explicitly mention whether or not gaiters are permissible.
Disney World’s website does state that face coverings must “be secured with ties or ear loops,” which leaves some room for interpretation since some gaiter styles include ear loops. Does this mean gaiters with ear loops will be considered okay by Disney standards?
We’ve also seen gaiters for sale in some of the Disney Springs stores that are owned by third parties. Does that mean these types of gaiters will be allowed inside Disney World since they’re being sold inside Disney World?
There are some forms of face coverings that Disney has specifically stated are unacceptable. So far, we know that Disney does not consider face shields an adequate face covering, but guests are welcome to wear them in addition to an acceptable face covering. Bandanas are also prohibited since they aren’t snug enough against the lower part of the face.
Recently, we’ve had readers tell us that Disney is no longer accepting gaiters as a valid form of face covering since they don’t fit snugly enough. Disney’s guidelines state that the face covering must “fit snugly but comfortably against the the side of the face,” and most gaiters hang somewhat loosely around the face. If we are to take Disney’s language literally, we wouldn’t be surprised to hear them confirm that gaiters aren’t sufficient.
In fact, one of our readers shared that he was issued a disposable face mask to wear instead of his gaiter, rather than be turned away. BUT, we don’t advise you to try this. Disney likely would not have disposable masks to give out to every guest, and if they determine that your face covering is inadequate, you won’t be allowed in.
We have previously seen gaiters accepted at Disney Springs and we know some guests may intend to use them as their face covering when the parks reopen. BUT FOR NOW, we strongly suggest that you bring an additional style of face mask if your first choice is a gaiter. Even though Disney World’s website doesn’t explicitly prohibit the use of gaiters, we think based on the language that there’s a good chance they won’t be allowed. We recommend you carry a few ear loop or tie face masks as a backup, just in case. Better safe than sorry — and A LOT better than being turned away for not having a sufficient face mask!
We will continue to keep you updated on the mask policy at Disney World should Disney provide further clarification!
Were you hoping to wear a gaiter to Disney World? Let us know in the comments below.