On May 27, Disney presented their proposed plan to begin the reopening Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. WDW was approved to begin a phased reopening of the parks, beginning on July 11th with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, followed by EPCOT and Hollywood Studios on July 15th. The parks will be opening with a reduced capacity and a number of new guidelines for both guests and cast members.
Part of the plan includes face covering guidelines for guests and cast members. All guests will be required to wear a mask at all times, other than when eating.
Many people have questioned the comfort of wearing a mask in the Florida heat while vacationing at Disney. Having been to Walt Disney World many times during the hot summer months, I can relate to the extreme heat and started thinking about what the best mask is for Walt Disney World to ensure both safety and comfort.
Before I share my thoughts, I want to remind you that I am not a medical professional, nor affiliated with the Walt Disney Company. These guidelines are what I have found through my expertise in sewing, crafting, and vacationing in Walt Disney World in August! I would encourage you to speak with you physician before you head on any vacations to ensure you are prepared and to read all guidelines posted by the Walt Disney Company.
Best Masks for Disney
When you are determining what masks to bring on your trip to Walt Disney World, you want to be aware of a few key elements:
- 100% Cotton Fabric – Just like when determining what shirt to wear while visiting Walt Disney World in the Florida heat, you want to pick a fabric that will allow for breathability. You also need to be sure that the fabric has a thick enough weave to stop germs from being transferred to others. I have found that the best fabric for this is 100% Cotton “quilting cotton”. Quilting cotton is a heavy fabric with a greater thread count (at least 180 thread count) and a thicker and tighter weave. If you’re not certain of the thread count, hold the fabric up to the light. If you can easily see the light through the fabric, it probably is not the best fabric to use.
- Double Layer – When selecting your mask, you’ll want to make sure it is has two layers of fabric, once again making it more difficult for germs to be spread.
- Pocket for a Filter – If available, select a mask that has a pocket for a filter. I have been using a piece of paper towel that I cut down to the size of the mask to act as an additional layer. This again decreases the spread of germs and the paper towel does not affect your breathability severely.
- Light colored fabric – Dark colors will attract the sunlight more than light colors, so try to stick with light hues to avoid making your face any warmer.
- Wire nose adjustment – I would highly suggest purchasing or making a mask with a piece of wire at the top to adjust to your nose. It will help the mask to not move around as much and seems much more comfortable to me than a mask without the wire.
- Correct fit – To be effective and comfortable, you want to be sure the mask fits correctly. Check that the mask is touching your face all the way around the mask and it does not pinch your face either.
- Purchase an Ear Saver (especially for children) – Wearing bands around your ears all day may not be the most comfortable. You can make your own Ear Saver or purchase one. I would especially recommend ear savers for children to help with comfort.
How to Make a Face Mask
If you have the tools and desire to make your own face mask you can be sure it’s customized to exactly what you want. If not, check with family and friends to see if they can help out, or purchase a mask online. Etsy has many shops that are selling masks. I have not purchased from any shops, so I do not feel comfortable linking any here, but would highly encourage you to reach out to the shop owner if the item description does not outline things like number of layers, fabric content, and fit.
Below are step-by-step instructions for making your own face mask:
What You’ll Need:
- 16 in. x 8.5 in. piece of Quilting Cotton
- (2) 8 in. piece of 1/4 inch elastic (if you do not have elastic you can make your own ties using cotton fabric, ribbon, bias tape, or string)
- 6 in. pipe cleaner
What To Do:
- Cut 16 in. x 8.5 in piece of quilting cotton; cut two 8 in. pieces of 1/4 inch elastic; cut 6 in. piece of pipe cleaner
2. Fold fabric in half, with the outside of the fabric facing in
3. Sew pieces together with a 5/8 seam allowance, leaving a 3 in. opening in the center for your filter
4. Iron the fabric, with the seam in the middle
5. Sew the seam, being sure not to sew the top and bottom of the fabric together
6. Pin elastic straps in four corners, with a small bit of excess poking out of the sides
7. Sew the sides with a 3/8 seam allowances, being sure to only sew the edges of the elastic straps
8. Turn the mask right-side-out
9. Fold 3 even pleats and sew along sides
10. Place pipe cleaner at the top of the mask and sew, creating a pocket for the wire nose adjustment