If you’re planning to vacation to Disney World this summer, you and your family don’t need to mask up to enjoy all things Mickey Mouse. When you’re outdoors, that is. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida no longer requires park goers to wear masks outside.
As of May 15, masks and face coverings are now “optional in outdoor common areas” for guests, according to the theme park. However, guests "must wear face coverings from the entrances at all attractions, theaters or transportation and throughout those experiences,” the company stated on its WDW website. Additionally, face masks are still required for cast members and “in all indoor locations, except when actively eating or drinking while stationary and maintaining appropriate physical distancing.”
The updated rules follow the new COVID-19 guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). On May 13, the CDC announced that people who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks indoors or outdoors. Disney World, however, did not specify that guests need to be vaccinated to ditch their masks outdoors.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that Disney World has already started to raise its capacity caps and relax some COVID restrictions. “We don’t think we’re going to have any problem at all,” Chapek said during a Q&A session when asked if there was concern about heavy crowds. “That is not something that keeps any of us up at night.” He also called vaccines a “game-changer.”
Other Florida theme parks have followed Disney’s move after the new CDC guidelines. Universal Orlando has also dropped its outdoor mask rules, but the masks must be worn indoors. SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens in Tampa have also dropped their outdoor mask mandate, but only for people who are fully vaccinated.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.