Based on a few comments below where this post is being misinterpreted, we need to clarify that our goal with this meal was not to test Disney restaurants to see how well the rule is being enforced, or to try to not wear our masks throughout the meal. Our job, as always, is to describe our experience with the restaurant and the policies and to do so in an honest, thoughtful way. We wrote a post after the parks reopened where we discussed forgetting to put our mask on to walk to the restroom at California Grill. That was a mortifying mistake, but it was not intentional. And we think it’s important to share those errors with our readers so that they can be aware of just how easy it can be to break the rules when you have no intention of doing so. It’s good, valuable information, and so we share it in order to keep more people safe on their trips to Disney World.
We’ve seen a lot of updates made to Disney World’s face mask policy since the parks reopened.
Disney World has strictly upheld these policies to adhere to appropriate health and safety guidelines. Guests must wear masks all the time when on Disney property, except when eating and drinking while stationary, swimming, or in a relaxation station. However, Disney recently announced an update on its policy regarding eating in restaurants.
The new policy requires guests to wear masks when dining in restaurants, except when they’re actively eating or drinking. This means masks should be worn when sitting, waiting, or doing anything other than actively eating or drinking in a restaurant.
So, we visited a Disney World restaurant to see what the experience is like now. We moseyed over to the 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios. When we were seated, the Cast Member thanked us for wearing our mask and told us to keep it on unless we were eating or drinking.
Previously, guests were allowed to take off their masks as soon as they were seated at a restaurant. But, now, unless you are actively eating or drinking, you are expected to keep your mask on. That means keeping your mask on until your drink arrives, and essentially at any other points during your meal when you’re not actively eating or drinking anything. A family was seated nearby and they kept their masks on while seated, even after ordering their drinks.
In our experience asking Cast Members about this in Disney World today, full roll-out of this policy hasn’t yet happened in all restaurants. This is likely due to the fact that today is the first day with the new rule in place.
We had a couple of instances where we legitimately forgot to put the mask back on after taking a bite or a drink, so there will likely be an adjustment period for many guests. But, this is in fact the new mask policy and it’s something to be aware of the next time you eat at a Disney restaurant. In our experience, most Cast Members were doing their best to enforce the policy, but it’s also new for them.
This new mask policy is certainly an adjustment from Disney’s previous rules, and it’s an adjustment from other restaurants outside of Disney. In our experience, most restaurants outside of Disney World do in fact allow guests to remove their masks once they sit down. So, it might take a little bit for guests to remember and adjust to this new policy. But, we did notice other guests doing their best to keep their masks on during the meal.
We still haven’t seen any signs out notifying guests about the updated policy. We’ll be checking out other dining locations for more updates and keeping tabs on any further changes to Disney’s face mask policies.
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Have you dined at Disney World since the policy was updated? Let us know what your experience was like in the comments!