Questions about masking? I wore an N95 mask for 7 days in 90 degree heat while pushing a wheelchair - here's what I learned.

tentaguasu

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
I've seen a few threads here and there wondering about masking in the parks. My family had questions and concerns, too, so I thought I'd share my experience. I'll do it in Q&A form, just to organize my ideas.

TLDR: Did wearing masks significantly impact the fun of Disney?

The short answer is "no." We had a blast and would be comfortable doing Disney in a mask again. I worried that it would rob some of the joy of the trip - everything from feeling overwhelmed in the hot, humid conditions to not being able to smell Pirates of the Caribbean. But we had a blast. I would 100% do Disney with a mask again.

Let's put it this way - it rained off and on the last day of our trip. That was a bigger inconvenience than the masks were. In other words, I'd pick a sunny day at Disney wearing a mask over a rainy day at Disney without a mask. (And I'd be happy to do Disney in the rain).

That said, everyone has a different experience or feeling. What I say below was my experience, your mileage my vary.

What was the weather like?

We started the week mid-80s and ended the second week in the mid-90s. Obviously, the hotter it got, the worse masking was, but it wasn't really that bad at any point, IMO. Both my wife and I agreed that masks didn't make us feel hotter overall, though of course that part of your face is going to get hot and sweaty. Maybe think of it this way - let's say it's really hot and humid and you have to wear those thick tennis wristbands. Your wrists are going to get hot and sweaty, and it's a huge relief to pull them off. But it's not like your overall body temperature is going to shoot up due to having your wrists covered up.

What about breathing?

My wife struggled a bit more, I was mostly fine. But she got used to it and agreed that it was still a great time. I've heard that it's a lot about training your body to be OK with a mask. I can't confirm this scientifically (both because I don't know for sure, but also because I don't want to run afoul of forum rules), but I've heard that your body immediately reacts negatively to a mask because, basically, it doesn't feel right. It suggests to your body that you're not able to breath freely, and all of the natural "freak out" mechanisms kick in. But once your body figures out that it's not actually in trouble, it stops caring so much. I have to use masks for work, as did my younger son for school. Both of us were fine on day 1. My wife was unused to masks, so she struggled for the first few days, but was more adapted as the trip went on. In short, I'd spend time "practicing" with a mask for long periods of time before going.

What about, uh, sweat?

Prodigious. Lots of sweat. But that doesn't bother me too much personally. I'd hold my breath, take of the mask for a moment, wipe away sweat, refit the mask, and breath again. I changed masks once or twice a day.

Were you using a mask the whole time?

Mostly. We would drop the mask when we were outside and not around many people. We wore it religiously 100% of the time when in lines, on rides, or in crowded areas. We'd rest a bit by taking them off when crowds were thin or by stealing off to a quiet corner to rest a bit. We'd re-mask if crowds were getting denser. (I'd just pull my mask down and keep it around my neck.) Also, our mask usage was strongest when indoors in AC, so that helps.

What about eating?

100% outdoors. We always ate outdoors and always tried to say distant from people. I'd say 20% of the time we were at a table with another table nearby, 50% of the time were were at a table with at least an empty table between and 30% of the time we were able to find a place that was at least 20 feet from anyone else. There are more findable "dead spots" than you'd think if you're focused on finding them.

So overall mask usage?

Probably 70% of the day, give or take, sometimes hours at a time.

What kind of masks did you use?

I was full bore, N95 super sealed mask. We're very serious about masking, so this was as close to "hospital grade, no gap" masking as you're going to get without a professional fit. I won't post specifics here to avoid breaking any rules, but I can DM you the specific type I used if you're interested. My wife hates the N95 because of the head straps, so she used a well fitted Korean KN95.

What's that wheelchair thing?!

My wife has some physical limitations, and I'm a cheapskate, so I rented a wheelchair and pushed her through the parks. So I was not only wearing a tightly fitted N95 mask, I was pushing a person in a wheelchair all day. According my my son's Apple watch, we did about 11 miles a day, and I pushed her the whole way for 7 days. So just saying that it's doable.

