ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Disney World theme parks are only a few days away from reopening to the public for the first time in months amid the COVID-19 pandemic and has many new health and safety guidelines in place to protect both staff and guests.
If you’re planning a trip to Disney any time soon, you’ll need to bring your face mask with you and make sure it’s the right type. Disney officials specified Wednesday that all guests must wear face masks that fully cover their nose and mouth that are secured by loops or ties that go around the ears. You can read Disney’s full face mask policy by clicking here.
Officials with the theme park confirmed to News 6 Wednesday that some popular face-covering types like neck gaiters, a type of face covering that does not have loops that secure the mask to the face via ear loops or straps, will not be an acceptable form of a face mask to gain entry into the park.
Other health and safety guidelines Disney has issued include park reservations, temperature screenings before stepping inside the parks, social distancing and limited park capacity.
According to Disney’s website, “the use of face coverings is not a substitute for physical distancing.”
“Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members,” officials said on the park’s website. “Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. Costume masks are not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn, in alignment with our existing rules.”
On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he was not concerned about the theme parks reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that the precautions put in place by the theme parks were “very thorough.”
“Disney, I have no doubt it’s going to be a safe environment,” DeSantis said. “The folks who put a premium on safety, that’s showing you that, you know, we’re able to handle this, have society function still when people go into work, but do it in a way that you take some basic precautions and so we’re really impressed with what Universal has done, and I’ve looked at Disney’s plan ... it’s very very thorough.”
Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will reopen Saturday, July 11, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot will open July 15. The parks were closed in mid-March as coronavirus cases increased in Florida.