Disney Is Bringing Back Indoor Mask Requirements At U.S. Parks

by Kristina Johnson
Olga Thompson/Walt Disney World Resort/Getty

As cases surge in the U.S. Disney is tightening mask restrictions at its parks

If you’re planning to visit Disneyland or Disney World any time soon, don’t forget to pack your mask. Disney announced it’s bringing back the indoor mask requirement at its parks with coronavirus cases still surging in many parts of the country. The new policy takes effect tomorrow.

“Beginning July 30, 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,” the company’s website said.

Employees will not demand proof of vaccination, but the company said “we expect Guests who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations and upon entering and throughout all attractions and transportation except ferry boats.” Masks remain optional outdoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Disney had previously had an indoor mask mandate in place, but lifted it in June. Now, just six weeks later, the Covid-19 situation has changed so much that they’re already bringing it back. The new policy lines up with CDC guidance announced this week which urged Americans to keep wearing their masks, especially in places where the risk of infection is higher — which is certainly the case in the states that are home to Disney parks.

Florida, where Disney World is located, is currently averaging more than 12,000 new infections a day. That’s the highest in the country, and hospitals across the state are under strain as they fill up with coronavirus patients (the overwhelming majority of them unvaccinated). Florida is lagging behind other states when it comes to vaccines, with only about half of adults there getting the shots.

Over in California, the home of Disneyland, the situation isn’t great either, with about 7,500 new cases coming in daily. The state has also recently updated its indoor mask guidelines, telling both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated to wear masks inside.

Masks have sadly become such a controversial issue in the U.S. that the Disney news will be celebrated by some and make many others angry. But with the pandemic still raging — and an ending not really in sight just yet — the mandate is in everyone’s best interest. At the height of infections last year, Disneyland shut down for more than 400 days, Disney World for about four months. If guests want to keep closures like that from happening again — masking up is a big part of the solution.