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

redboat45

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 20, 2021
I'm impressed. We wore them in summer of 2020 and 2021 when they were required and about died. We used the mask break areas frequently and couldn't last much more than 2pm on any day because of the masks.
 

sueg

<a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.
Joined
Aug 20, 1999
We happily wore masks when they were required. But during our trip last week, mainly due to 90+ degree heat, we didn't mask. DH tested positive upon our return home. Luckily, we are double vax and boosted. He is definitely sick but ii is manageable.
 

georgina

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
We didn't mask at all and none of our group got covid.

Kae
That's good for you. We had been there in Sept 2021 when masks were required and didn't get it then. I understand the current variant is very contagious but also very mild. Feels like allergies with a little coughing for us. I suspect a lot of people may have it and don't know. One good thing to come out of it is with proof of infection and recovery we won't have to test in July to get back from London.
 

tiggerunner

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 22, 2000
We came home with Covid and after 10 days, 5 lbs lost- not good for me and still no taste buds. Very healthy, boosted and we wore masks on the plane and airport. We made the mistake of having to get on a bus after the skylines was evacuated and not wearing our mask. Completely forgotten. Not complaining, just be aware that it’s out there and close quarters can be a breeding ground. I’m going back in late August and just hate being sick, so will be more careful.
we Actually had a good time and found the people and cast members all friendly and polite.
Enjoy your vacation your way😁
 

Mrs.AMC

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 15, 2021
I'm impressed. We wore them in summer of 2020 and 2021 when they were required and about died. We used the mask break areas frequently and couldn't last much more than 2pm on any day because of the masks.
I'm impressed too. I tried a 95 mask once, when this stuff first started, inside in temp control and lasted a min. Threw the whole box away and never put another one on. I can not fathom the wherewithal it took to wear one at Disney. We haven't worn one since they stopped making you. It was so hard to do it when we had to and like you we took breaks a lot.

We are here right now and they are rare sights and I'm still impressed with those who can still do it.

I hope everyone who wears one now realizes people aren't taking it negatively at all. Your body, your choice. Goes both ways too of course. Those not wearing them now aren't getting comments from those wearing them either
 
Last edited:

scrappinginontario

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
I'm impressed too. I tried a 95 mask once, when this stuff first started, inside in temp control and lasted a min. Threw the whole box away and never put another one on. I can not fathom the wherewithal it took to wear one at Disney. We haven't worn one since they stopped making you. It was so hard to do it when we're had to asked like you were took breaks a lot.

We are here right now and they are rare sights and I'm still impressed with those who can still do it.

I hope everyone who wears one more realizes people aren't taking it negatively at all. Your body, your choice. Goes both ways too of course. Those not wearing them now aren't getting comments from those wearing them either
I'm thankful that each person is free to do what is best for them at Disney. It's freeing to be able to make the choice.
 

tentaguasu

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
I'm impressed too. I tried a 95 mask once, when this stuff first started, inside in temp control and lasted a min. Threw the whole box away and never put another one on. I can not fathom the wherewithal it took to wear one at Disney.

I think we all react a bit differently.

To be clear, it wasn't like I was Mr. Braveheart or anything. I wasn't out there pushing through the difficulty with my awesome manliness. (I use my awesome manliness to raise my arms when riding Slinky.) It's just that once I got used to N95s, they really don't bother me much. A bit, sure. I don't like wearing a mask. It just wasn't that big of a deal once I got used to it.

But that last point matters a lot - getting used to it.

Again, I can't speak authoritatively here, but I remember reading that masks do not inhibit oxygen uptake or significantly increase CO2 uptake. (Not looking for a debate here - everyone can 'do their own research' - just providing insight into my experience.) But your body doesn't know that at first. We're not wired to cover our breathing system! Every part of our internal, normal, instinctive system says "don't cover your mouth!" I mean, we die if we can't breath for just a few minutes, so of course every fiber of our being rejects having our face covered like that. It's like if a stranger grabs you, even gently, by the neck - every bit of your instinct screams "Danger, fight back!" So when that mask goes, at least at first, the body is going to freak out, feel like it's suffocating, and demand that you stop that foolishness at once.