What kind of physical shape are you in?

It's a mix. I'm in my early 50s, so no spring chicken anymore, but I'm in pretty good shape. I'm overweight, but not by much. Just a bit of a middle-age extra around the midsection. I bike about 20 miles a week and walk another 10, do 12 pushups and curls a day. Just enough to keep a bit of old-man muscle definition. So solid condition, but nothing spectacular.

What else did you do?


We did a few things. We rented a car so we were doing our own transportation. We avoided closed in spaces when possible. So, for instance, we took the ferry to MK rather than the monorail. More wide open, more aired out. We never ate indoors. I decided to pay for Genie+ for the whole trip to reduce the amount of lines I was in. I definitely waited in some for a while (we did RotR twice in end-of-day standby, and Remy twice at rope drop twice), but that helped reduce the times. It was probably overkill, but that was a choice we made.

Was anyone else wearing a mask? Did you feel like a weirdo?

Masks are definitely not common anymore. But they're not invisible either. I'd say maybe 25% of cast members are wearing them and maybe 5% of guests. I did not feel like a weirdo. Then again, I have a pretty low "self consciousness" index. I'm not saying that's a virtue, it's just my nature not to care very much what others think. On the other hand, my two sons are more self-conscious, and neither of them had an issue. One was worried, but after an hour or two in the park, he was fine.

Also, let's be honest, Disney is full of... let's call ourselves "unique" people. I think part of the Disney ethos is "live and let live" and that was my experience.

Did you get any nasty comments? Ugly looks?

Not a single one. That said, I'm a 50+ dude who is 6 feet tall, weighs about 210, is fairly strong looking, and have a natural RBF, so I'm not an obvious easy target, so probably not the person most likely to get a nasty comment. Still, I'd say 99% of people are 100% invested in their own fun. I maybe got a couple of looks here and there, maybe? But really not noticeable. In fact, I'd say I got a few more looks from others wearing masks, kind of a "team mask" solidarity look.

I cannot tell you whether what we did was "safe" (nor would I speculate on that here), but I can say that doing a mask - even a tight fitting one on 95 degree days and pushing a wheelchair for 11 miles a day - was 100% doable and 100% worth it.

Your experience may not match mine, but we had a blast and would do it again in a heartbeat.

I hope that helps anyone else who is Covid cautious and uncertain about the mask experience at Disney.
 

skywaywaver

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 27, 2003
I appreciate you sharing your experience. Even up here in NY, we are definitely in the minority when wearing masks out and about, and from my parents' experiences living in FL, I know mask wearing in Florida is not nearly as done. However, we have committed to wearing masks while at Disney in August. I was worried about it but it seems like we'll be hot and sweaty with or without a mask, so I'd rather be hot and sweaty with a mask in Disney than hot and sweaty without a mask at home ;)
 

k5xs

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
I've seen a few threads here and there wondering about masking in the parks. My family had questions and concerns, too, so I thought I'd share my experience. I'll do it in Q&A form, just to organize my ideas.

TLDR: Did wearing masks significantly impact the fun of Disney?

The short answer is "no." We had a blast and would be comfortable doing Disney in a mask again. I worried that it would rob some of the joy of the trip - everything from feeling overwhelmed in the hot, humid conditions to not being able to smell Pirates of the Caribbean. But we had a blast. I would 100% do Disney with a mask again.

Let's put it this way - it rained off and on the last day of our trip. That was a bigger inconvenience than the masks were. In other words, I'd pick a sunny day at Disney wearing a mask over a rainy day at Disney without a mask. (And I'd be happy to do Disney in the rain).

That said, everyone has a different experience or feeling. What I say below was my experience, your mileage my vary.

What was the weather like?

We started the week mid-80s and ended the second week in the mid-90s. Obviously, the hotter it got, the worse masking was, but it wasn't really that bad at any point, IMO. Both my wife and I agreed that masks didn't make us feel hotter overall, though of course that part of your face is going to get hot and sweaty. Maybe think of it this way - let's say it's really hot and humid and you have to wear those thick tennis wristbands. Your wrists are going to get hot and sweaty, and it's a huge relief to pull them off. But it's not like your overall body temperature is going to shoot up due to having your wrists covered up.

