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Are Face Masks Required in Disney World? – Where and How Long?

“Are face masks required in Disney World since reopening?” For many guests trying to decide whether or not to take a trip to the most magical place on Earth, the answer to that question is a big factor whether or not to go to Disney World.

Guests in Disney World wearing face masks

When Disney World reopened to guests in 2020, they made it mandatory for both Cast Members and guests to wear face masks while in the theme parks, restaurants, and almost any public place.

UPDATED 8/18/21 – Disney World has once again loosened its face mask policy and is no longer requiring face coverings in any outdoor space, including attractions and ride queues.

Read more about these in the NEWS section in this post…

The fan reaction to the Disney mask policy has been an interesting one to say the least. Just the idea of having to wear a face-covering in Walt Disney World has been a bone of contention around the Disney community, with many people already refusing to go.

We get it, we really do. Disney World is your “happy place,” as it is for millions of other people from all over the world. We go to Disney World to forget our problems. It’s a place where no matter what else is going on in the world, we don’t have to think about it. We can just relax and have a good time.

Disney Cast Members with face masks

It’s only natural then that we don’t want that perfect image of Disney World that we have in our mind to be changed in any way. The idea of wearing a face mask in the blistering heat of Florida doesn’t help either.

At this moment face masks are still required for all guests (vaccinated or not) in some parts of the resort and are an essential part of theme park attire, as much as walking shoes and Mickey ears, if not more.

After many months, some major changes have been made to Disney World’s face covering policy in recent months. And with cases on the rise again, Disney has been forced to increase restrictions once again.

In this post, we are going to share everything we know so far about face coverings in the Disney parks. We’ll discuss the Disney World Mask Policy, who has to wear one, where you have to wear a mask in Disney World, and if you can take them off at all. There are also plenty of places to buy them inside the parks so we’ll cover that too.

Disney World guests still required to wear face masks

Many of our readers have also asked: “How Long Will Disney Require Masks?” While we don’t have the exact answer to that question at this time, Disney has commented on that recently. We’ll do our best to share with you how long we think masks will be required at Disney World.

Lastly, we’ll give you our opinion on if in light of the most recent news, if you should still go to Disney World anyway, or if it’s better to postpone your trip to a time when face masks are not required.

So far, the mask policy at Walt Disney World has worked pretty well, all things considering. 99% of guests have complied and Disney has done a nice job in making it clear what the requirements are and where you have to wear one. While not the most comfortable situation, it seems like it’s been working up to this point.

One thing we want to make clear is we are not medical experts. This post is not here to give our opinions on whether we think face masks are necessary for the Disney parks or not. We are only covering what Disney is saying about them and how that affects your trip.

Guests sitting at tables with face masks in Disney World

We definitely want to hear your opinion on the matter, but we ask everyone commenting below to keep things to a calm and rational manner. We do not feel the need to insult anyone for their opinion, for or against, and we hope you don’t either.

We’ll continue to fill in the details as soon as more information comes out about the Disney World face mask policy and any changes to the rules.

If you want the latest info on the Disney World Reopening and all the new guidelines in the parks, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter

We’re going to answer all your FAQs about masks at Disney World, so let’s dive in and see what we know so far.

(NEWS 8/18/21) Face Masks in Disney World Now Optional in All Outdoor Spaces Including Attractions

wearing face masks at Disney through 2021

Not even one month after tightening restrictions on face coverings, Disney World has once again created another policy change and is now loosening its guidelines.

Starting Thursday, August 19, 2021, face masks are now optional in all outdoor spaces, including outdoor attractions and in outdoor attraction queues. This is true for both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests.

This is a big change from the last update when face masks were still required on all attractions and in all queues, even if they were outdoors.

Disney said in a recent email sent to guests:

“Since May, face coverings have been optional for Guests in outdoor common areas, and beginning Thursday, August 19, face coverings will also be optional for Guests in outdoor attractions, outdoor queues, and outdoor theaters at Walt Disney World Resort.”

As a reminder, face coverings remain required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) while indoors and in Disney buses, monorail, and Disney Skyliner, regardless of vaccination status.”

This change means that face masks are now truly optional in all outdoor spaces, unlike before. The same guidelines remain in place for indoor spaces as before in Disney World.

