If you can’t wear a face mask over your nose and mouth while in Walt Disney World’s theme parks, Disney is now asking that you reschedule your visit.
This change to Disney’s face mask policy was first noted by travel journalist Brooke Geiger McDonald.
Walt Disney World has added new language to the website regarding masks, asking guests to reschedule their visit if they are unable to wear an acceptable face covering at all times except in designated areas. #WaltDisneyWorld pic.twitter.com/MylXI86hL0
— Brooke Geiger McDonald (@BrookeGMcDonald) October 16, 2020
While Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis removed COVID-19 restrictions for theme parks in September, some local governments, including Orange County, Florida, still have separate mask mandates in place. In addition, park operators across the state, including Disney, have enforced a face mask requirement since parks began reopening in June, even without a government order to do so.
There is no legal basis to arguments that theme parks’ face covering rules violate individual personal liberties. Health authorities such as the CDC recommend the use of face masks to help prevent people with COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others, despite recent anti-mask claims that misrepresented a CDC study.
Report: Fun Spot Orlando cited 3 times by county for guests not wearing masks
Speaking of face mask rules, Fun Spot America’s Orlando location has been cited three times by Orange County inspectors for not enforcing face covering requirements among guests.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that during three visits by the county’s business compliance strike team in August and September, it found Fun Spot was not in compliance with the park’s mask mandate.
“What we’ve heard from the Fun Spot management is they have young kids that are typically working there,” Tim Boldig, the county’s interim code-enforcement chief, told the Sentinel. “They don’t want to put them in the position to have them enforce that kind of mandate because of the feedback they may get from patrons. Not everybody is on board with the mask mandates, as we all know.”
In August, Theme Park Tribune obtained “secret shopper” reports showing that both Fun Spot guests and employees were often not wearing masks during inspections in June and July, with the Orlando park receiving failing grades overall on COVID-19 safety measures. Earlier, Theme Park Tribune reported that Fun Spot America owner John Arie had shared misinformation and conspiracy theories about face masks and the COVID-19 pandemic on his personal Facebook page.
‘Reopen Disneyland’ rally scheduled for Saturday
A few dozen Disneyland fans plan to rally outside the park Saturday morning, calling on California Gov. Gavin Newsom to allow the resort to reopen.
“We will be standing for all the 28,000 castmembers who were laid off and with more to come if the gates stay closed,” event organizer Natasha Ramirez said on her Facebook page. “Standing for the community and businesses that have been affected. Standing for all the guests from around the world who need joy and inspiration that comes from the magic makers.”
The organizers encouraged rally attendees to bring face masks.
According to KABC-TV, the gathering has ties to conservative political groups who are trying to gain signatures to recall Newsom. Co-organizer Desi d’Amani denied this on the event’s Facebook page.
“This event is not sponsored by the ‘California Patriot Coalition’ nor is the goal political,” she wrote. “In America, we do have a first amendment right to peacefully gather and protest, and we have chosen not to call this a protest because our ultimate goal is to stand in unity with the beloved cast members of Disneyland Resort, the Anaheim community and businesses, and the guests who come from all over the world, no matter what their race, gender, religious preference, political views, etc. All are welcome.”
The lack of reopening guidelines has led to a constant PR battle between Newsom and California theme parks, including Disneyland, over the past month. Newsom said earlier this week that he had sent teams from his administration to inspect other parks’ COVID-19 safeguards, including those at Disney World, to inform California’s own guidelines.
On Thursday, the California Attractions and Parks Association launched a new petition to demand that Newsom allow the state’s theme parks to reopen.
More Theme Park News:
Disneyland reaches return-to-work agreement with 11 unions as reopening debate continues
Universal Orlando begins 4th round of COVID-19 layoffs
Fun Spot Orlando given failing grades on COVID-19 safety in secret shopper reports