Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic first started in the United States, masks seem to have been a part of everyday life—and even in our magical lives at Disney parks. For a few glorious months in 2021, the mask mandate was lifted for the vaccinated at Disney World, and we dared to hope that things would return to normal. Then in August of 2021, cases rose due to the Delta variant of COVID, and masks returned. Six months later, there is relief in sight. As cases fall around the country after the Omicron wave, Disney made the announcement that, beginning on February 17, masks are no longer required indoors for fully vaccinated guests. They are required still for unvaccinated guests, including children who are too young to receive the vaccine but are over the age of 2.
Bear in mind that neither Disney park asks for proof of vaccination. Their new policy, similar to Universal’s released not long before Disney’s announcement, is based on an honor system. And despite not requiring them in most indoor locations, masks are still required on all forms of transportation except for the ferryboat—so don’t throw away those pieces of cloth or paper just yet.
During my visit in November, masks were very heavily policed. If you walked into a building without a mask on, the cast members would remind you to put them on (gently, aside from the amazing cast members who work on the Rise of the Resistance. The First Order loved to make sure the masks were on tight!). Although the vacation was still magical even with the masks on, having them off will be a (hopefully permanent) improvement, particularly on rides with 3D glasses like Toy Story Mania. The masks fogged up the glasses badly.
Many people consider the mask mandate being lifted a good thing. But what do you think? Will you plan a trip now that masks are mostly gone? Or does the lack of masks make you nervous? Let us know!