More than six months after Disney World brought back an indoor face mask mandate, face coverings will once become optional for guests starting February 17.
The one exception will be on Disney transportation such as buses, monorails and the Disney Skyliner, where all guests aged 2 and up will still be required to don a face mask.
The policy states that masks are “optional for fully vaccinated guests,” while stating that unvaccinated guests are expected to “continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations, including indoor attractions and theaters.” However, Disney World is not verifying any guest’s vaccination status, so in practice, face masks will be optional for everyone.
Disneyland will also be ditching its indoor mask requirement on February 17 as California ends its statewide mandate.
Like its Florida counterpart, Disneyland will still require guests to wear masks on Disney buses.
Disney World was the last major theme park in Florida to ditch its indoor face mask mandate back in June 2021. It was also the first to reinstate it, doing so at the end of July as the delta variant of COVID-19 fueled a surge in hospitalizations in parts of the U.S, largely among the unvaccinated.
In contrast, Universal Orlando only brought back an indoor face mask requirement in December, after the more-transmissible omicron variant emerged, dropping the mandate again on February 12. SeaWorld parks never required masks again after its initial policy change in May 2021.
Despite rampant anti-mask misinformation during the pandemic — some of which has been promoted by Florida theme park owners — there is clear and substantial scientific evidence that face coverings reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Disney has not been immune to politicization of masks. The Orlando Sentinel reported in March 2021 that there have been instances where guests have been verbally abusive towards Disney employees tasked with enforcing face mask rules, including one incident where Kelly McKin, a 51-year-old man, spat on a security guard who reminded him of the face covering requirement.
This article was updated after publication to reflect that Disneyland is also ending its indoor face mask requirement.