What about breathing?

My wife struggled a bit more, I was mostly fine. But she got used to it and agreed that it was still a great time. I've heard that it's a lot about training your body to be OK with a mask. I can't confirm this scientifically (both because I don't know for sure, but also because I don't want to run afoul of forum rules), but I've heard that your body immediately reacts negatively to a mask because, basically, it doesn't feel right. It suggests to your body that you're not able to breath freely, and all of the natural "freak out" mechanisms kick in. But once your body figures out that it's not actually in trouble, it stops caring so much. I have to use masks for work, as did my younger son for school. Both of us were fine on day 1. My wife was unused to masks, so she struggled for the first few days, but was more adapted as the trip went on. In short, I'd spend time "practicing" with a mask for long periods of time before going.

What about, uh, sweat?

Prodigious. Lots of sweat. But that doesn't bother me too much personally. I'd hold my breath, take of the mask for a moment, wipe away sweat, refit the mask, and breath again. I changed masks once or twice a day.

Were you using a mask the whole time?

Mostly. We would drop the mask when we were outside and not around many people. We wore it religiously 100% of the time when in lines, on rides, or in crowded areas. We'd rest a bit by taking them off when crowds were thin or by stealing off to a quiet corner to rest a bit. We'd re-mask if crowds were getting denser. (I'd just pull my mask down and keep it around my neck.) Also, our mask usage was strongest when indoors in AC, so that helps.

What about eating?

100% outdoors. We always ate outdoors and always tried to say distant from people. I'd say 20% of the time we were at a table with another table nearby, 50% of the time were were at a table with at least an empty table between and 30% of the time we were able to find a place that was at least 20 feet from anyone else. There are more findable "dead spots" than you'd think if you're focused on finding them.

So overall mask usage?

Probably 70% of the day, give or take, sometimes hours at a time.

What kind of masks did you use?

I was full bore, N95 super sealed mask. We're very serious about masking, so this was as close to "hospital grade, no gap" masking as you're going to get without a professional fit. I won't post specifics here to avoid breaking any rules, but I can DM you the specific type I used if you're interested. My wife hates the N95 because of the head straps, so she used a well fitted Korean KN95.

What's that wheelchair thing?!

My wife has some physical limitations, and I'm a cheapskate, so I rented a wheelchair and pushed her through the parks. So I was not only wearing a tightly fitted N95 mask, I was pushing a person in a wheelchair all day. According my my son's Apple watch, we did about 11 miles a day, and I pushed her the whole way for 7 days. So just saying that it's doable.

What kind of physical shape are you in?

It's a mix. I'm in my early 50s, so no spring chicken anymore, but I'm in pretty good shape. I'm overweight, but not by much. Just a bit of a middle-age extra around the midsection. I bike about 20 miles a week and walk another 10, do 12 pushups and curls a day. Just enough to keep a bit of old-man muscle definition. So solid condition, but nothing spectacular.

What else did you do?

We did a few things. We rented a car so we were doing our own transportation. We avoided closed in spaces when possible. So, for instance, we took the ferry to MK rather than the monorail. More wide open, more aired out. We never ate indoors. I decided to pay for Genie+ for the whole trip to reduce the amount of lines I was in. I definitely waited in some for a while (we did RotR twice in end-of-day standby, and Remy twice at rope drop twice), but that helped reduce the times. It was probably overkill, but that was a choice we made.

Was anyone else wearing a mask? Did you feel like a weirdo?

Masks are definitely not common anymore. But they're not invisible either. I'd say maybe 25% of cast members are wearing them and maybe 5% of guests. I did not feel like a weirdo. Then again, I have a pretty low "self consciousness" index. I'm not saying that's a virtue, it's just my nature not to care very much what others think. On the other hand, my two sons are more self-conscious, and neither of them had an issue. One was worried, but after an hour or two in the park, he was fine.

Also, let's be honest, Disney is full of... let's call ourselves "unique" people. I think part of the Disney ethos is "live and let live" and that was my experience.

