Disney Parks faces backlash for requiring guests to wear masks: 'Masks should be optional'

Justin Chan

A recent blog post from Disney Parks announcing the re-opening of Disney Springs sparked criticism from several readers who learned that they would need to wear face masks when visiting the shopping center.

On May 16, Disney Parks notified the public that it would conduct a phased reopening of Disney Springs in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., as the U.S. continues to grapple with the global health crisis. In its blog post, the Disney subsidiary outlined several measures, including encouraging cashless transactions, carrying out temperature screenings and limiting the number of guests visiting the property.

Disney Parks also noted that it would require all visitors 3 years and older, along with cast members and third-party operating-participant employees, to wear face coverings.

“This is an important part of protecting both our guests and our cast,” the post explained. “Please be sure you have an ample amount of face coverings for yourself and your party before you arrive, as you’ll need to wear them over your nose and mouth at all times (except when sitting at a dining table).”

That rule apparently didn’t sit well with several readers, who fired back at Disney Parks. A Twitter user managed to compile a number of the responses, which, in turn, have gone viral.

“The amount of carnage that went down in Disney parks blog: I am literally at a lost for words,” the user tweeted.

Among the responses was one that read, “I’m sorry but I and my family will not be coming to Disney Springs with these ridiculous rules especially wearing of the mask. Masks should be optional. The mask seems to be coming more of a badge of honor and a feel good thing to do than a medical necessity.”

Another one read, “No thanks. Masks and temperature checks are not very magical no matter how you try to paint it. Plus masks are meant to be worn for short periods of time. Not all day long. Just not good for you. I see people suffering from heat stroke all the time at Disney on a normal summer day.”

Many Twitter users have since condemned the critics who posted on Disney Parks’ blog.

“People are complaining about wearing masks and getting their temperature checked because it’s ‘not very magical’ and ‘doesn’t fit with the Disney vibe,’ like they don’t get checked for weapons and walk through a metal detector on their way into the park,” one person tweeted. “Safety first.”

“Disney will be much safer without those people … Protect the workers, ” another wrote.

Though it initially discouraged the public from wearing face masks amid the current health crisis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings. Doing so can help “slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others,” the agency points out.

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