Face Masks at Disney World

The Walt Disney World website has been updated with the latest face mask policy. Disney World’s official statement reads:

Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) while indoors and in Disney buses, monorail and Disney Skyliner, regardless of vaccination status. This includes upon entering and throughout all attractions. Face coverings remain optional for all Guests in outdoor common areas.

COVID-19 has been rapidly spread throughout the United States with a new wave hitting many states. Because of this, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recently changed their stance and are now recommending that even fully vaccinated people wear face masks while indoors where there is a higher risk of transmission.

Face Masks in Disney World

The CDC has been changing its guidelines in recent months when they originally said vaccinated people do not need to wear a face mask. Disney has continued to adjust accordingly.

Making things even more complicated for Disney is that Florida sits right in the middle of this new COVID-19 outbreak with about 20% of the nation’s new cases being reported there.

In particular, Orange County has seen a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases, and the Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has declared a local state of emergency in Orange County, Florida. He is recommending that every business follow the latest guidelines from the CDC for wearing face masks indoors, even vaccinated people.

In reply to the situation, he said: “We’re now in crisis mode.” 

It was obvious that Disney would have to now follow these new guidelines as throughout the entire reopening phase, Disney has gone along with whatever recommendation the CDC has given at the time, even when wearing a face mask was not a requirement enforced by local authorities.

No face masks in Disney World Outdoors

If you are going to Walt Disney World, all of this means that even if you are vaccinated, you will have to wear a face mask in indoor areas.

Disney will not check guests to make sure they are vaccinated but they are using the honor system and expect people to be truthful about their vaccination status.

Disney Cast Members are also still required to wear a face covering at all times, even outside.

No timeframe has been given as to how long this new mask mandate will be enforced. It will likely be in place at least until the CDC changes its guidance, which could last for months.

We should have more clarity in the coming weeks so stay tuned for the latest.

Disney’s Face Mask Policy

Right now as of this writing, face masks are required for all guests, vaccinated and non-vaccinated guests in the Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts, but only in certain situations.

  • Face coverings are currently required at Disney World in all indoor locations including attractions, attraction queues, and on Disney transportation.
  • Guests are not required to wear a face covering in outdoor locations including attractions and queues located outdoors.

The Disney World mask policy is made clear on the Disney World website and they share all the details.

WDW Face Mask Policy

You can see right there that face coverings are required for all guests 2 years and older.

You also may have noticed that face coverings are optional outdoors, which is slightly different from the last policy update (we’ll get into that more later).

There are safety signs located throughout the theme parks and Disney Springs shopping center, and the latest face mask requirements in Disney World are listed on the signs.

health and safety sign Disney World

A Disney face mask policy was implemented first in Shanghai Disneyland. The theme park reopened its doors in May 2020, and they put in place a variety of new safety measures for guests and cast members alike, one of which is requiring face masks to be worn while in the parks.

Since last year, Walt Disney World executives in the states have been working closely with the various government agencies, recovery task forces, and health experts in order to stabilize just exactly what mask requirements should still be required in the U.S. parks.

Face masks coming to Disney World was planned for a while as Disney CEO Bob Chapek commented in an interview back in the Spring of 2020 about the Disney World parks reopening.

For the last year, face coverings have been one of the most important new safety guidelines, though you can see Disney slowly eliminating them now. Other new technologies like the Disney Virtual Queue also help people to keep a distance by staying out of lines.

Who Has to Wear a Face Mask?

family walking through Disney Park with face masks
Photo Credit: Shanghai Disneyland Resort

As stated by Disney officials, face masks are required for both Cast Members and Guests, just not all of them.

Persons required to wear face coverings in Walt Disney World:

  • Non-Vaccinated Guests ages 2 years and up
  • Vaccinated Guests ages 2 years and up
  • All Disney Cast Members

On the Cast Member side, this makes a lot of sense and it’s obvious that since their job is to interact with guests all day, Disney wants to make sure they are extra careful in protecting both parties.

Even children age 2 years and up are required to wear a face mask in Walt Disney World.

Many parents dread the idea of getting their kids to wear a face mask all day long in potentially 90+ degree weather. This requirement however is deemed necessary by Disney and coincides with the protocols in place in Shanghai, Paris, and other Disney park locations. Kids have to be included since they could just as easily spread germs to others.

