I know many people are hesitant to travel right now in general. And one of the main apprehensions I’m hearing is people’s concerns that wearing a mask all day (or making their children wear masks all day) in the theme parks will detract from their enjoyment. I had that fear too. But I’m happy to report- I took one for the team and I survived to tell you all about it. It wasn’t that bad. Here are my top 5 tips for wearing a face mask in the theme parks.
1. Practice wearing your mask at home for small chunks of time. You’ll want to make sure that the masks you have fit properly and comfortably. Remember that some theme parks (the Disney parks in particular) have strict guidelines on what types of masks are and are not approved. For example, handkerchiefs or gator style masks are prohibited. You’ll want a minimum of two masks per day so make sure you have multiple options.
2. Be sure to pack a travel size bottle of your favorite laundry detergent. Be certain that it is a detergent brand you’ve used before. No one wants an allergic reaction putting a damper on your vacation. It was helpful to be able to wash our masks in the sink of our resort every few days so that we’d have some fresh pairs to choose from. Hang them to dry on the clothesline in your shower. Bring a quart size Ziploc baggie to keep in your park bag for dirty masks to keep them separate from the clean ones. I also bought a package of disposable ones for emergencies. TIP: In the Disney parks, there are vending machines where you can purchase single use masks for $2 in a pinch and all theme parks sell adorable cloth masks for about $6 each.
3. Invest in a battery-operated fan for around your neck. Not only is this GREAT for the heat and humidity in Florida, it was a perfect way to get some added air circulation around your mask for more comfortable breathing. Mine was a life saver. I didn’t look very cool, but I CERTAINLY felt cool and comfortable wearing my very own Personal Fan.
4. Take advantage of the “relaxation zones” in the theme parks. These are specially marked areas of the theme parks, usually outdoors, where guests are allowed to remove their masks for a rest. All rest areas are manned by a cast or team member who limits the number of guests in each location so that social distancing measures can be adhered to. Often these areas are well shaded with plenty of seating to aid in social distancing. These areas were a lifesaver on the hottest of our vacation days. We could sit in the shade, remove our masks and rehydrate until we were ready to continue with our day wearing a face mask in the theme parks.
5. My final tip is actually a double bonus for you! Make an advance dining reservation for LUNCH. This will serve to give you a guaranteed, comfortable, prolonged midday break from your mask indoors in the air conditioning. Great, right? Here’s the bonus: with several parks still operating at lower capacities, not all dining venues are open. Finding a seat and waiting for your mobile order can be difficult, particularly during peak times. Don’t count on your favorite quick service location, especially on the weekend or holiday. Instead, make a reservation and have that built in break time as a sure thing!
What I’ve learned from my kids returning to in-person classroom instruction is that we (and especially our kids) can adapt to anything! Mask wearing was definitely a change but NOT an insurmountable one. It did not at all detract from the magic we felt as guests in the parks. The only thing it negatively impacted was my wallet as all theme parks had such inexpensive, adorable mask merch that I couldn’t help but stock up.
The MousekeMoms, Lori, Jennifer and Juliana, are experienced Disney moms who dole out valuable, honest, no holds barred information on their weekly podcast to help you plan your Disneyland, Walt Disney World or Disney Cruise Line vacation.
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