Lots of things have been changing all around Walt Disney World.
Although many things were different when the parks first reopened, through the reopening period Disney has continued to adjust its terms and policies about face masks and more. Recently, Disney has made some KEY updates to its policies about masks and social distancing and now we’re sharing what you need to know!
A quick recap — all guests ages 2 and up MUST wear a face covering at all times in Disney World. The only time guests may remove these masks is when they are dining at a restaurant, swimming, sitting at a mask relaxation station, or actively eating and drinking while stationary and appropriately distanced from others.
Disney has specifically noted that masks must be worn even when taking photos, guests cannot eat or drink while waiting in line for an attraction, and guests who do not follow the policies will be asked to leave. Also, neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, and face coverings containing valves, mesh material, or holes of any kind are not allowed.
Additionally, Disney has made some adjustments to promote physical distancing, including signs, ground markings, installation of plexiglass, and more. Guests are generally directed to keep a minimum of 6 feet between themselves and other parties.
Recently, Disney has made some updates to its social distancing and mask policies that you should know about.
1. Vaccinated Guests
If you’ve already received your COVID-19 vaccine, you might be wondering if that impacts the requirement that you wear a mask. Disney has updated their policies to specifically note that ALL guests ages 2 and up including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine must wear a face covering.
So, yes — even if you have received your COVID-19 vaccine, you must continue to wear a mask in Disney World.
Disneyland’s website also specifies this same policy applies there. If you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, you’ll still need to wear a mask at Disneyland Resort in California as well.
2. Masks with Transparent Panels
If you’ve got a mask with a transparent panel over your mouth, similar to the one in the photo below, Disney has updated their policies about that you.
Specifically, Disney’s rules note that face coverings with an integrated plastic panel to aid in viewing your mouth MUST actually be a fabric face covering with a SOLID plastic panel that contains NO openings. The plastic panel must also be attached to the fabric of the mask on all sides using a tight-knit stitching.
In addition, the face mask must meet all of Disney’s other mask requirements. The mask must:
- Be made with at least 2 layers of breathable material
- Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the Guest to remain hands-free
So, if you’re thinking of wearing a mask with a transparent part over your mouth, make sure it meets all of these requirements.
This updated policy regarding transparent face masks has also been adopted at Disneyland. The Disneyland Resort website now has these same rules and requirements listed for those wanting to wear masks with transparent coverings over the mouth. So, keep that in mind if you’ll be visiting Buena Vista Street or Downtown Disney in California at some point in the future.
3. Water Parks Mask Rules
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park is set to reopen on March 7th. We’ve gotten a look at the park’s operating hours and even seen tickets go on sale for guests to visit. But what about face masks? Disney has provided an update on that too.
So far, Disney has shared that face coverings will be required in designated areas in Blizzard Beach for guests ages 2 and up. These “designated areas” will include, but not be limited to, the park entrance and exit, retail areas, and food and beverage ordering areas.
Face coverings will NOT be allowed, however, while guests are experiencing water slides or in the water. You’ll also be able to remove your mask when you’re actively eating or drinking, but you’ll need to remain stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing from others.
The other areas that will be considered “designated areas” where masks will be required is unclear at this time. We’re on the lookout for more information and as soon as we are able to visit Blizzard Beach for ourselves, we’ll give you an update. But, if you’ll be visiting this park just keep in mind that masks will be required in some areas, and you should keep an eye out for any areas where it is designated that masks must be worn.
4. Distancing for Large Groups
Aside from mask updates, Disney has also updated some of their policies regarding large groups and social distancing. Disney has now specified that guests traveling in groups of more than 10 will be asked to split into smaller groups in queues, at dining locations, and in other areas around the parks and resorts. This is being done to better allow for social distancing.
Guests in large parties already had to split up with regards to certain things — like seating areas on the monorail or buses, and seating in Disney’s stage shows. In many of those areas, specific seats are marked as available for use, while others are marked as unavailable. Or, guests are otherwise separated into areas that can only hold a limited number of guests.
So, in those instances, large parties already had to potentially break up into smaller groups to fit the seating arrangements and ensure that they were not sitting in areas that were blocked off.
Now, however, those parties will also be asked to divide into smaller groups in other places like in queues or dining locations. This is really important to keep in mind if you’ll be visiting Disney in a big group in the future, especially if you have little ones. Consider already planning how you’d break your large party down into groups of 3 or 4 so you can be prepared ahead of time.
Those are the main updates and changes we’ve seen regarding Disney’s mask and social distancing policies lately. Things are, however, subject to change again in the future. So, during your trip to Disney, be sure to read all of the signs in the park and listen for those overhead announcements to ensure you’re following all of the most updated policies.
Keep in mind there are also mandates and rules regarding masks from the U.S. government and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that have been issued recently regarding planes and other forms of transportation, as well as cruises.
We’ll continue to look for more updates and let you know what we find.
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
When are you planning a trip to Disney World? Let us know in the comments below.