Walt Disney World released its plan for reopening today. And high on the list of concerns: will kids have to wear a mask at Disney? Parents: here’s the 411 on kids wearing masks at Disney this summer, along with some mask wearing tips for kids! Commissioned affiliate links are included in this post.
Walt Disney World Announces Phased Reopening
Exciting news for the Disney fans and Orlando residents: Walt Disney World is back!
They unveiled plans to open the theme parks, resorts, and Disney Stores. If approved by the state government, the new opening day for Walt Disney World is set to be July 11.
The news is exciting, interesting, and also a bit of a bummer for many families hoping to travel to Walt Disney World on vacation.
Let’s face it: you can only enjoy a virtual vacation to the Magic Kingdom so many times!
But some of the restrictions and changes needed for safety are going to impact your usual Disney Vacation. Nothing really “usual” about going this year!
And there are a lot of questions about going to Disney this summer that the announcement answered for us, including the big one: will my kid have to wear a mask at Walt Disney World?
Kids Wearing Masks At Disney: the 411
Walt Disney World expanded on the mask requirement for Guests and Cast Members.
“As we all must work together to promote the health and safety of everyone, cast members as well as guests 2 years of age and older will be required to wear appropriate face coverings in theme parks and common areas of resort hotels.” – Disney Parks Blog
So will your kids need to wear a face-covering to Disney?
The answer is yes- if they over the age of three. A simple reminder: if you bought a ticket for your child to enter Walt Disney World, then they will be required to wear a mask while in the common area of the resort hotels and the theme parks themselves.
Face Covering 411
All Guests ages 2 and up—along with Cast Members—are required to wear face coverings when visiting Walt Disney World Resort. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming.
All face coverings should:
- Fully cover an individual’s nose and mouth and allow the Guest to remain hands-free
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops
- Be made of breathable material, either disposable or reusable
Costume masks are not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn, in alignment with our existing rules.
The use of face coverings is not a substitute for physical distancing.
When Are Face Coverings Not Required At Disney?
Face coverings can be removed when drinking and eating while at the Disney Parks, Resort Hotels, or Disney Springs.
Masks will not be required while swimming. Because: duh.
According to Walt Disney World Senior Vice President of Operations Jim McPhee, Disney is also considering spaces called “relaxation zones,” where Guests in each park could remove the masks for a short period.
McPhee did not give any specifics about locations of these zones, but it sounds like they hear what Guests are saying in regards to the heat and are trying to make accommodations.
9 Tips For Kids Wearing Face Masks At Disney
Let’s face it: this is a confusing time for kids.
And asking them to wear a face mask or face covering that’s hot and uncomfortable is a tough sell. It’s scary, it might make them think of doctors or sick people, and that’s something they just may not be comfortable with at a young age.
However, this is one thing they will need to work on before their Disney vacation if you plan to go this summer.
These tips are general guidelines and tricks that might help ease the anxiety before heading to the Most Magical Place on Earth.
Please note: if your child is not able to wear a mask for medical reasons, this is not medical advice or speaking to those special circumstances. I am not medically trained and cannot say if it is appropriate for your family. Your doctor can best advise you on the best way to work with face-covering requirements.
- Find a mask that fits your child well. If it’s too large, it’s going to slip and gap and that pretty much defeats the purpose! Try face masks that tie around the back of the head rather than ear loops to start. Gaiter style face coverings like these are also easier for kids to manage.
- Get ear savers if you use elastic ear loops. Ear savers are awesome and really help make a mask more comfortable. If you don’t have one at home, try a game piece from Barrel of Monkeys. They are the perfect shape and you probably have them on hand!
- Practice, Practice, Practice! Go ahead and get your kids a mask in advance. Wear them around the house to practice. Since kids might need to wear masks in school in the fall, there’s no time like the present to get them accustomed to the idea of wearing a face-covering indoors.
- Practice more: but do it outside. Even more important for a Disney vacation: practice wearing the face coverings outside. Wear them to the park or on a daily walk. Get your child used to moving and breathing through the covering as you prepare for your Walt Disney World trip. ps- this is a perfect tip for you too!
- Explain in kid-friendly terms why it can help others. If the focus is on them helping keep grandparents or older adults safer, it makes things less scary.
- Sew your kid their own special mask. You will never go wrong if you let them have a say in what their mask looks like!
- Bring a lot of masks. A lot. You are likely going to go through many more than you expect since Walt Disney World is hot as hades during the summer months. Sweaty, gross masks are no fun for anyone, and kids won’t want to put them back on after a break. Pack extras in your bag to make sure they get a clean one when needed.
- Buy paper masks. Word on the street is that the paper masks are the way to go if you or your child are sensitive to heat. Stock up on these to switch out if your cotton Disney face masks get a little too hot.
- Marvel superheroes wear masks: Be a Superhero! Look, I’m not above dropping the Marvel card when needed. Kids love superheroes and folks like Captain America, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Iron-Man are all masked up! I mean, you could even get them a cape to wear to complete the look.
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Patty Holliday has been running Disney since 2011. She knows just about every tip, trick, and hack there is to cover the runDisney Magical Miles at Disney World and Disneyland. She knows every mile isn’t *always* magical- but with training, tips, and a little bit of pixie dust, they can be a lot of fun! You can also find her at noguilttravel.com and noguiltfangirl.com