Disney World is relaxing one of their pandemic guidelines. Until now, guests have been required to wear face masks at all times while visiting the four parks at Disney World with a few exceptions. It was permitted to take masks off while eating or drinking and standing still, or while in a designated relaxation station (where all guests can take masks off). Disney has added a new exception: while taking pictures outdoors.

Here’s Disney’s new mask policy, as listed on its website:

Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members, including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may temporarily remove your face covering while actively eating, drinking or taking an outdoor photo, but you must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing during this time.

This policy was supposed to go into effect tomorrow, April 8. However, many are reporting that PhotoPass photographers are already allowing guests to take their masks off for their pictures today.

What’s behind this decision? Some have speculated that Disney has received many complaints about this mask policy, as guests understandably don’t want all of their vacation photos to feature their faces hidden. The state of the pandemic also probably plays a big role, as millions of people get vaccinated each day. While I’ve seen a lot of consternation over this decision on Twitter, I think this is a good decision, even as someone who is a big proponent of masks and has been on the more cautious side when it comes to the pandemic. As the numbers get better and more people are vaccinated, it makes sense for Disney to gradually relax rules rather than just get rid of them all at once. Needing to wear a mask while taking a photo and physically distanced from others outdoors makes sense as one of the first rules to go, as it does not seem like a way that could spread the virus based on what we know now.

What do you think about this change in Disney World’s mask guidelines? Let me know in the comments below.

Image Copyright Disney. Note: You might be wondering why this story features a picture of professional golfer Tony Finau at Animal Kingdom. It’s Masters week, and as a huge golf fan, I couldn’t help myself. 

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James is a lifelong Disney Parks fan. While at the parks, he loves finding new details, learning more about Disney World history, and taking pictures. His favorite WDW attractions include Spaceship Earth, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.
James is a filmmaker and writer based in Los Angeles.

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