Disney World has updated its face mask policies, explicitly banning coverings that include exhalation valves or any mesh material.

“Face coverings are intended to reduce the transfer of respiratory droplets, and exhalation valves and materials with holes do not adequately filter air that is exhaled,” an unnamed Disney spokesperson said in a statement on the change. 

Mesh face masks have become a tool of anti-mask activists who want to mock requirements aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 as arbitrary or unlawful. 

The updated policy, which applies to the Downtown Disney district at the Disneyland Resort, also adds neck gaiters and open-chin triangle bandanas to the list of unacceptable face coverings. 

As it states on the Disney website, face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) must:

  • Be made with at least two layers of breathable material
  • Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the Guest to remain hands-free

The change follows a similar update to the face mask policies Universal Orlando on July 20. In turn, Universal had followed Disney’s lead in specifying that guests had to be “actively” eating or drinking if they’re going to remove their face mask in theme parks outside of designated “relaxation zones.”

Face masks have been required in public areas of Disney World since the resort’s reopening began with Disney Springs in June. 

Despite anti-maskers’ vocal disdain for face mask requirements, a recent Quinnipiac University poll of Florida registered voters found 79 percent supported a statewide mask mandate. As Theme Park Tribune has previously reported, there appears to be no legal basis for challenging face mask requirements enforced at private businesses such as Disney World.

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