However, like adults, children are not required to wear them outdoors so it shouldn’t be too bad in the hot weather.

Do Disney Characters Wear a Face Mask in the Parks?
No, they don’t. Disney does not want its characters to be seen wearing face masks which would ruin the character’s image and spoil some of that Disney magic. All characters currently in the parks are kept far enough away from guests so they can’t come in direct contact with them and risk infection.

Where Must You Wear One?

distancing between tables in Shanghai Disneyland

At the beginning of the reopening, face masks were required in almost every area of Walt Disney World. Now that has changed and the requirements are much more flexible for guests.

Here is a list of where face coverings are currently required and where they are optional:

Face Coverings Required (Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Guests)

  • All indoor locations, including general areas of the hotels and restaurants, except when actively eating or drinking while stationary
  • Entering attractions in indoor queues or waiting areas
  • While riding all indoor attractions
  • All indoor theaters, including theater entrances
  • Using Disney transportation, including transportation entrances
  • In shops

Face Coverings Optional (Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Guests)

  • General Public Areas Outdoors (Walking around the theme parks and hotels)
  • Outdoor Attractions, Queues, and Theaters
  • While dining (consuming food or drink while socially distanced or sitting in a restaurant)
  • Taking socially-distanced photos
  • Around the pool common area

Dining

You do not have to wear a face-covering while seated at the table of a Disney restaurant, but you will have to wear one if you get up and go to the restroom or just walking around the restaurant.

Do I Have to Wear a Mask While Walking Around with Food or Drink?
No, you don’t. In fact, guests are no longer required to stand stationary off to the side or to find a table or bench far from others while consuming food and drink in the parks.

You can now walk around with food or drink in your hands with no mask without any problems.

This is a change from the original Disney mask policy where guests were not allowed to walk around with food and drink without face coverings.

Guests attending the EPCOT food festivals will be happy as they can walk around World Showcase with food and drink at will.

Swimming Pools

no face masks required in Disney World pools

One of the questions on peoples’ minds has been what happens to face masks while swimming? Thankfully, Disney has decided that face coverings are NOT required in the Walt Disney World Resort swimming pools.

Asking if face coverings are required in swimming pools sounds like a silly question, but since up until recently they were required in the resort common areas, some guests wanted to know.

Bay Lake Tower Online Check-In

Obviously, it would be impossible to wear one in the pool, as they would either fall off or the disposable ones would get ruined instantly.

Besides not having to wear a mask while you are IN the pool, Disney’s mask policy also does not require guests to wear a face covering while in the pool area. Since all outdoor areas are optional, guests can do as they please.

Relaxation Stations

When the theme parks opened back up, Disney created designated “Relaxation Stations” located throughout the parks where guests did not have to wear a face mask. Some were indoors and some outdoors.

Disney has now eliminated the relaxation station and they are no longer necessary in the parks.

Face Masks in Disney World likely for foreseeable future

Other Locations in Disney World

Do I Have to Wear a Face Mask Walking Around My Hotel?
Yes and no. If you are in a public space indoors then yes, you must wear a face covering. This includes in the lobby and hallways of hotels, entrances, restrooms, and dining locations.

However, if you are in an outdoor space, wearing a mask is optional and not required.

Do I Have to Wear a Mask in My Room?
Only if you want to. Obviously, when you are back in your hotel room, you are free to wear anything you want.

How to Wear Face Masks in Disney World

Here are some guidelines for how face coverings should fit when visiting Disney World:

  • Fully cover an individual’s nose and mouth
  • Fasten face masks securely with ties or ear loops and allow the guest to remain hands-free
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Face Masks can be disposable or reusable
  • Should be made of breathable material
  • Make sure you avoid touching your eyes and face as much as possible, even if you use hand sanitizer.

The CDC gives good guidelines on how to wear a mask for it to be effective in all situations.

Can You Take Off Your Mask?

guests wearing mask taking selfie in Disney park
Photo Credit: Shanghai Disneyland Resort

Guests now have much more freedom to take off their face masks, though it depends where you are.

