Disney World and Universal Orlando theme parks simplify the rules of masking outdoors


Theme parks are already responding to the CDC’s latest mask guidelines. Just days after the health department announced that fully vaccinated people could go indoors and outdoors without a mask, the major parks in Florida updated their mask guidelines accordingly.

Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orland, and Busch Gardens have all waived their mask requirements – for outdoor use only, according to a report by Reuters. Starting last weekend, vaccinated guests (focus on vaccinated) will be able to do without face coverings in many – but not all – parts of these parks. SeaWorld and Busch Gardens do not require proof of both doses, they merely ask guests to “respectfully comply”.

“According to instructions from local government and health officials, outdoor facials will no longer be mandatory for guests at Universal Orlando as of Saturday, May 15,” Universal spokesman Tom Schroder told USA TODAY.

Despite the phasing out of the need for outdoor face coverings (in addition to temperature tests), Disney continues to require masks upon entry and in all attractions, in theaters, during transportation, and at every single indoor location, including restaurants. Disney, for its part, began easing restrictions in early April, allowing visitors to remove face covers for outdoor photo ops. Disney’s updated face coverings page has all the details.

In the meantime, Universal Studios will continue to take some existing precautions, Shroder said, and continue to follow local requirements. “We will continue to review CDC guidelines and move forward in a way that is best for our guests, our team members and our business.”

Megan Schaltegger works for Thrillist.


Janet Smith