Did you get any nasty comments? Ugly looks?

Not a single one. That said, I'm a 50+ dude who is 6 feet tall, weighs about 210, is fairly strong looking, and have a natural RBF, so I'm not an obvious easy target, so probably not the person most likely to get a nasty comment. Still, I'd say 99% of people are 100% invested in their own fun. I maybe got a couple of looks here and there, maybe? But really not noticeable. In fact, I'd say I got a few more looks from others wearing masks, kind of a "team mask" solidarity look.

I cannot tell you whether what we did was "safe" (nor would I speculate on that here), but I can say that doing a mask - even a tight fitting one on 95 degree days and pushing a wheelchair for 11 miles a day - was 100% doable and 100% worth it.

Your experience may not match mine, but we had a blast and would do it again in a heartbeat.

I hope that helps anyone else who is Covid cautious and uncertain about the mask experience at Disney.
Your experience mirrors ours three weeks ago (including my pushing my DW in a wheelchair). Definitely doable.

Thanks for posting that.
 

Polychrome

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 25, 2022
I've seen a few threads here and there wondering about masking in the parks. My family had questions and concerns, too, so I thought I'd share my experience. I'll do it in Q&A form, just to organize my ideas.

TLDR: Did wearing masks significantly impact the fun of Disney?

The short answer is "no." We had a blast and would be comfortable doing Disney in a mask again. I worried that it would rob some of the joy of the trip - everything from feeling overwhelmed in the hot, humid conditions to not being able to smell Pirates of the Caribbean. But we had a blast. I would 100% do Disney with a mask again.

Let's put it this way - it rained off and on the last day of our trip. That was a bigger inconvenience than the masks were. In other words, I'd pick a sunny day at Disney wearing a mask over a rainy day at Disney without a mask. (And I'd be happy to do Disney in the rain).

That said, everyone has a different experience or feeling. What I say below was my experience, your mileage my vary.

What was the weather like?

We started the week mid-80s and ended the second week in the mid-90s. Obviously, the hotter it got, the worse masking was, but it wasn't really that bad at any point, IMO. Both my wife and I agreed that masks didn't make us feel hotter overall, though of course that part of your face is going to get hot and sweaty. Maybe think of it this way - let's say it's really hot and humid and you have to wear those thick tennis wristbands. Your wrists are going to get hot and sweaty, and it's a huge relief to pull them off. But it's not like your overall body temperature is going to shoot up due to having your wrists covered up.

What about breathing?

My wife struggled a bit more, I was mostly fine. But she got used to it and agreed that it was still a great time. I've heard that it's a lot about training your body to be OK with a mask. I can't confirm this scientifically (both because I don't know for sure, but also because I don't want to run afoul of forum rules), but I've heard that your body immediately reacts negatively to a mask because, basically, it doesn't feel right. It suggests to your body that you're not able to breath freely, and all of the natural "freak out" mechanisms kick in. But once your body figures out that it's not actually in trouble, it stops caring so much. I have to use masks for work, as did my younger son for school. Both of us were fine on day 1. My wife was unused to masks, so she struggled for the first few days, but was more adapted as the trip went on. In short, I'd spend time "practicing" with a mask for long periods of time before going.

What about, uh, sweat?

Prodigious. Lots of sweat. But that doesn't bother me too much personally. I'd hold my breath, take of the mask for a moment, wipe away sweat, refit the mask, and breath again. I changed masks once or twice a day.

Were you using a mask the whole time?

Mostly. We would drop the mask when we were outside and not around many people. We wore it religiously 100% of the time when in lines, on rides, or in crowded areas. We'd rest a bit by taking them off when crowds were thin or by stealing off to a quiet corner to rest a bit. We'd re-mask if crowds were getting denser. (I'd just pull my mask down and keep it around my neck.) Also, our mask usage was strongest when indoors in AC, so that helps.

What about eating?