Again, if you are dining, swimming, taking a socially distanced photo or in any outdoor location, you can remove your masks whenever you like. If you are indoors, guests must keep their face masks on at all times. (Vaccinated and non-vaccinated guests)

Cast Members used to remind guests to keep their masks on if not wearing them in the proper locations though that is no longer necessary. At times Disney has even had an audio reminder played on the park loudspeaker telling guests to wear masks.

Can I Take Off My Mask to Take a Photo?
Yes, you can. Disney has recently changed this policy to allow guests to take photos without a face mask on. Before this change they were pretty strict about their mask policy and Cast Members would even tell you to put it back on, even if you are taking a quick photo.

Can I Take Off My Mask for a PhotoPass Photo?
Yes, you can. The photographer at the PhotoPass location will now allow you to take off your face mask as long as you are socially distanced from other guests.

Before the latest update, we saw many people briefly taking them off for photos. Thankfully we now don’t have that problem anymore and you can now get photos with the park icons without a mask!

Face Masks on Disney World rides

Do I Have to Wear a Face Mask on the Rides?
Yes and no, it depends on the ride. All guests are required to wear a face mask on all indoor attractions, no matter their age or what type of ride it is. This includes thrill rides like Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror.

However, guests are no longer required to wear a face mask on outdoor attractions or while waiting in line in an outdoor queue.

In-Ride Photos
For a while, Disney was withholding in-ride photos if you took your face covering off while riding an attraction. That is no longer the case and you will receive your in-ride photo in your My Disney Experience account, or on the screen outside the ride as normal.

What If You Don’t Want to Wear a Face Mask?

Disney Face Mask policy

At this time you don’t have a choice and you still need to wear a face covering in all indoor areas of Walt Disney World. Of course, Disney does not check or ask for proof of your vaccination so, in reality, nothing is stopping you from not wearing one. Hopefully, those who are not vaccinated will be honest and follow Disney’s guidelines.

Here is an example of the signs that used to be in the parks if you were not wearing a mask:

guests must wear face masks in Disney World or leave

What if I Can’t Wear a Mask for Health Reasons/Difficulty Breathing?

All guests are required to wear a face mask indoors, no matter if they have medical reasons to not do so. All guests whose physical state does not allow them to wear a face mask, Disney is encouraging them to stay home at this time.

Are Free Masks Provided in Disney World?

Temperature screening area

Free face masks are not provided by Disney when you arrive at the parks. They expect guests to bring their own face coverings to the parks and ones that comply with their standards.

We have seen on occasion Disney give guests one of the disposable masks to wear in a pinch, but they don’t make a habit of it and they don’t always have them to give. The bottom line is not to risk it and just remember to bring yours with you.

What Counts as a “Face Covering?” What Kind of Mask is Acceptable?

Disney says in its list of regulations that face coverings are required in Walt Disney World. But just what exactly counts as a “face covering” anyway?

Disney gives specific information about which types of face masks are acceptable in Walt Disney World and which kinds aren’t. According to the Disney World website:

  1. Fully cover an individual’s nose and mouth and allow the guest to remain hands-free
  2. Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  3. Be secured with ties or ear loops
  4. Be made of breathable material, either disposable or reusable

The following count as “face coverings” in Walt Disney World:

  • Reusable or Disposable Masks
  • Face Shields
  • Homemade Masks
  • Buffs

Whatever you wear, it’s important that it covers the mouth AND nose. Face masks should also fit snugly against your face and should be hands-free. You shouldn’t have to hold it against your face with your hand.

The following are NOT acceptable face coverings in Walt Disney World:

  • Neck gaiters and
  • Open-chin triangle bandanas
  • Costume masks
  • Helmets

Bandanas & Gaiters

Neck Gaiter

Many have been wondering if they can use neck gaiters with ear loops or bandanas, but has now specifically said that neck gaiters and open-chin triangle bandanas are not allowed. This is because all face coverings must fit securely under the chin and tight enough to the face

Bandanas and gaiters are too loose-fitting to be acceptable. For a while, gaiters were considered acceptable when Disney World first reopened, but they have since changed their stance on that saying:

At this time, based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters and open-chin triangle bandanas are not acceptable face coverings.

Face Shields

You see more and more face shields walking around the park lately, mostly from Cast Members who are issued them. Can guests also wear a face shield in Walt Disney World?

Yes, you can. Face shields are an acceptable form of face-covering while in the Disney Parks, but ONLY if you are also wearing a standard face mask. They are not allowed by themselves.

