Walt Disney World implemented health and safety guidelines in 2020, and they remain in place for the time being. Disney is still encouraging physical distancing, and hand sanitizing stations have been installed all over the place. Keeping a distance and washing your hands are highly encouraged.
However, there are a few regulations that are required, one of which is taking a quick temperature test before going through security. The other is wearing a face mask in (nearly) all public places at Disney World.
We’ve been visiting Disney World for the last several months and collected some of our best tips for wearing a mask inside the parks!
Stay Cool and Take Breaks!
The only time a guest may remove their mask is while actively eating and drinking while remaining stationary or at one of the Relaxation Stations. (That means you can’t remove your mask in line and have a snack!)
The masks definitely create heat when traipsing around in the Florida climate and humidity. Many of us are accustomed to wearing masks at the grocery store and other public places, but we suggest practicing wearing your mask for a longer period of time. We might even suggest going on a short jog to see what it feels like when you’re warm and wearing a mask!
And don’t forget to take a lot of breaks! This is a great rule of thumb when visiting Disney World at any time, and it’s especially important when you’re wearing a mask all day! Head to a Relaxation Station or to your resort hotel room so you can remove your mask for a while.
P.S. We actually found that the masks keep us warmer in the cooler months. You may still experience some heat when hiking around the Magic Kingdom all day, however!
Make Sure Your Mask Fits!
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than walking around in a mask that doesn’t fit properly. A mask that’s too tight will strain your ears and might give you a headache. A mask that’s too big will slip down your nose all day, which can feel super annoying. You want to make sure you’re bringing masks that fit just right.
Try buying several ahead of time, and wear each one for long periods of time. You want to feel fairly comfortable in your mask so you can enjoy your day! Disney sells masks in the gift shops if you’re in a pinch. However, the Disney masks are spendier than the brands you’ll find online. And you won’t know if it fits until you remove it from the packaging!
Be Aware of the Mask Regulations
Disney has strict regulations for what counts as a “proper” face mask. These regulations are based on the CDC’s health advisories and have been implemented in the theme parks. Disney does not allow masks with holes or valves. Another stipulation is that gaiters and bandanas are prohibited.
There are few more requirements, like the mask must be made with two layers of breathable material, and it must cover your mouth, nose, and chin. You don’t want to buy a mask only to find that it doesn’t fit the requirements. You can find all of Disney’s mask requirements on the official website here!
Use a Mask Chain and Ear Savers
People have created some nifty tools since we all started wearing masks every day! Our favorite mask accessory (mask-essory?) are ear savers. The small plastic piece attaches to your mask loops and relieves tension at the back of your head. This can be a lifesaver for those of you who are prone to headaches.
We also found mask chains to be handy. The chain attaches to your mask so it will remain hanging around your neck when you remove it. This is really fantastic for kiddos who like to fuss with their face coverings. We also found them convenient when eating. You can quickly de-mask and take a bite without having to find a pocket to shove it in.
Bring an Extra…or Two…or Three!
You don’t know how many masks we’ve seen left abandoned on a bench or drifting toward the bottom of the tracks on Expedition Everest. You’re bound to lose at least one mask on your trip. If you don’t lose them, they will get dirty and need to be cleaned!
Bring at least one or two extra masks in your park bag. These will be your back-up if you drop one on the ground and need a sanitary mask. We also advise bringing some disposable masks to wear while you’re washing masks and other times you may need them. Every Disney World resort has laundry onsite that you can use to clean your masks!
Extra Tip: Bring something to store your masks in! You’ll want to keep your face coverings sanitized and separate from other items in your bag. Pack them in Ziploc bags, an eyeglasses case, or cleaned out pockets.
Masks Must Be Worn on Roller Coasters, Too!
We want to emphasize that masks must be worn everywhere. You cannot remove your mask while riding an attraction. It may be tempting to slip it off while riding Space Mountain, but removing your mask on an attraction is prohibited by Disney.
This is where your hand dandy mask chain and ear savers come into play. The ear savers will help keep your mask in place for the most part. The chain will be there if it slips off. You don’t want to lose your mask in the dark, starry abyss! Note: If your mask falls off on an attraction with an on-ride photo, you won’t receive your PhotoPass photo (and none of the folks on the ride with you will get theirs, either). (If you do receive a photo, it might be edited.)
You May Experience a Few Side Effects
Developing a sore throat or fatigue while wearing a mask is totally normal. Newsweek explains that there’s no need to panic if you’re experiencing a few subtle side effects after wearing a face covering all day. Your throat might feel sore because you’re talking a lot louder than you normally would. Also, the soreness can come from breathing in debris from your mask.
You may also break out with “mascne,” which is caused by a dirty mask, too. Remember to wash your mask every day, and don’t reuse disposable masks. This will cut down on the dirt and debris you’ll inhale. Drink tons of water, too! You’ll need to stay twice as hydrated while wearing a mask and it will help reduce soreness.
Phone Face ID Doesn’t Work with a Mask
Your face identification feature usually doesn’t work while wearing a mask. You may have already noticed this one! It should be reiterated here because your phone is your lifeline at Disney World. You’ll be using it all day to take pictures and for various reasons on the My Disney Experience app.
There are a few things you can do to ease this subtle annoyance. You can create an easy to remember passcode for your lock screen. This should be something you can punch in quickly. You can also use an app like LastPass that saves and generates passwords. This will allow you to easily log into apps that usually ask for your Face ID for access.
Objects Are Closer Than They Appear!
Masks can throw off your depth-perception a little. We’re not used to having something cover our cheeks and nose at all times. This makes it harder for you to navigate around objects anywhere and makes Disney World a GIANT obstacle course. You’re going to encounter large curbs, street lights, foliage, fences, and ropes everywhere you go. You know those trolley tracks on Main Street? They were already a tripping hazard, and now they’re a downright danger if you’re not paying attention!
Remember to take your time while navigating crowds and pathways. This may seem like common sense, but it’s something to be aware of. You don’t want to run over a little kiddo because you can’t see over your nose!
Fogging Will Occur!
Masks tend to fog up glasses under normal conditions. At Disney World, this effect happens way more frequently. You’ll frequently transfer between blazing heat and ice-cold air conditioning. This will cause your glasses to become cloudy. (Think about what it’s like opening a dishwasher while wearing glasses!) We suggest buying some defogger spray for your glasses. This will help reduce condensation throughout the day.
You’ll also experience fogging when wearing 3D glasses on attractions. Our best tip here is to place your glasses over the bridge of your nose. This will help your warm breath circulate down instead of up toward your glasses!
Disney has not announced how long guests will be required to wear a face mask while visiting the theme parks. For now, the policy is still in place. We suggest using our tips to help make your mask-wearing experiencing a little easier!
Do you have any good face mask tips? Let us know in the comments!
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