100% outdoors. We always ate outdoors and always tried to say distant from people. I'd say 20% of the time we were at a table with another table nearby, 50% of the time were were at a table with at least an empty table between and 30% of the time we were able to find a place that was at least 20 feet from anyone else. There are more findable "dead spots" than you'd think if you're focused on finding them.

So overall mask usage?

Probably 70% of the day, give or take, sometimes hours at a time.

What kind of masks did you use?

I was full bore, N95 super sealed mask. We're very serious about masking, so this was as close to "hospital grade, no gap" masking as you're going to get without a professional fit. I won't post specifics here to avoid breaking any rules, but I can DM you the specific type I used if you're interested. My wife hates the N95 because of the head straps, so she used a well fitted Korean KN95.

What's that wheelchair thing?!

My wife has some physical limitations, and I'm a cheapskate, so I rented a wheelchair and pushed her through the parks. So I was not only wearing a tightly fitted N95 mask, I was pushing a person in a wheelchair all day. According my my son's Apple watch, we did about 11 miles a day, and I pushed her the whole way for 7 days. So just saying that it's doable.

What kind of physical shape are you in?

It's a mix. I'm in my early 50s, so no spring chicken anymore, but I'm in pretty good shape. I'm overweight, but not by much. Just a bit of a middle-age extra around the midsection. I bike about 20 miles a week and walk another 10, do 12 pushups and curls a day. Just enough to keep a bit of old-man muscle definition. So solid condition, but nothing spectacular.

What else did you do?

We did a few things. We rented a car so we were doing our own transportation. We avoided closed in spaces when possible. So, for instance, we took the ferry to MK rather than the monorail. More wide open, more aired out. We never ate indoors. I decided to pay for Genie+ for the whole trip to reduce the amount of lines I was in. I definitely waited in some for a while (we did RotR twice in end-of-day standby, and Remy twice at rope drop twice), but that helped reduce the times. It was probably overkill, but that was a choice we made.

Was anyone else wearing a mask? Did you feel like a weirdo?

Masks are definitely not common anymore. But they're not invisible either. I'd say maybe 25% of cast members are wearing them and maybe 5% of guests. I did not feel like a weirdo. Then again, I have a pretty low "self consciousness" index. I'm not saying that's a virtue, it's just my nature not to care very much what others think. On the other hand, my two sons are more self-conscious, and neither of them had an issue. One was worried, but after an hour or two in the park, he was fine.

Also, let's be honest, Disney is full of... let's call ourselves "unique" people. I think part of the Disney ethos is "live and let live" and that was my experience.

Did you get any nasty comments? Ugly looks?

Not a single one. That said, I'm a 50+ dude who is 6 feet tall, weighs about 210, is fairly strong looking, and have a natural RBF, so I'm not an obvious easy target, so probably not the person most likely to get a nasty comment. Still, I'd say 99% of people are 100% invested in their own fun. I maybe got a couple of looks here and there, maybe? But really not noticeable. In fact, I'd say I got a few more looks from others wearing masks, kind of a "team mask" solidarity look.

I cannot tell you whether what we did was "safe" (nor would I speculate on that here), but I can say that doing a mask - even a tight fitting one on 95 degree days and pushing a wheelchair for 11 miles a day - was 100% doable and 100% worth it.

Your experience may not match mine, but we had a blast and would do it again in a heartbeat.

I hope that helps anyone else who is Covid cautious and uncertain about the mask experience at Disney.
Thank you for posting this !! We are planning on a trip in the fall and plan to wear masks as you did. Was a bit concerened if there would be any push back from people not wearing masks, glad to hear that was not the case for you & your family.
 

DisneyFive

When is the 3:00 parade?
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
More power to you. I fully support those who want to mask. There are many reasons you may want/need to.

We won’t be wearing masks.

Fortunately we are healthy and that’s what vaccinations and boosters are for anyway. (Which we all had)

We were in the parks last summer, right towards the start of our vacation when they re-implemented the mask mandate for indoor spaces. It was a downer but it did not make or break our vacation. We still had an amazing time.

Looking forward to our trip in July without them.
Dan
 

tentaguasu

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Thanks for the info, we're going in August and plan to wear masks indoors and eat outdoors. Would you say people space out on lines or it's smushed together filling all spaces like the old days.