Costume Masks

Star Wars Helmets in Disney World

REMINDER: Previous Disney dress code rules still apply, meaning you cannot wear a costume mask, helmet, ski mask or anything else that covers you ENTIRE face. Religious face coverings may be acceptable, however we encourage you to bring a secondary face mask just in case.

There are many different styles of face masks, each with varying rates of success at stopping the spreading of germs, both for the wearer and those around them. Consistently, Medical-grade masks including disposable surgical face masks and N95 respirators seem to work the best.

Disney is following the advice from health officials and the CDC. To get more information you can go to the CDC website and see what they say.

Buying Disney Face Masks

Disney protective face masks with characters

You may have seen already that Disney has decided to start selling its own character masks for fans to buy. Right now these can be purchased online (if you can find them in stock), or in the parks.

Online

Disney face masks animals

Disney has announced a new line of protective face masks with the Disney characters on them are now available to buy on shopDisney.com.

Disney is using their timeless stories and beloved characters to help communities abide by the new safety standards when in public settings. These protective cloth face masks fit within the standards of the FDA’s latest recommendations on non-surgical, non-industrial grade face masks. 

Disney face masks Star Wars

The Disney character face masks cost $19.99 per 4-Pack and include designs of your favorites such as:

  • Disney
  • Pixar
  • Star Wars
  • Marvel

Disney face masks are available in small, medium and large sizes on shopDisney.com. Orders are backed up so it might take some time to get them in.

In the Parks

Disney Character Face Masks in Disney Springs

Disney has started selling face masks in Walt Disney World and they have been extremely popular so far with many styles available.

One of the best places to buy some Disney character face coverings is in Disney Springs over at the Marketplace Co-Op store. These masks can also be found in the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.

Disney Characters include:

  • Mickey Mouse
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Stitch
  • Marie (The Aristocats)
  • Baby Yoda
  • The Hulk
  • Goofy
  • Forky
  • and many more

The designs are mostly the same ones you’ll find on shopDisney.com and cost $9.99 individually or $20 for 4.

Sizes range from Small, Medium, and Large, though the smalls are not available for all styles.

  1. To buy the masks, first, get in line outside the Marketplace Co-Op
  2. A Cast Member will give you a form to fill out where you can select your design.
  3. The back of the form has a size chart to help you figure out which size to buy.
  4. Once it’s your turn, hand over your form to the Cast Member and they will find the mask you are looking for.
  5. You will then be directed to the correct checkout counter to complete your order.

It would be nice to see more park-specific designs that aren’t available online too. Some attraction-specific designs would be awesome.

Are they Disney Face Masks Actually Good?
They honestly aren’t that bad. They aren’t our favorite face masks, but they look great and are decently comfortable. They also make a really nice gift that even someone back home would appreciate.

Face Mask Vending Machines

Face Mask vending machine at Disney World

If for some reason you forget to bring your face covering to Disney World, don’t worry. Outside the theme parks on your way to the entrance, you’ll find face mask vending machines where you can get one.

These machines are located before you go through security and near the temperature screening tents and the soda machines. They have standard disposable face masks with elastic earpieces and an adjustable nosepiece.

Face masks from the vending machines cost $2 each. You can use cash, credit card, or contactless payment like Apple Pay.

Best Face Masks for Disney World

There are numerous options when trying to decide which type of face mask to wear in Disney World. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making a decision:

Face Mask Comfort

Disney Cast Member taking order for Virtual Queue

We will be the first ones to admit that using a face mask takes some getting used to, and in the Florida heat, they can be downright uncomfortable to wear, even unbearable at times. Then if you are in the parks for 8 hours straight, that makes it even worse.

One tip is we recommend practicing at home with the face masks before you come to Walt Disney World. Many people already wear them in public, when shopping, etc.

Try going for a walk with them back home so that you can start to get a feel of what it will be like when walking around the Disney Parks all day.

Cloth ear loops are much more comfortable than the elastic ones on disposable masks. The elastic really starts to irritate your ears after an hour or so and the cloth is much gentler.

Also, get a face mask that ties behind your head and not around your ears. The ones we’ve tried around your ears are even painful sometimes, while the masks that tie around your head are much more comfortable and will stay on easier.

