We are BACK in EPCOT now that Disney World has started its phased reopening! One of the biggest differences when it comes to planning a 2020 vacation to Disney World is the new rule that states all guests above the age of two MUST wear a face mask.
This requirement has stirred up a lot of questions regarding the logistics of wearing a mask all day in the theme parks. Despite us having the experience of what it’s like to wear a mask all day, we still had some important questions when it came to visiting EPCOT. We’re talkin’ about logistics of EATING around World Showcase, especially with the 2020 Taste of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival now in full swing!
UPDATE: We confirmed with Guest Relations that guests in all Disney World parks are highly encouraged to step to the side and consume their food or beverage stationary. It’s discouraged for guests to eat or drink while they walk around.
Perhaps the biggest question on our mind was, “How can we safely wear a mask if we are eating and drinking around World Showcase?” Enjoying the food and beverages throughout World Showcase is a tradition most often done on foot: with a wide variety of counter service locations and food kiosks in each Pavilion, guests love to hop from country to country and indulge in some yummy food and drinks on-the-go!
That tradition, however, would make for a LOT of pulling your mask on and off throughout the day, which is generally advised against as experts recommend minimizing the amount of times you touch your mask. Think about all the food and drinks you like to try on a typical day at EPCOT…that’s a lot of bites and sips you would need to lower your mask for!
In Disney Springs, we’ve known for a while now that guests could remove their mask temporarily to take a bite of food or sip on their beverage, but we weren’t sure if this rule would translate in the theme parks especially in EPCOT where ALL WE DO is take bites of food and sips of our beverage!
You are allowed to walk and eat, but you must be ACTIVELY eating while you are walking. Guests are highly encouraged to sit or stand and eat at the small tables and benches located around World Showcase. Disney added more seating areas in order to encourage guests to stay stationary while their masks are down.
Many guests were lowering their mask to take a bite or drink and immediately pulling it back up. You can fully remove your mask to eat and drink if you are at a table or bench. Otherwise, you must keep it covering your mouth and nose when you’re not eating or drinking.
Yes, it’s a lot of pulling your mask up and down, but honestly, we weren’t particularly bothered by it. Tables were readily available in most cases so, if we really wanted to chow down, we would grab a table and remove our mask for a few minutes to eat. Most guests we saw were complying with these rules as well. Cast Members ARE asking guests to cover their faces if they see that their mask is off or below their nose, so be mindful if you pull your mask down to recover when finished eating.
We’ll keep you updated as we learn about more health and safety protocols at Disney World! For now, go into EPCOT knowing you can eat and drink to your heart’s content, but if you walk around, prepare to be pulling that mask up and down a lot!
Check out our guide of everything you need to know when it comes to wearing a face mask in Disney World!
What’s your favorite World Showcase Pavilion? Let us know in the comments!