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Let’s talk tips for wearing a mask at Walt Disney World (WDW). Nobody wants to have to wear a mask, but, unfortunately, we’re currently living in times where masks are necessary.
Not only do they protect ourselves, but also others. Plus, if you’re planning on visiting the Orlando-based resort anytime soon, you’re going to have to wear a mask.
First, here are the rules of face coverings at the most magical place on earth. All guests ages 2 and up must wear a mask.
Your mask must be either disposable or reusable and:
- Fully cover your nose and mouth and secure under your chin
- Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow you to remain hands-free
- Fit snugly and comfortably against the side of your face
- Be made with at least two layers of breathable material
Neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, and face coverings with valves, mesh materials, or holes of any kind are not allowed.
As the official WDW website states, “The use of face coverings is not a substitute for physical distancing.”
If you’re concerned about being uncomfortable and you’re not used to wearing one, I suggest practicing wearing one at home for a few hours at a time.
Unlike many other places, WDW enforces mask-wearing (along with many other health and safety protocols). Yes, there are a few individuals who sometimes wear them incorrectly or remove them when they’re not supposed to. However, Cast Members are usually there to rectify the situation.
And if you’re worried it’s going to be too hot, don’t be. Orlando in the summer is just plain hot and masks don’t make it any hotter. But, if you’re unsure about face coverings, I do have a few tips for wearing a mask at WDW.
Types Of Masks To Consider
There are all kinds of masks to choose from, but here’s what I wore during my trip.
Airport: I wore a KN95 mask when traveling. I wanted something a bit more secure and without any gaps for the airport and airplane. The ear loops did agitate my ears after awhile, but the mask itself was comfortable and breathable.
At WDW: At the parks and my resort I mainly wore a disposable mask that was both lightweight, breathable, and cool. This type of mask is my top choice for when at the parks.
I also wore a mask designed by Bibbidi Bobbidi Bling (BBB). It has a really cute Haunted Mansion design and is comfortable. It even has adjustable ear loops, which I really like, and comes with filters that you insert yourself, along with a nose clip you can put on top with adhesive. The BBB masks have slightly changed in design since I purchased mine, but they are still a good choice.
Pack Enough & Bring Extra To The Parks
You’ll want to make sure you bring enough masks for your entire trip. I changed my mask multiple times a day for sanitary reasons and because of the sweat from hot temperatures. And make sure to pack extra in your park bag, so you can change your mask throughout the day.
Baggies Are Your Friend
Whether you use disposable or reusable baggies, it’s a good idea to pack some in both your carry-on at the airport and in your park bag. When you take off your mask to eat, you won’t want to place it on a dirty table or hold it in your hand. I put mine in a baggie, which was a big help.
Where You Can & Can’t Remove Masks
There are only certain areas and instances when you can remove your mask and they include:
At a Relaxation Station: there are multiple zones across WDW in which you can remove your mask for a select amount of time. There are Relaxation Stations both indoors and outdoors, with the latter being the safest.
Here’s where you can find each:
- Animal Kingdom: Pizzafari (indoors with A/C, but there are also some outdoor tables, Discovery Island), across from where the UP! bird show typically plays (outdoors, Asia)
- Magic Kingdom: Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant (outdoors, Tomorrowland), Golden Oak Outpost (outdoors, Frontierland), Pete’s Silly Side Show (indoors with A/C, Storybook Circus in Fantasyland)
- Hollywood Studios: Star Wars Launch Bay (indoors with A/C and outdoors, Animation Courtyard), near Rise of the Resistance (outdoors, Galaxy’s Edge)
- EPCOT: Yorkshire Fish Shoppe (outdoors, United Kingdom), between Mission: SPACE and Test Track (outdoors, Future World), Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (indoors with A/C, Norway; as seen below)
Disney transportation: If you’re using Disney transportation, you must keep your mask on at all times. Yes, this also includes the Disney Skyliner, even if one party gets their own gondola.
At a WDW Resort: Be sure to wear your mask whenever you leave your hotel room, including when you go to eat, use the vending and ice machines, or are simply talking on the phone outside.
PhotoPass and your own photos: You must keep your mask on for all photos. Also, did you know if you take your mask off on a PhotoPass enabled ride, you might not have access to the photo in My Disney Experience?
You can, of course, remove your mask when eating, drinking, or swimming. However, there are a few rules to follow that I explain in the next bullet.
Mask Rules When Eating, Drinking, & Swimming
You must keep your mask on when entering and exiting dining and pool locations.
Once you’re seated a table ready to eat or drink, you may remove your mask. However, you cannot walk around the park without a mask if you have a snack or drink in hand.
Per Disney, “You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing.”
Tip: Just to be as safe as possible, I always put my mask on right after eating and drinking. At Table-Service restaurants, I also didn’t take my mask off until my drink and food arrived and put it back on immediately after finishing, especially if I was sitting indoors.
As for a Disney resort pool, you are allowed to remove your mask when you’re swimming or laying in a chair. I’ve heard some resort pools require guests to wear masks when walking around the pool area, whereas others have been told they can remove them as soon as they enter the pool area. Me? I would definitely wear it if I wasn’t stationary and if I couldn’t social distance.
Take Breaks To Drink Water
It’s easy to forget to drink water, since you have to be stationary when eating or drinking. So, try to stop as often as possible. I know some people even set reminders or alarms on their phones to remind them.
Be Mindful Of Others When Waiting In Line
Please, do not use an attraction queue as an excuse to remove your mask for a lengthy period of time to eat and drink. Yes, there are social-distancing markers in line, but be respectful of others. If you must remove your mask to take a sip of water, you should put your face covering back on right away.
You Might Want To Get A Fan
If you want to make sure you stay as cool as possible, I recommend purchasing this neck fan I’m wearing in the photo below.
As I previously mentioned, masks don’t make you feel any hotter. But, it’s nice to have some airflow in the rough Disney World heat when you’re wearing a face covering.
What I love about this fan is that it has three speeds (low, medium, and high), has fun lights that change color, the ends bend so you can direct the air, you can charge it (no batteries!), and it’s hands-free.
There’s no doubt wearing a mask is a big adjustment, especially when visiting a theme park. But, hopefully, these tips will make mask-wearing a bit easier for you.
For more on Walt Disney World’s reopening, be sure to check out my complete guide detailing everything from, dining, to hotels, to transportation, and much more.