Disney World is unsurprisingly determined to enforce mask wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that has led it to some unusual experimentation with technology. Disney told WDW News Today in a statement that it stopped a recent practice of digitally placing masks on to the faces of theme park guests who are uncovered in ride photos. This was a test “in response to guest requests,” Disney said, although it didn’t explain why it began or stopped the practice.
Guests like Facebook user Tony Townsend recently noticed the practice for certain rides, including Dinosaur (above) and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Many believe the digital edits were meant to discourage riders from taking their masks off for the sake of a picture —people are theoretically less likely to endanger others if they know they’ll be seen wearing a mask regardless.
It’s unclear how Disney will enforce mask wearing on rides after this. It said it would “continue to expect” park attendees to wear masks any time they aren’t eating or drinking in a stationary position. Either way, it’s a rare instance of a company using image editing to enforce policies —we wouldn’t be surprised if others tried this, at least while the pandemic is still a major concern.