Our ears hurting after a few hours is our number one complaint when wearing face masks, so we recommended getting ear hooks/protectors which saves the strain on them.

Ear hooks lay flat against the back of your head and it attaches to the elastic straps of your face mask instead of placing the elastic loops going around your ears. They are also adjustable depending on the size of your head.

Which Material is Best?

Not all face mask materials are made equal. According to the CDC, you should look for tightly woven cotton cloth masks that are double layered or more in order to be effective.

Make sure the material is comfortable against your skin, lightweight, and breathable. Stay away from materials that are hard to breathe like vinyl.

Our Favorite Brand Mask

Suay LA Face Masks

Of all the face masks we’ve tried, the best for Disney World or theme parks, in general, are the ones from Suay LA. They are within Disney’s standards for face coverings and are by far the most comfortable masks we’ve worn.

They come in both ear loop and tied models Comfort is extremely important and sometimes you will even forget you have it on, they feel that good! They also are breathable and work well with glasses. They also offer more protection than the normal cloth mask using a medical-grade non-woven polypropylene surgical wrap.

They come in two sizes: Small and Large, but there isn’t a lot of difference honestly. I have a big head so I go with the large and it still fits pretty snugly. If you have a question on sizing, I recommend you reaching out to Suay LA directly for help.

Face Mask Tips in Disney World

Disney World Face Mask requirements

While wearing a face mask while visiting Walt Disney World is not fun, here are a few tips that will help you make the best out of the situation and put up with it just a little more:

Take a Break

Going to Walt Disney World is tiring as it is, then wearing a mask all day on top of it makes it even worse. The Florida heat will just suck the energy right out of you if you don’t pace yourself.

Make sure you take breaks often to counteract mask fatigue. Stop every once and a while for a snack in a location away from people so you have an opportunity to breathe without the mask. Make sure you stay hydrated and drink lots of water too, even more than normal.

Wearing Glasses with a Face Mask

One of the most annoying things about wearing a face mask is that it can easily fog up your glasses if you wear them. This happens when the mask does not fit tightly across your cheeks and nose, causing hot air to rise up and fog the glasses.

The best solution to this is to avoid wearing glasses to the Disney Parks if you can. Wear contact lenses if possible on the days visiting the parks.

If you must wear glasses, try out a few models of face masks first before going to see which ones fit best and limit fogging.

Bring a Colling Towel or Mini Fan

Let’s face it, Florida is super hot, almost all year long. Bringing a fan or a cooling towel is a good suggestion whether or not you have to wear a mask in Disney World. They both can help you to cool down when you get overheated, which is very easy to do.

Misting fans can be purchased in the parks, but you will pay much more than if you just buy it online before your vacation.

Bring Lip Balm

This is something you might not otherwise think about bringing, but wearing a face mask all day can really make your lips chapped. Make sure you bring a stick of your favorite lip balm, one with all-natural ingredients is best.

Be Patient

This is probably the hardest tip to follow of them all because The Walt Disney World experience can be especially frustrating at this time. All the changes and new rules sometimes can make you feel overwhelmed and you might take that frustration out on your family or Cast Members.

Try to stay calm and go into it knowing that your vacation is going to be a little different than usual, and there may be more delays or frustrating situations. Know, however, that the Cast Members are trying their best to make your visit a magical one, despite the current challenges, so treat them kindly and respectfully.

How Many Masks Should I Bring to Disney World?

wearing Face Masks at Disney World

Don’t think you can just bring one face mask with you to Disney World and you’ll be all set. You are going to need backups, backups, and more backups.

How Many Should You Bring to the Parks?

You are going to need to bring multiple face masks to the Disney Parks each day. We suggest bringing at least 2 Face Masks per day, per person.

There are multiple reasons you need to bring more than one face mask with you each day to the parks.

  • You could lose your mask and be left without one. This could happen on a ride or leaving it behind at a restaurant.
  • It rains a lot in Disney World and you could end up with a soaking wet mask.
  • Your mask can get sweaty after wearing it for hours, a good reason to have another one.
  • It can get uncomfortable. Sometimes after hours and hours, just the way a certain fabric rubs against your face or ears can be irritating. We’ve found switching styles mid-way through the day makes it more bearable.

