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Disneyland Dropping Mask Rule for Vaccinated

Disneyland will end its face mask rule for fully vaccinated guests on June 15, 2021! This post offers details on the quick dropping of pretty much all health safety protocol, what else has changed, exceptions to the new rules, our commentary, and quick answers to frequently asked questions.

This comes as Walt Disney World is poised to end its indoor face mask rule for fully vaccinated guests on the same day. In our post covering that change announcement, we speculated that the timing could be related to California’s reopening. However, we ultimately dismissed that as unlikely, writing “we highly doubt that is the case and do not expect identical rules to debut at Disneyland Resort on that date.” Whoops!

Anyway, rather than following Walt Disney World’s gradual rule relaxation approach, Disneyland is ripping off the bandaid all at once. That’s probably less a deliberate decision and more a consequence of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy tiered reopening plan, which wouldn’t allow such an approach. California is retiring its Blueprint tomorrow, paving the way for the following announcement from Disneyland…

“As more people are vaccinated and the nation is turning the corner on this pandemic, we are encouraged that COVID-19 health and safety guidelines set forth by the CDC and state and local officials are being adjusted and eased.

Keeping with our thoughtful approach to health and safety measures, and taking into consideration these new recommendations, we are making some changes for Guests, effective June 15, 2021 in conjunction with the reopening of California’s economy.”

“We are excited to welcome out-of-state Guests beginning June 15, 2021 at which time we will discontinue the requirement for on-site temperature checks. The state has removed the physical distancing requirements with respect to Guests, so we will allow Guests to self-determine distancing.

Starting June 15, face coverings will no longer be required for fully vaccinated Guests both indoors and outdoors. Guests (ages 2 and up) who are not fully vaccinated must continue wearing face coverings indoors, except when dining.”

“While Guests will not be required to show proof of vaccination, vaccinated Guests will self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.

In addition, all Guests will need to attest that they are aware of the State of California’s strong recommendation that guests be fully vaccinated or receive a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the theme parks when making their Disneyland Resort theme park reservations.”

“When the Toy Story parking lot reopens on June 18, all Guests (ages 2 and up) regardless of vaccination status will be required to wear an appropriate face covering while on the bus transportation from the lot to the parks.

As we continue to welcome Guests back to our parks, we will continue to do so through our reservation system, which was implemented due to capacity limits when the parks reopened.”

OUR COMMENTARY, PREDICTIONS & ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS

Why won’t Disneyland be verifying whether mask-less guests are fully vaccinated? 

Virtually no businesses anywhere are differentiating between vaccinated and unvaccinated guests beyond the honor system policy. It’s simply not worth the hassle and headache. This is true even in California, which has taken a dramatically different approach to reopening than Florida.

Putting the burden of verifying vaccination status on Cast Members would be asking a lot at a time when there’s already a labor shortage and frontline employees everywhere are at about their wits’ end. This would lead to guests getting confrontational and a host of other issues that Disney probably wants to avoid.

What does it mean that guests will need to “self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry” at Disneyland?

Probably no different than the online checkbox guests had to click when making theme park reservations prior to June 15, 2021 that guests were California residents.

At that time, Disneyland stated: “Be sure you have proof of California residency with you as only California residents may visit the parks at this time. You may be asked to show such proof of residency, as necessary.” To our knowledge, this was never verified in-person at the gates. None of our friends who visited reported having their IDs checked.

Given all of the above, it’s our strong suspicion that self-attestation of vaccination to go mask-less will be a similar scenario, with whatever “verification” (air quotes) there is occurring online. Our guess is that upon arrival at the parks, at most, there will be new signage or an overhead spiel in the Esplanade indicating that “by entering Disneyland or Disney California Adventure, guests attest that they are aware of [insert new policy language].”

It seems highly unlikely that guests will be put on the spot and asked anything upon arrival at the parks.

If my kids are under age 12, and thus cannot possibly be vaccinated, will they be required to wear masks? 

Even though it can reasonably be deduced that a small child is unvaccinated, Disneyland probably will not be policing whether they wear masks in light of the above

Instead, all guests will be required to “self-attest” that they’re either vaccinated or will wear masks as necessary. To recycle a line from our Walt Disney World FAQ, I am expected to “self-attest” with Sarah that I’ll eat vegetables for dinner when she leaves me home alone. But when the cat’s away, the mouse will play. (Or in my case, eat a lot of ice cream!)

Why isn’t ___ back? When might it return?

Disneyland has far fewer “moving part” than Walt Disney World, but the same general constraints apply. Namely, staffing–or a lack thereof is probably the answer to your first question and when more Cast Members have been hired and trained is probably the answer to the second question.

I don’t mean to sound glib. However, a shortage of Cast Members is the single biggest explanation for everything Disneyland is (not) doing for the next few months. After reservations started out slowly, bookings have exploded for Disneyland in the last few weeks, with more reservations being released and capacity increased on a regular basis. If anything, the California parks are already better positioned to scale up reopening efforts on a much faster timeline than Walt Disney World. Heck, Avengers Campus debuted roughly one month after Disney California Adventure reopened. Meanwhile, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure has been sitting, completely finished, for months now…and still won’t open until fall.

Planning a Southern California vacation? For park admission deals, read Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets. Learn about on-site and off-site hotels in our Anaheim Hotel Reviews & Rankings. For where to eat, check out our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews. For unique ideas of things that’ll improve your trip, check out What to Pack for Disney. For comprehensive advice, consult our Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide. Finally, for guides beyond Disney, check out our Southern California Itineraries for day trips to Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and tons of other places!

YOUR THOUGHTS

Thoughts on Disneyland essentially ending its face mask rules for the fully vaccinated, with only a few limited exceptions? Do you agree or disagree with the swift relaxation of rules? Surprised by Disney’s rule change? Think Disneyland has more plans to return to normal and scale up entertainment, dining, nighttime spectaculars, and more? Please keep the comments civil. This is not the place for arguing about politics–all such comments will be deleted, irrespective of perspective. You are not going to change anyone’s mind via the comments section on this blog, nor are you going to change Disney’s rules or public policy. If you wish to contest this, rather than yelling into the internet abyss, have your voice heard in a meaningful way by contacting Disney or your local elected officials.

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