Tasting your way around the world at Epcot, strolling the Magic Kingdom while cooling off with a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar, dashing to the next ride at Hollywood Studios with a grilled three-cheese sandwich in hand—forget it all for the time being. Disney World has banned guests from eating and drinking while walking through its theme parks.
The new rule is part of a revision to Disney World’s policy on face masks, requiring the use of face coverings at all times except for eating and drinking. However, in order to eat and drink, one “should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing,” states the Disney World website. You’re allowed to eat but you must do so while sitting or standing—not moving.
According to several reports, the change in policy is intended to crack down on visitors using food as a loophole to keep their masks off while making their way through the parks. It seems too many people believed that holding an ice cream cone absolved them from covering their nose and mouth.
So, what if you’re hungry? Disney World has designated a number of mask-free, relaxation zones where people can socially distance and enjoy a bite with family or friends. They’re mostly outdoors, frequently cleaned and equipped with sanitizing stations. Find these at Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom, Galaxy's Edge at Hollywood Studios and other designated locations throughout the parks.
All of these extra precautions are also due to Florida’s continuous spike. On Monday, the state was on a five-day streak of reporting more than 10,000 positive cases. While Disney World remains open and committed to ensuring the safety of its patrons, some of you might not be ready to pay a visit to Mickey just yet. For you, we suggest making Disney’s famous churros (or any of your favorite park treats) for a taste of the happiest place on earth at home.
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