Back in July, Orange County, Florida Mayor Jerry Demings declared a state of emergency for the county — where Disney World is located — due to a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths. While Demings was not able to set a county-wide mask mandate due to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis passing an executive order banning such actions, Demings did encourage businesses to require customers to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.
In response to the climb in cases and the mayor’s state of emergency, Walt Disney World Resort reinstituted a mask mandate for all indoor locations for all Guests, vaccinated or not. That Walt Disney World protocol still stands in place but on October 27, Mayor Demings announced that he would allow the state of emergency to expire, citing that the county has had under a 5% positivity rate for the past 17 days.
While Disney has not made any official announcements yet, it is possible that they could choose to lift the indoor mask requirement. Disney has been following the lead of Mayor Demings, who in turn follows the CDC in terms of what actions are best in order to keep Guests safe and healthy. With the steep drop in COVID cases and Mayor Demings letting the state of emergency expire, Disney could choose to follow suit and deem that things are safe enough to drop their indoor mandate.
It is also possible that Disney could alter its mandate, but not go to complete elimination. Disney always has the option to drop all mask mandates for those who are fully vaccinated and keep the indoor mandate in place for those who are not vaccinated and children under 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated. Disneyland had a policy like that in place, although they relied on an honor system and were not checking for proof of vaccination.
Disney World’s current mask policy reads:
Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) in all indoor locations, regardless of vaccination status. This includes upon entering and throughout all indoor attractions and indoor queues and in Disney buses, monorail and Disney Skyliner, regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings are optional for Guests in outdoor areas.
Mayor Demings has said that, while he is letting the state of emergency expire, he does say that he will reinstate it in the future if necessary.
Again, it is important to note that Disney World officials have not announced that any changes will be made to its current face mask policy at this time.