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Disney Issues New Face Mask Guidelines for Its U.S. Theme Parks

Disney Minnie the Mouse plushy wearing surgical mask

You'll need to don more than your mouse ears if you want to visit a Disney theme park this summer.

You’ll need to wear more than just your Mickey Mouse ears if you want to visit a Disney theme park or hotel this summer.

In response to an uptick in COVID infections, facemasks will be required for all cast members and guests aged two and older while indoors at all Disney properties in the United States beginning Friday, July 30. The new policy impacts many attractions and all enclosed transportation vehicles such as shuttle busses and the famed Monorail ride.

“As we have done since we began our phased reopening, we’ve been very intentional and gradual in our approach to our COVID-19 health and safety protocols,” Disneyland announced on their website, although the new rules apply to all Disney properties.

Disney stopped short of requiring masks in outdoor common areas, or requiring proof of vaccination prior to entry into their properties. However, specific guidance was issued for Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., noting “the State of California strongly recommends that Guests be fully vaccinated or obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the Disneyland Resort.”

The press release also provided specific guidelines for an appropriate face masks. Approved face coverings must be constructed of two layers of breathable material and fully cover the mouth and nose, be secured both under the chin and around the ears. Costume masks will not qualify as an approved face covering.

Additionally, Disney also announced that certain properties and establishments will operate at a reduced capacity. The popular Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hours offerings, and FASTPASS and Disney MaxPass services will be suspended for the immediate future as part of efforts to safely manage the number of visitors in their parks at any given time. Parades, nighttime spectaculars, and character meet-and-greets will remain temporarily unavailable as well.

The announced new facial covering policy came only weeks after Disney had lifted their earlier masking requirements and in response to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week. Disney theme parks had closed in March of 2020 in response to the global pandemic. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., reopened in July of the same year, while Disneyland in Anaheim only reopened in April.

Disney also made it clear there would vigorously enforce the new policies, adding it “reserves the right to require a Guest to leave if they fail to comply” with the new safety guidelines.

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Donald Padgett

Managing Editor at OutTraveler. Also write for Out, The Advocate, and Plus magazines.

Managing Editor at OutTraveler. Also write for Out, The Advocate, and Plus magazines.