Disney World will no longer allow guests to eat and drink while walking because so many patrons were doing so without wearing masks.
The Orlando resort re-opened earlier this month. At first, the rules mandated mask use except while imbibing food or drinks. But it didn’t specify where or how, and so park visitors could munch on a Mickey pretzel and stroll around with faces covered in nothing but cheese dip. This is not ideal, especially as coronavirus cases in Florida are exploding, and the positive test rate has soared from a low of 2.3% in May to well over 18% for most of July. So the rules have been changed.
As Variety points out, the park’s website now says that while, “You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking,” — emphasis on ‘actively’ — you must also “be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing.” The statement reads,
“Face coverings are required for all guests (ages 2 and up) and cast members. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing.”
This is only one facet of Disney’s updated coronavirus guidelines, which also include temperate checks and socially-distanced queues. But it’s one of the hardest rules to enforce, especially on rides. That’s one of the reasons the resort won’t sell you your ride photo if you aren’t wearing a mask. The company has even deployed stormtroopers to remind guests about COVID-19 safety. But so far they haven’t taken the extreme steps seen in Japan, where amusement park patrons aren’t allowed to scream while on a roller coaster.
Editor’s Note: Stay safe by picking up one of our custom face masks. A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares’ COVID-19 Artist Relief fund supporting independent musicians.