We usually bring 2 cloth masks with us to the parks each day, plus we throw some disposable ones in our backpacks just in case. That way, under all circumstances, we are covered.

How Many Face Mask Should You Bring on a Disney World Vacation?

This number is going to be a lot higher, but it depends on how many days you are going to the parks and if you are willing to wash your masks on vacation or not.

As we said up above, plan on 2 masks per person per day of your vacation. This obviously is going to depend on the type of mask you bring since some are washable and others disposable.

If you are using disposable masks, multiply 2 masks per day per person, by the number of days of your vacation. If you are going for 7 days, you should bring too fewer than 14 face masks with you.

If you are using washable cloth masks, it depends on how often you want to wash them. We think 6 masks is the minimum. Using 2 masks per day means you will get 3 days out of them. That gives you time between washing and drying them before the next use.

You don’t want to have to wash your masks every night when you get back to your room after dinner, then risk they don’t dry enough overnight to use the next day. Having a few extra will give you more flexibility.

If for whatever reason you get to Disney and you didn’t bring enough masks with you, you can always buy a few of the Disney ones in one of the gift shops. Just don’t rely on this in case they don’t have the size or styles you are looking for.

Has This Hurt Park Attendance?

Yes and no. Obviously, there is going to be a big number of people that will not go to Disney World if masks are required in the theme parks. As we said in the beginning, it’s not everyone’s idea of a vacation dealing with covering your face in the extreme heat and trying to handle keeping them on your kids.

For many, it might just be too much of a hassle to deal with. Disney knows that and has accounted for it.

Right now they can’t afford to have the theme parks full anyway as they are limiting attendance in Disney World just like in Shanghai, Paris, and the other Disney Parks. This automatically eliminates a big group of people from the equation, making it easier to stay within the attendance numbers.

In the end, as long as they have enough guests to fill the parks to the current reduced capacity limit, that’s all they need. Now with the rules being relaxed and park capacity increased, expect to see more guests start coming that didn’t want to before.

Is Disney Really Enforcing Face Masks?

large crowd of people trying to walk through the Disney park

So we know that Disney is saying that masks are required in the parks right now, but many readers want to know: Is Disney actually enforcing the mask policy when guests aren’t cooperating?

Disney was putting up signs warning guests they would be asked to leave if not properly wearing a mask.

After the latest update Disney isn’t being as strict, however, we expect the rule to continue being enforced in all indoor areas, just not like before.

Are Guests Complying with the Face Mask Policy?

Cast Member wearing face shield

We have to say, for the most part the vast majority of Disney World guests we’ve seen are complying with the face mask rules.

That being said, some people just have a hard time following rules and so this is bound to come up from time to time.

Thankfully, in those situations, after Disney Cast Members warn the guests, they usually put their masks on right away and that is the end of the story. There was an outlier a while back in EPCOT where a man attacked a security guard who was told his family needed to change masks.

We hope that everyone is smart enough to listen to Disney and follow the rules. Even if you don’t agree with it, these are the guidelines Disney is putting into play and we should all abide by them out of common courtesy for our fellow park-goers at least.

From what we’ve seen, face mask-wearing in Disney World has been substantially better than almost every other business or public situation we’ve been in, but with things almost back to normal is no longer an issue.

How Long Will Disney World Require Face Masks?

wearing Face Masks on Disney rides

How Long Will Disney Require Masks? For a couple of months, it seemed like they wouldn’t be required much longer, but since the latest update, a cloud of doubt is now hanging over the entire situation.

Disney has greatly reduced the previous restrictions for face coverings, but with the latest CDC guidance and Disney bringing them back indoors, we expect them to be required for at least a couple of months.

Right now the local health agencies have changed their stance on mask recommendations and even the Orange County Mayor is encouraging all local businesses to enforce a face mask policy indoors.

Recently the CDC also changed its face mask recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated people, encouraging them to wear face coverings indoors.

Since then Disney has announced all guests once again are required to wear face coverings indoors, including rides and on Disney transportation. This is a big change and actually a step backward.

Could Disney keep this new mask policy into the Fall and Winter seasons? It’s possible that the latest wave of COVID-19 outbreaks lasts into the winter months and that Disney is forced to keep the current guidelines in place until sometime in 2022. Prior to this Chapek had said he expected all the safety guidelines to disappear later in 2021 and go away totally in 2022.

