Over the weekend Walt Disney World opened two of the resort's four theme parks, with the other two looking to reopen in just a few days. The parks are opening to a very limited number of guests and other steps are being taken to make the resort as safe as possible, including guests being given temperature checks at the gate and face coverings required for everybody inside the parks.
One of the big question marks about the actual implementation of these policies is how they would actually be enforced once all the guests were in the parks. How exactly would Walt Disney World make sure that everybody keeps their masks on? Well, there's one step being taken that will certainly help convince many guests to do so. It seems that ride photos will not be available for any guests that do not wear their masks on attractions.
A large number of the rides at Walt Disney World take automated photos that guests can collect on their ticket or MagicBand and purchase either separately or as part of the PhotoPass service, but if you take your mask off while on the ride, you'll find your photo missing when you get to the end of the attraction.
A Disney spokesperson told CNN that the existing Disney policy states that ride photos may not be available if guests are seen doing anything on the ride deemed "unsafe" and under the circumstances, that includes removing masks. Photos can also be withheld if guests are seen in the pictures doing anything deemed obscene, so no giving the camera a middle finger.
It's a simple thing, and to be sure, and it's not going to convince everybody to keep their mask on, some people just won't care, but every little thing is going to help. And there will certainly be people for whom this is all the encouragement needed. If you spent the money for the PhotoPass service, you're going to want every picture you can get. If you want to have pictures of your Disney World vacation, they're going to include you in a mask. The only downside is that on many attractions ride vehicles are full of multiple parties of people and so potentially guests that are following the rules can lose their pictures because people they don't even know were not.
For the most part, it seems like the first batch of guests who visited Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom over the weekend were largely in compliance with the rules and everybody was keeping their masks on when necessary. If there were any individual issues, they were handled with little fanfare. Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot are set to open to guests on July 15.