Splash Mountain

For being the largest theme park destination, and one of the top vacation spots in the world, Walt Disney World has proven itself to be incredibly nimble when it comes to constantly adjusting the way it handles health and safety during the pandemic. The parks reopened with temperature checks and mask requirements in place, but since then we've seen new measures added regularly as the parks better understand the virus as well as guest behavior. Previously, one of the ways that Disney encouraged people to keep their masks on was to prevent access to ride photos if guests were not wearing them. However, it now seems the parks have taken things a step further, by adding masks to the faces of anybody that did not have them on.

An image has surfaced through a Disney World fan Facebook group which appears to show a ride vehicle for the Dinosaur attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The front shows four riders, all clearly wearing masks, the pack row shows a pair of riders, and one of them has clearly had a mask digitally put over the lower part of her face. without question, the addition of the mask is a quick photoshop job. What's unclear is if the photoshop was the work of Walt Disney World or a third party having some fun. I reached out to Walt Disney World for comment but have not heard back.

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While I've only found a single instance of this photoshopped mask so far, it had been previously reported that Disney was considering taking this step and so the idea that Disney might do such a thing is certainly there. And it makes some sense. Previously, if there were guests weren't wearing masks while on an attraction, then the photo simply wasn't made available. The potential problem with that is that for the rides where multiple parties are put together in one vehicle, one party ignoring rules meant the other would lose their picture. This method at least allows the picture to exist. And also acts a mildly passive aggressive rebuke to the person or people not wearing a mask.

This is just the latest update to the way Walt Disney World is handling the health and safety restrictions inside the park. Masks are required in order to enter, but the only time that guests are officially allowed to remove them is while eating, and that is only to be done while remaining in one place. That wasn't a rule at Disney World initially, but it was added after it was felt too many people were using food to circumvent mask rules.

This willingness, and ability to be flexible and continuously update things is a big part of the argument Disney has made regarding the fact that there have been no major virus issues in the parks since reopening. Disney tried to convince California to let Disneyland reopen following Walt Disney's World's success, but the state is now headed in the opposite direction. Most of the restaurants at Downtown Disney that were open to outdoor dining recently closed down following tightening restrictions in the state.

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