For more than a year the world has been trying to navigate a global pandemic as best we know how. Everybody is trying to figure what the best practices are to keep themselves and everybody else safe while, maybe, living life in a vaguely normal way. And, if we're lucky we're still able to find enjoyment from the things we love. For many this means visiting theme parks like Walt Disney World, which are very different places than they once were. There are a host of new rules that people must abide by and it makes the suspension of disbelief that Disney Parks are usually so good at that much more difficult to achieve.
And certainly, navigating the pandemic is more difficult for some than for others. Recently, an Instagram post by rapper Joey Bada$$ went viral when he posted a video of a dressing down he gave to some Walt Disney World security people after they would not let his autistic cousin enter the park without a mask.
The situation is, of course, complicated. Walt Disney World's policy is that all people over the age of two must wear a mask inside the park. While the child in question apparently has some difficulty wearing a mask, and may potentially have difficulty understanding the situation, that's not sufficient for an exception to the policy. There really aren't any exceptions to the Walt Disney World policy. If you're over 2-years-old and can't wear a mask for whatever reason, the only available option is not to go to Walt Disney World.
And as frustrating as that likely is for many people, it's also understandable. Even at the very beginning of the pandemic when mask rules were first being enforced we saw people who were so against the idea that they created little cards claiming that that the Americans with Disabilities Act allowed them to circumvent the rule. Even now, Disney World Cast Members must deal with people trying to flout the rules on a regular basis. If exceptions were made here you can be sure that some would take that as license to ignore the policy themselves, and then the entire system breaks down.
Nobody wants to see a kid who can't enjoy Walt Disney World. It's frustrating to be sure. And if this was truly a case of only granting a single exception to the rules, it likely wouldn't have been that big a deal. But it doesn't work that way. These are the rules as they exist today and we all just have to do our best to deal with them.
The good news is these rules won't last forever. As vaccinations increase things are progressing forward, however slowly that may be. Disney's CEO has said he does not expect the pandemic rules like masks and social distancing to still be in place by the beginning of 2022 and there are indications that Walt Disney World is planning (or at least hoping) for big changes by this fall. We'll get there. And when we do, we can all enjoy Walt Disney World again.