Who knows if that is still the case and we’ll have to see how the whole situation develops.

If you are planning on going to Walt Disney World in 2021, you should plan on the mask policy still being in effect. The fact Disney isn’t expecting to enforce them in 2022 is positive news and may be a motivating factor if trying to decide if it’s better to visit Disney World in 2021 or 2022. We’ll let you know as soon as anything changes.

Should You Postpone Your Disney Trip?

Gran Destino Hotel Lobby

After reading all this, you may just decide that it’s better to postpone your trip to Walt Disney World until a time when face masks are not required. If you decide that, I totally understand. Especially if I were a guest who only could come down once every few years, I would want to get the most out of my trip and face masks in my opinion kind of ruin the magic for us.

That being said, we are crazed-Disney fans who have the opportunity to go to the parks often, and we will go anyway, even with the masks. We love visiting Disney so much that even if it isn’t quite the same experience as it usually is, we think it beats staying home.

Thankfully, things have changed and this may not be a deciding factor for you anymore.

Ultimately, each family will have to decide what’s best for them. If you are spending thousands of dollars to have one of the trips of your life, you might not want to wrestle with masks and have to deal with being even hotter than what is usual in Florida.

It might not be an issue for a Florida local who can just go to the parks and do a couple of rides and then go home when they want to. If you are coming from another state or country, you will have to think hard about just what it’s going to be like in the parks all day and how your experience might not be what you are looking for. In that case, it might be better to wait.

If you want to postpone your trip, the smartest thing would be to put it off until sometime in 2022. That’s when you will have the best chance of going when face masks are not required.

One alternative is to at least book your trip in one of the cooler months of the year (Nov-Feb), this way the heat won’t be so bad if you have to wear one.

Check out our Disney World Crowd Calendar for more information about choosing the best time to go.

Summary

Obviously, face masks are not the end-all-be-all protection, and if people aren’t following the other regulations Disney puts in place like sanitizing or washing your hands, then a mask won’t do much good.

Everyone will have to decide when they want to return to the most magical place on Earth. It might be a downer right now because we’ve had a bunch of bad news all in a row recently, and thinking about walking around in Disney World in a mask isn’t the best news we’ve heard in the world.

However, everyone will be able to make their own decision. Whoever doesn’t like the idea, no problem. You are free to go at a future date when these restrictions are not in place. If you are like us and dying to get back in the parks, then it looks like we’ll have to deal with a little inconvenience for a while in order to get back to the place we love so much.

Our guide to Disney World safety might help explain some of the other steps Disney is taking to protect guests.

Let’s hope everyone cooperates and we can then enjoy the parks again without them sometime in the near future.

FAQs

Are Face Masks Required in Disney World?

Yes, they are, but not in all situations. Right now, all Walt Disney World Guests 2 years old and up must wear a face covering indoors including attractions and queues, regardless of vaccination status.

Where in the Parks Can Masks Be Removed?

In the theme parks, guests can remove their face masks in all outdoor areas. Also when eating or drinking indoors.

Do You Have to Wear Face Masks on Rides at Disney World?

It depends. Guests must wear a face covering on all indoor rides, even thrill rides like roller coasters. However, face masks are optional on outdoor attractions.

Do I Have to Wear a Mask if I’m Not in the Disney Parks?

Face masks must be worn in all indoor public areas of Walt Disney World. They must be worn throughout the hotel including the lobby and hallways. You can, however, remove your face mask if you are outdoors.

What If I Have a Medical Condition?

If you are indoors, including attractions, you must wear a face covering. No medical condition makes a guest exempt from this guideline.

Are Face Shields Allowed in Disney World?

You can wear a face shield in Walt Disney World, but you must also have an acceptable face mask underneath.

Can I Buy a Face Mask at Disney World?

Face masks are sold in Disney World outside the parks in vending machines for $2 each. You can also buy a themed face mask with Disney characters on it for $6 or 4 for $20.

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about Cast Members and guests having to wear face masks in Walt Disney World…

  • Will wearing a face mask change your decision to go to Disney World?
  • What other policies should be in place?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

Should You Visit Walt Disney World in 2021 or 2022?
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