If you are planning a Disney vacation or a day in any of the Disney parks in Orlando, Florida, do not forget to pack your face masks. While we all feel as if things have gone back to normal basically everywhere and many people have chosen not to mask up, Disney actually still requires face masks to enter a specific area inside the park.
I think we can all agree that the past couple of years have been a challenge on multiple levels, and travel was one that caused some concerns as different areas may have had different rules. Disney took a slow and methodical approach to reopening the parks and hotels. One big milestone was the original February announcement saying masks were no longer mandated in the parks when outdoors. Anyone who experienced Disney during 2020 and parts of 2021 had to wear a mask indoors and outdoors regardless of the weather. During the summer months, as you could imagine, it was brutal with the humidity and rain. In the month of March, masks were no longer required indoors either and character meet and greets returned to great fanfare by guests of all ages. This began to create some confusion among guests who were being asked to wear a mask on transportation. As we stated in an earlier article, guests sometimes got very aggressive with cast members on the bus and monorails. They did not understand that Disney was complying with a national mask mandate specific to public transportation. Many of the labor unions have negotiated with companies and agencies to follow the mandates to help bring the workforce back in a safe and controlled way. The CDC defines Public Transport as any mode of transport other than a private vehicle. As of April 18th, 2022 we saw an announcement that a judge has ruled the newly extended mask mandate has exceeded the authority of U.S. health officials. The mandate requiring travelers on airplanes and other public transport to mask up has been voided, for now. Due to the ruling by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa, Florida the TSA will no longer enforce the transit mask mandate. This set up a domino effect where companies one by one also stopped enforcing the mask mandate as well, and by the end of April Disney also voided the mask mandate on transportation.
During a visit to Disney World Parks and Hotels this past weekend we noticed some people wearing masks and the majority were not. What was a bit surprising was the moment we found out there are locations in the parks that still require masks to get in. You will see in the photo below one of the locations requiring masks at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The First Aid rooms all still require masks to enter. What was surprising for us, and other guests, was the fact no one was outside to assist if you did not bring a mask to the parks that day and required assistance. If it was an actual medical emergency, I am sure they would not hesitate to assist but it is clearly posted that the mask is required for entry. We also checked First Aid at Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom and found similar signs are in place.
Please check for the latest updates from Disney on their reopening policies and face coverings. Disney does not permit mask wearing in water or water slides in case you were wondering.
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