Absolutely smushed. I'd assume that it's pretty much identical to the "old days."

Did you find any table service restaurants where you could request to sit outside?

That was a bit dicey. I know there are a few, but not many. I think you can find a list of places with outdoor seating online.

I actually had a few reservations and then asked to carry out the food, and wasn't allowed to. At Sanaa and Kona Cafe, they ended up cancelling my reservation and having me order from the "To Go" app. Whispering Canyon just (very nicely) turned me away. I had planned to order some food and carry it outside, but they wouldn't allow it.

I suppose one could go, sit down, order, and then ask for it to be boxed, but that's definitely not what they want you doing and could cause some issues.

In the end, I found that in most parks (other than MK) there were plenty of nice, interesting dining options that worked for us. Not fancy, but certainly things like the food at Docking Bay 7 are a cut above burgers and nuggets.
 

Feberin

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 6, 2014
We did KF94s but weren't as good as you were taking them off at outside a lot and eating inside twice. Out of six of us only my one daughter has tested positive. We'll probably all get it now but the rest of us avoided it at Disney.
 

daisylovesdisney

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 26, 2021
People are definitely smushing together. They are asking people to fill in all available space.

Absolutely smushed. I'd assume that it's pretty much identical to the "old days."



That was a bit dicey. I know there are a few, but not many. I think you can find a list of places with outdoor seating online.

I actually had a few reservations and then asked to carry out the food, and wasn't allowed to. At Sanaa and Kona Cafe, they ended up cancelling my reservation and having me order from the "To Go" app. Whispering Canyon just (very nicely) turned me away. I had planned to order some food and carry it outside, but they wouldn't allow it.

I suppose one could go, sit down, order, and then ask for it to be boxed, but that's definitely not what they want you doing and could cause some issues.

In the end, I found that in most parks (other than MK) there were plenty of nice, interesting dining options that worked for us. Not fancy, but certainly things like the food at Docking Bay 7 are a cut above burgers and nuggets.
Oh well, was hoping for some proper personal space on lines now, I guess I will have to prepare myself for getting smushed again.

We enjoy a lot of the WDW counter service restaurants, happy to add some new ones to our list this time around. Just hoping we can find some shady seats nearby.
 

undertheseas

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 16, 2004
Thank you tentaguasu and everyone for sharing their experiences! DH and I are both high risk and planning on wearing masks when we go in August. DD continues to wear a mask all the time at school including during PE so she's used to it. DH and I work fully remote so except for a trip to the store, I never have to wear one. I'm not in the best shape either so I've been worried about it. Thank you all!
 

Jmljasmine

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Oh well, was hoping for some proper personal space on lines now, I guess I will have to prepare myself for getting smushed again.

We enjoy a lot of the WDW counter service restaurants, happy to add some new ones to our list this time around. Just hoping we can find some shady seats nearby.
I hope it's at least better then places I've been around home. I've always preferred personal space but the last 6+ months I've had people squish up closer then PreCOVID despite my masking. I figured that would have been a give me some space clue but either people have become more oblivious (possible as digital usage has only increased) or they are trying to make a statement. I wish old fashioned hoop skirts weren't so hot 🤣

On the other end, I really don't want to cancel August but I'm loosing confidence my family will be able to be vaccinated by then.
 

emilyann704

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 8, 2021
Congrats. We wore masks last week at airports, on planes, in Disney lines, crowded areas, monorail, etc, however we did eat in some restaurants. Both came home with covid.

Me too! Tested negative before each flight and then the morning of my first day back to work I tested positive. Womp womp.

I'd like to add I don't necessarily "blame" the parks, beyond it would have been nice to have a lot more people masked indoors and in very tight quarters. But I understood the risk getting on a full airplane x2 and spending my days with hacking children and adults.

It was May 12-15 and was already rescheduled because of Omicron in January. I just wasn't sure what good postponing the trip AGAIN a couple months would do. I was as safe as I could possibly make myself and unfortunately I got sick.
 
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