Disney Is No Longer Digitally Adding Face Masks to Guests on Ride Photos — Here's Why They Did It in the First Place

Disney park goers wearing masks on Splash Mountain

Walt Disney World will no longer digitally add masks to park-goers who are caught without their faces covered, a move that initially intended to accommodate fellow riders who were following the rules.

The change comes after Walt Disney World News Today reported the theme park started adding “masks” onto the faces of riders who were not wearing them in an effort to allow them to view their ride photos. In July, Disney World said guests who did not properly wear masks on rides would not receive a photo — in line with their policy of denying photos when guests do something unsafe.

But while the photo rule was meant as a consequence to violators of the mask policy, it also impacted guests of a different party on the same ride who were wearing their masks, USA Today noted.

“In response to guest requests, we tested modifying some ride photos,” Disney World told the site in a statement over the weekend. “We are no longer doing this and continue to expect guests to wear face coverings except when actively eating or drinking while stationary.”

The digital enhancements were available on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin at the Magic Kingdom and DINOSAUR in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the ride from which a photo of a digitally masked rider initially gained attention in a fan group on Facebook, according to WDW News Today.  

Disney has required masks to be worn inside the park for guests aged 2 and older at all times except when actively eating, drinking, or swimming since the Florida park reopened in July. Days later, Disney strengthened the policy by not allowing people to walk around while they eat and drink.

The theme park requires masks be made with at least two layers of breathable material; fully cover the nose, mouth, and reach under the chin; and fit “snugly but comfortably” against people’s faces. Neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, and face coverings with valves, mesh material, or holes are not allowed.

In addition to mandating masks, Disney requires advance reservations and performs temperature checks at the gate.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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