Masks will soon be optional for many of those seeking out some Disney magic this year.
Officials at Disneyland and Walt Disney World confirmed this week that their mask policies for fully vaccinated guests are being revised. As of Thursday, face coverings “will be optional” for visitors who have received their jabs across all four of Disney World’s theme parks and in both outdoor and indoor locations, according to the Florida resort’s website.
Mask protocols at California’s Disneyland are receiving a similar update, with vaccinated visitors permitted to enter indoor attractions, eateries and shops without masks from Thursday onward. Unvaccinated visitors to both the Florida and California resorts will be expected to wear a mask in all indoor settings. Officials, however, have said they will not be checking vaccination records.
“As we have done since reopening, we’ve been very intentional and gradual in our approach to our COVID-19 health and safety protocols,” a statement on the Disney parks’ official website reads. “We encourage people to get vaccinated.”
Face coverings will still be required for all guests on all park transportation systems in both Disney World and Disneyland, including monorails, buses and parking trams.
Disney’s announcement follows similar updates at other popular theme parks, including Universal Studios. The news, however, drew a mixed response on social media.
“I had hoped the major theme park players would wait a little longer until the under-age-5 set could get their shots before relaxing, but nope,” one person wrote. Added another, “I want so much to believe that things are getting to the point that we can go without masks … but I am having trouble doing so. Especially with one who is still too young to get vaxed.”
Both Disneyland and Disney World shut down in March 2020 after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Their subsequent reopenings, however, were vastly different and in accordance with their respective states. Disney World reopened in July 2020, whereas Disneyland remained shuttered for more than a year before welcoming its first guests back in April 2021.
Though both Disneyland and Disney World initially dropped mask mandates for vaccinated visitors in June 2021, both resorts reinstated the indoor face covering requirement shortly thereafter as a result of the rise of the delta variant of the coronavirus.