Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Disney resort parks based in the United States, including Disney World in Orlando, Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim, California, have required patrons to wear face masks at all times (barring obvious exceptions like eating). This rule has been relaxed and tightened a few times throughout the pandemic as COVID cases come and go, but with COVID cases gradually dropping around the country, this next relaxation could very well be the last one.
Walt Disney World Resorts announced on their website that starting on February 17, fully vaccinated visitors to any US-based Disney park will no longer be required to wear a face mask on park property, though they may continue to do so if they so wish. Those who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to wear a face mask at all times, while all park patrons will need to wear masks while riding enclosed park transportation such as buses and monorails.
BREAKING: Face Masks Optional at Walt Disney World Starting February 17https://t.co/ctglrzKF0W
— WDW News Today (@WDWNT) February 15, 2022
“As we have done since reopening, we’ve been very intentional and gradual in our approach to our COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Based on recent trends and regulatory guidance, Walt Disney World Resort will be making adjustments to these measures, which may continue to change at any time without notice,” the announcement explains.
Business analysts believe that this move is being made to keep up with Universal Orlando’s recent decision to end face mask requirements for vaccinated guests last Saturday.