Disney World clarifies mask guidelines during dining

The Disney Blog crew masked up at EPCOT.
The Disney Blog crew masked up at EPCOT.

One of the elements that makes families feel comfortable visiting Walt Disney World is the Mouse’s strong safety record. These days, that includes strict enforcement of face mask policies for guests and cast members.

The rules state masks must be worn at all times with only a few exceptions. These include eating and drinking while stationary, swimming, or resting in a relaxation station.

Relaxation Station at the Magic Kingdom
Relaxation Station at the Magic Kingdom

Now there’s been an update to the policy that clarifies an uncertainty that led to guest confusion while dining or enjoying food and drink anywhere in the resort.

The policy was always that you could only remove your mask while stationary and eating or drinking. But it had been interpreted to mean that once you were seated at a restaurant you could remove your mask.

Seating in the beauty and the beast lounge at the Grand Floridian
Seating in the beauty and the beast lounge at the Grand Floridian

With the new wording in the restated policy, it’s now clear that even while seated, if you are not actively eating or drinking, the mask should be on and properly worn over the nose and mouth.

“Face coverings for each Guest age 2 and up, which must be worn in all public areas and can only be removed while actively eating or drinking. Face coverings must be worn while standing, waiting or sitting in dining locations.”

We expect that Disney will continue its policies around masks and social distancing at least through the end of the year.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the company expects its current policies to continue at least through the end of the year and that they’re keeping an eye on how fast and widespread vaccination adoption is as the decide whether and when they increase in-park capacity.

Captain Cook's at the Polynesian

In the end this is a minor wording revision that clarifies an existing policy. It’s not a big change.

Wearing masks and social distancing, along with proper hand washing, are the three legs upon which Walt Disney World has been able to reopen its parks and keep them open.

Even more, with Disneyland potentially opening this summer (maybe even sooner if Disney and friendly legislators have their way) as cases drop in Southern California, making sure the park policies are clear and enforceable is going to be central to that effort as well.

How do you feel about safety at Walt Disney World given the realities of the current health crisis?

4 thoughts on “Disney World clarifies mask guidelines during dining”

  1. With the rise in cases in Florida….and the fear that spring breakers will bring a surge in cases….this is necessary. Just hoping there are managers in every restaurant to deal with the numbers of anti maskers….many commenting in another Disney blog…to enforce this rule rather than servers. My husband is dead….I dont want to be next.

  2. My perception is this clarification is in preparation for these activities to begin more actively at their West Coast parks since this is the advised behavior by California officials.

  3. This is a step too far. I have visited for two extended trips since the Covid outbreak. I have been fully on board and compliant with the mask mandate and other rules Disney has imposed to date. But sitting with my family, that I am sharing a home or hotel room with, for dinner (at a socially distanced table)and having to wear a mask whenever not actively chewing or swallowing is inconsistent with all science we have been educated on. It makes no sense at all given Disney was successful in safely reopening to date.

    Additionally, Barbara is mistaken. Cases are not on the rise in Florida. There has been a 74% drop in daily cases since they peaked on January 1st. The data to back this up can be found here: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/florida/

    All that said I have a lot of dining booked for April that I will need to reconsider based on how strictly this is enforced.

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