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Find out just when you can go maskless at Disney World in 2021.
Latest WDW news comes as Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke to shareholders and press yesterday afternoon about a dramatic shift in mask protocols and capacity limits. This announcement followed on the heels of CDC Director Walensky‘s own announcement that fully vaccinated adults can go without a mask.
Dispelling Disney Rumors. What honesty do the new mask guidelines mean for Disney World travelers?
Face coverings are now optional in outdoor common areas and pool decks at Walt Disney World Resort, but are still required upon entering and throughout all attractions, theaters, indoor locations, and transportation. (As of 5-14-21)
What Did Bob Chapek Actually Say About Disney World at the May 13th Quarterly Earnings Call?
Revenue in the Parks Experiences and Products division plunge 44% in the quarter ending April 3.
Disney experienced an estimated loss to their operating income of $1.2 billion.
There should be an immediate increase in park capacity limits. [No specific capacity limits were mentioned. The previous number mentioned was 35%.]
A relaxation of mask policies in the park will “be an even bigger catalyst for growth and attendance.”
While no specific dates were announced for when mask policies will be relaxed, he suggested summer by saying, “if anybody’s been in Florida in the middle of summer with a mask on. That could be quite daunting.”
What Did CDC Director Walensky Say About Masks for the Vaccinated?
Dr. Walensky said that fully vaccinated individuals “can shed [their] mask” except in special circumstances.
“You can shed your mask.” – Dr. Walensky
In an interview with Rachel Maddow of CNBC, Dr. Walensky added the following:
- “If you are vaccinated, you are less likely to shed the virus to others.”
- “Now is time to make those efforts to start getting comfortable [not wearing your mask].”
- “It is safe for you as the vaccinated person [you’re 95-97% protected from disease]; it’s not safe for the unvaccinated person especially if they are not putting on their mask [to be in close contact].”
- “Our guidance updated on this several weeks ago. You do not need to test if you’re fully vaccinated and have been exposed. However, you do need to test if you’re full vaccinated and have symptoms.”
- Policies about transit, childcare, etc., will be looked at and revised [possibly] in the next few weeks.
- The Pfizer vaccine is now approved for children 12+.
- “We have to treat [children 0-12] as unvaccinated so yes those children still do have to wear a mask to protect themselves.”
“We have to treat [children 0-12] as unvaccinated so yes those children still do have to wear a mask to protect themselves.” – Dr. Walensky, CDC
And of course, be sure to follow all State and local rules.
Disney Fans Responses to Mask Rumors Are Varied
The responses are varied from left to right among Disney fans. Some interesting responses I have seen on Facebook and Twitter include –
“What is disruptive about wearing a mask and distancing to save lives? Going to Disney it’s not a right it’s an extreme privilege especially during a pandemic.”
“Just scrolled through a thread of someone investigating her mask wearing at Disney like she was Bin Laden. The liberals have lost all sense of reality so at this point it’s just fun pi$$ing them off”.
“I’m glad things are getting better in the States and Disney is confident that things are improving, but I’m still wearing a mask for the time being. Also, it won’t be until 2023-24 when I return to a Disney park.”
“And the mask requirement isn’t helping Disney either! Seriously/ who wants to wear a mask all day at Disney? Outside? In sweltering heat? Hard pass.”
“If a Mask is a Face Diaper, are clothes Body Diapers? The Mask Mandate is for Protection of EVERYONE, even if you have the Vaccine… Also, Disney is much more expensive, and not on par with Universal… It would be a stupid waste of money to spend like $200 more just for no mask.”
“was just saying the same thing. Imagine Disney World. All the kids are in masks and none of the parents are in masks. I’m vaccinated, but will keep wearing a mask. The problem is I have a baby. Children under 2 can’t wear masks or get vaccinated, and the policy disregards them.”
Vaccinated Parents going to @WaltDisneyWorld with kids who aren’t vaccinated- would you wear a mask if it wasn’t required? #Disney #DisneyWorld #vaccinated
— THE JOYOUS LIVING – Entertainment Blogger (@thejoyousliving) May 14, 2021
Disney World’s Response to the CDC Update
Dr. Pamela Hymel and Walt Disney World public relations have been contacted. Their official response as of May 13th –
“Today’s guidance from the CDC allowing fully vaccinated individuals to remove masks and the removal of physical distancing requirements is extremely positive news and as soon as is practical we will implement updated guidelines across our businesses.”
On the official Walt Disney World website, you will find the following update about their mask policy:
Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them in all indoor locations, except when actively eating or drinking while stationary and maintaining appropriate physical distancing. Face coverings are optional in outdoor common areas at Walt Disney World Resort, but are still required upon entering and throughout all attractions, theaters and transportation.
Do I Have to Wear a Mask at Disney World?
Yes. Face coverings are optional in outdoor common areas at Walt Disney World Resort, but are still required upon entering and throughout all attractions, theaters and transportation.
Suggested Disney Reading
- Disney World Dining Reservations: 5 Tips to Snag Hard-To-Get Reservations
- Yzma Disney Bounding; 4 Fun Suggestions for Park Outfits
- Disney Face Masks and 4 Useful Protective Items for Disney Parks
- 4 Magical Disney Money Saving Tips BEFORE The Trip
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