But our bodies and minds are also very adaptive. I was (and am) very "Covid cautious" so when I first started venturing into more crowded situations, I was more scared of Covid that I was upset by a mask. So yes, at first, I fought through my suffocating feelings and pushed on. But after a few hours wearing an N95, and a few more days doing it, my body started to figure out that, "hey, we're not going to die, I can calm down."

I guess what I'm saying is that there is a mental aspect to it. And I'm not being dismissive of anyone's experience here - the mind is powerful. Most of us have had that experience of working in the kitchen and "hitting" your finger and it hurts a bit and then a minute or two later you realize you actually cut your finger and it's bleeding profusely and suddenly it really hurts badly. The way we perceive things depends on what we think - or maybe even more what we feel - is going on.

A good N95 is a highly technical feat of engineering. But our body can't distinguish between an N95 and someone trying to smother us. But spending some time with it - at least for me - my body got comfortable that I wasn't trying to smother myself and that, in fact, I was getting plenty of O2. And so my body started to shrug it's shoulders and go "eh, whatever." I remember one time I was in the street, it was hot, and I was very late for a critical business meeting. I was literally running down the street for several blocks at pretty much a full sprint. I completely forgot that I was wearing an N95 - my attention was so focused on not being late that I didn't have any attention on the mask at all. That also helped me realize that if I can run full sprint for several minutes without getting dizzy or something, I must be able to get what I need.

I'll just mention two more tips.

My wife swears by using an electric hand fan. She has one that really, really works well. (I can provide details to anyone interested.) For her, a flow of fresh air over her face completely changed how she was feeling. It went from almost intolerable to just fine.

For me, mentally, a big hurdle was thinking through what was happening. I *hate* stale, stuffy places. I actually disassembled part of the hotel window to get more fresh air in my room - that's how freaky I am about fresh air. So with a mask, initially I felt like I was "rebreathing" tons of stale air. It made me a bit panicky. Then I though it through - just how much volume of air is actually between my face and my mask? Not much at all. So when I breath in, that small amount comes in, but any additional air I breath in necessarily must be coming from outside the mask. Every breath I take in must be just that small amount of rebreath and a vast majority of fresh air. Even more if I decide to voluntarily take a deep breath - a ton of fresh, fresh air coming on in. That seems obvious, but just thinking that through and realizing what was happening calmed me down.

Anyway, I'm not going to invalidate anyone's experience or suggest that anyone do what is not right for them.

But my point is this - I don't think it's about who is tough and who is not tough. I think it's about who is adapted and who is not adapted.

So if you're thinking about masking at Disney, particularly if, like me, you really want to mask seriously with an N95 or equivalent - then spending some real time using it around the house or in the street can really help. That way your system is "cool with it" by the time you hit Disney. At least that's how it was for me.
 

Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

Chugging along the path of life
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
This one probably one of the most even handed "I'm back" OPs and I appreciate that.

Some good take aways

1) Physical exertion with a wheelchair in heat and humidity
2) What places you attempted to eat outdoors but were unable to

Those are different components than you usually hear about.

As far as social distancing that really hasn't been around for a while. In queues they ran a spiel a lot about reducing wait times by keeping up with the party in front of you and filling all available space

HM stretching room no distancing
Guardians no distancing (don't want to give spoilers but I'm talking about past the queue)
BTMRR generally they were lining up people so there were 4 in each slot so when the train came back and people exited 2 people would get on and then the 2 behind them would move up and so on
All the boat rides you're in with a lot of people
I *think* TSMM they were doing the same as BTMRR but I can't remember now off the top of my head
and so on you get the picture.
 

Mrs.AMC

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 15, 2021
This one probably one of the most even handed "I'm back" OPs and I appreciate that.

Some good take aways

1) Physical exertion with a wheelchair in heat and humidity
2) What places you attempted to eat outdoors but were unable to

Those are different components than you usually hear about.

As far as social distancing that really hasn't been around for a while. In queues they ran a spiel a lot about reducing wait times by keeping up with the party in front of you and filling all available space

HM stretching room no distancing
Guardians no distancing (don't want to give spoilers but I'm talking about past the queue)
BTMRR generally they were lining up people so there were 4 in each slot so when the train came back and people exited 2 people would get on and then the 2 behind them would move up and so on
All the boat rides you're in with a lot of people
I *think* TSMM they were doing the same as BTMRR but I can't remember now off the top of my head
and so on you get the picture.
The restaurants they were denied didn’t really surprise me too much. We all know Disney has never been well set up for take out in all cases. Some yes. But pretty much only where indicated. If they don’t offer the take out option, like Ale and Compass has for example, they aren’t prone to create one on the fly.
 

Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

Chugging along the path of life
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
The restaurants they were denied didn’t really surprise me too much. We all know Disney has never been well set up for take out in all cases. Some yes. But pretty much only where indicated. If they don’t offer the take out option, like Ale and Compass has for example, they aren’t prone to create one on the fly.
I think I was just saying for other posters it was good info and not really talked about information when it comes to people posting on various threads about their "I'm back" experiences.

Disney is certainly not set up for take out totally agree and know on that, that said covid is covid and so depending on things someone here on the Boards who may be uncomfortable eating indoors might stumble upon this thread and see that while the OP requested to just leave with their food rather than eat there they were denied.

I liked that they included the information about Kona and Sanaa for to go menu just to call attention to the fact that at least at those 2 places you've got an option just a different route and they gave a follow up "don't just sit down, order and ask to box up" when your intention is to not inside and only eat outside. That said Sanaa does give to go boxes for leftover food (which is intended for when you know have already eaten some stuff at your table lol).
 

Beckabug

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
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.
Just got back this week and people are smashed together. Big crowds!
 

Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

Chugging along the path of life
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Definitely not ideal, will just have to do our best. It's really not necessary, you don't board quicker by smushing closer together, your turn is still the same.
You do in Standby due to merge points and the prioritizing of LL (like they did with FP), trust me in that one (plus I also have CM friend with info on that one as well as experience dealing with it). It's hard to think about it now but if you ever find yourself stopped right at merge and then waiting and waiting and waiting you'll know what I mean. Typically they'll announce "your wait time is now longer than expected" this means a bunch of LL showed up (an odd break down here and there but majority just LL folks), miss the merge and you'll be left waiting. Some rides are worse than others on that though.
 

Mrs.AMC

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 15, 2021
You do in Standby due to merge points and the prioritizing of LL (like they did with FP), trust me in that one (plus I also have CM friend with info on that one as well as experience dealing with it). It's hard to think about it now but if you ever find yourself stopped right at merge and then waiting and waiting and waiting you'll know what I mean. Typically they'll announce "your wait time is now longer than expected" this means a bunch of LL showed up (an odd break down here and there but majority just LL folks), miss the merge and you'll be left waiting. Some rides are worse than others on that though.
Having a spot of visible carpet between me and the guest in front of me will not increase wait time. Sorry.

The numbers they send through from ILL vs standby have nothing to do with a gap in guests. They are required to send X number of the to Y number of standby. There’s a ratio used. If your CM friend told you it’s because folks didn’t keep up with the guest in front of them they were pulling your leg. Besides that, folks are talking about leavings tad bit of personal space, not so much space you can’t see the next party in front of you
 

AnnaKristoff2013

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
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.
I’ve taken four trips since July of ‘21 and worn n95’s or kn95’s each time at all times except when outdoors and away from people. I agree that it isn’t that bad.
 

Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

Chugging along the path of life
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Having a spot of visible carpet between me and the guest in front of me will not increase wait time. Sorry.

The numbers they send through from ILL vs standby have nothing to do with a gap in guests. They are required to send X number of the to Y number of standby. There’s a ratio used. If your CM friend told you it’s because folks didn’t keep up with the guest in front of them they were pulling your leg. Besides that, folks are talking about leavings tad bit of personal space, not so much space you can’t see the next party in front of you
Let's not overexaggerate. it's not productive to the thread. No one was talking about a spot on the carpet...obviously. The PP was asking about space in queues, that does not exist and hasn't for a while, they do want you to keep up with the party in front of you and not leave gaps.

Some rides are strictly number of people while some are just waving on by til LL people show up. Navi one day it was 1 or 2 people through in SB then wait, but the next time we rode it they were letting more through at merge point even with people on the LL side, BTMRR we witnessed every time we rode when there were gaps in people they would shut off the SB line at merge point with only a handful of people, when people were following each other a lot more got through at merge. We did only standby for 7 park days a few weeks back, but please tell me more about our experience. And as for my CM friend unfortunately that specific information is not something I can comfortably discuss on a public forum but not he's not just yanking my chain.

You and I need personally to agree to disagree and move on, Have a great day!
 










Top