By Jaime Fall
So the parks have been opened for a few months now but with opening back up comes big changes that not everyone is a fan of. Can you guess what it is? If you guessed MASKS, you were correct!
No matter where you are in any of the theme parks, masks are now required for all guests (2 & up) upon entry.
I would be kidding you if I said they were going away anytime soon.
Let's talk about masks in the parks
On our most recent trip to Disney, we were pleasantly surprised with how everyone was respectful of others and wore their masks. Disney did a wonderful job of having multiple Cast Members with signs reminding guests to cover both their nose and mouth with their masks. You can remove them for eating and drinking, while stationary or sitting at tables in designated areas. Masks are also required for almost all activities at certain hotels and theme parks, but you can remove them when swimming or in the pool area.
Disney World, Universal and Sea World all have Mask Free Relaxation zones in each of their theme parks.
Hopefully by now, you have been conditioned to wearing a mask at home & for public outings around town. If not, I would suggest taking several walks around your neighborhood, maybe wear it for a bike ride or around the house to prepare yourself for what is ahead when visiting the parks.
Most Tolerable Masks with Florida Heat
The CDC recommends wearing a mask of 2 or more layers for protection from Covid-19.
Thinking about the amount of steps I take in a normal day and wearing a thick mask sent me into a panic immediately. So the search for the perfect mask for the parks began.
We started with cotton masks with a double layer protection and a carbon filter. We found these masks to be cumbersome & couldn't imagine walking all day wearing this.
Etsy was my next stop and we ordered some cute Disney designed masks, but had a hard time matching a size and ear loop that worked for all. While there were adorable fabrics, we found that we had to replace all the elastic bands to get a secure fit that didn't make us feel like our ears were going to rip off or let us fly like Dumbo.
My family found that the masks that worked best for us for breathing easily, walking 5+ miles a day, riding roller coasters, and screaming our lungs out were light weight! We took a variety of masks with us on our trip in September and found disposable 3 layer masks worked the best! The best tip is to make sure and bring multiple masks (at least 2) because the Florida rain and a wet mask make for not so much fun. The only way you will be drying off your mask is by riding Space Mountain 42 times in a row!!
We found a box of 50 kids & adult masks called WeCare Disposable masks on Amazon for $29.99. They come individually wrapped and secure nicely behind the ear with a metal adjustment for the nose bridge. My daughter says to let you know they also come in cute colors and have a variety box for adults.
Kids and Masks
I have 11 year old twins and a 13 year old, who didn't put up a fight when wearing a mask in the parks. However, parents of young children might worry that their littles will remove their masks and put up a fight, but that was not the case on our last trip. Rest assured, that all the children in strollers or holding their parents hands were wearing their masks and didn't complain like most of us adults do. The stationary rule also applies to infants and toddlers when taking a bottle, so be prepared to stop if you are with your little and it's time to eat or drink. The designated rest areas throughout the park made for nice spots to be able to socially distance and remove your face coverings with kids as well.
The best part is that you get to decide when you are ready to re-enter the parks and go out in public. So if you aren't ready for the mask requirements that come along with entering the parks or while riding Hagrid (Universal Orlando-Islands of Adventure) or Slinky Dog Dash (Disney World-Hollywood Studios), you can choose not to go at this time.
I will mention though, my family was pleasantly surprised that the mask wearing really didn't damper our days in the parks. We were still able to scream on Expedition Everest (Disney World-Animal Kingdom), laugh out loud in Muppets 3D (Disney World-Hollywood Studios), and smile while taking our picture in front of the castle.
Can't wait to see you in the parks.
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