Disney World bans guests from eating and drinking while walking

ORLANDO -- Eating and drinking while walking around Walt Disney World is no longer permitted in the age of the novel coronavirus.

The theme park is prohibiting visitors from consuming food and beverages while roaming around its Florida location in an effort to ensure masks are worn at all times.

Under the new rule, guests are still allowed to remove their masks while eating or drinking, but cannot be on the move and must socially distance from others, according to the park's website, which was first reported by Disney blogs like Mickey Blog and Walt Disney News Today.

“Face coverings are required for all guests (ages 2 and up) and cast members. Please bring your own face covering and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming. You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing,” the park’s website says under its face coverings section.

Disney faced backlash for reopening its parks as COVID-19 cases continue to spike, especially in the state of Florida where the Orlando theme park is located. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney, questioned last week the safety of reopening its theme parks.

“It is strange to me they would get into this situation by opening up this massive enterprise – for which people fly from everywhere in the world to go,” Disney told Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade, adding: “So I am incredibly concerned about the implications of what is going to happen. I can’t imagine they’re able to protect their employees and all of their customers.”

The park reopened last week with heightened health and safety measures like contactless ordering at restaurants, mobile checkout services and no self-serve buffet-style dining. The theme park will also not allow guests to redeem photos if they are seen without masks on rides.

The company welcomed back guests to its Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom and its Animal Kingdom on July 11 and Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15, four months after being shut down as a result of the virus.

Guests will need reservations to enter any park, and will not be able to go between theme parks. The park’s signature fireworks shows and parades have also been on hold to prevent crowds. Visitors and Disney employees will receive temperature checks upon entering.