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Credit: WDW Cast and Community Facebook

The Mask Rule Has Now Changed at Disney – Can We Trust People?

It had been the day most Disney Guests had been waiting for.

The removal of the indoor face mask rule at Disney’s theme parks.

Ever since their reopening after their pandemic closures, Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure, Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom all followed federal mask requirements and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) face-covering guidelines.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought many new changes and regulations to Disney vacations, including plexiglass separators and lowered capacity in the theme parks. Guest experiences at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort have been altered for the health and safety of Guests and Cast Members.

On February 17, Disney mmade a dramatic change to its face mask policy, following Universal Orlando’s sudden face mask rule change back on February 11.

It meant the the “new normal” we’d all been experiencing at the Parks the last couple of years disappeared. Disney fans welcomed the change, as we could now properly smell the famous scents on EPCOT’s Soarin’ and the amazing Disney water on Pirates of the Caribbean.

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Credit: Disney

We were there on Friday, February 17 when the mask rule changed, and it was interesting to see Walt Disney World return back to normal.

For a long time now, Disney Guests at indoor locations in the theme parks and Disney Springs area have had to wear a face-covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, regardless of vaccinations status.

Starting February 17, 2022, masks are now optional for fully vaccinated Guests in both indoor and outdoor locations. All Guests will still be required to wear masks on Disney transportation including buses, Monorails, and the Skyliner.

We were ready with our mask on the Monorail heading from the TTC to Magic Kingdom, and most Guests followed this federal rule.

We are all vaccinated and felt comfortable not wearing our masks indoors at attractions like Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain. It definitely felt odd not wearing our face coverings after so long wearing them at indoor locations at Disney’s theme parks.

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Credit: Disney Tips

This was the crowd inside of Mickey’s Philharmagic in Fantasyland on Friday, with most Guests not wearing a mask. Of course, the new rule is an honor system, so we have to trust that those who are not vaccinated are wearing their masks inside.

We loved being able to smell Rome burning on Spaceship Earth, and smile at each other during shows.

The new Omicron variant of the virus led to many pandemic restrictions across the nation coming back into play, with a COVID-19 testing site reopening in January near Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Florida due to the Omicron spike in Osceola County.

We sincerely hope that this is the start of the end of pandemic regulations, and that we won’t have to see masks return to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

It was refreshing not having to keep pulling our mask out of our bag or pockets, and ensure that children had their masks on too.

The Omicron strain is now seeing declining numbers after concern about a new wave of COVID-19, with cases nationwide dropping, with the United Kingdom recently ending all pandemic regulations.

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Credit: Disney

So, if you’re fully vaccinated, with both shots and/or the booster, it is now optional whether you wear your face covering at indoor locations like Spaceship Earth, Be Our Guest, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Walt Disney World’s face mask policy can be found on Disney’s official website and reads:

Beginning February 17, 2022:

Face coverings will be optional for fully vaccinated Guests in both outdoor and indoor locations. We expect Guests who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations, including indoor attractions and theaters. Face coverings will still be required by all Guests (ages 2 and up) on enclosed Disney transportation, including Disney buses, monorails, and Disney Skyliner.

Current Face Covering Requirements Through February 16, 2022

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

All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) should:

  • 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

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who loves to enjoy Disney's theme parks with a Mickey Premium Bar in hand! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her Air Force pilot husband. Find her children's book at @thebearandthehug_book