Mask on or mask off? Your guide to the latest rules, by theme park
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Following the CDC’s breaking announcement ending the mask requirement for fully vaccinated individuals, many theme parks quickly followed suit with updated guidance. But the policies vary by amusement park.
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While some parks already ditched masks altogether, some still require masks — even if you’re vaccinated. In this guide, we’ll break down each major theme park’s mask policy — from mask-free, hybrid-mask to full-mask requirements — for the fully-vaccinated.
Proof of vaccination is not required at any of these locations. Instead, theme parks are relying on guests following CDC guidance. The situation seems to be changing rapidly, so unless you’re visiting these attractions in the near future, note that these rules can change at any time.
An overview of mask policies for Vaccinated Individuals, by theme park
|Theme park||Masks required for fully vaccinated?||Updated mask policy||Exceptions|
|Cedar Point||Yes, except in certain areas||Everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) must wear a mask in indoor areas unless you’re eating or drinking.
|Guests will no longer have to wear a mask when outdoors “unless it’s not possible to maintain social distancing.”|
|Dollywood||No||No longer required for fully vaccinated guests or children ages 12 or under.||Unvaccinated individuals ages 12 or older must wear a mask indoors.|
|Disneyland||Yes||Masks required for all guests over 2 years of age.||No exceptions|
|Disney World||No, except in certain areas||No longer required for all guests at outdoor areas or pool decks.||Masks required for everyone (even if you’re fully vaccinated) when entering and moving through the park and at all indoor attractions, restaurants and shops.|
|Hersheypark||No||No longer required for fully vaccinated guests.||Unvaccinated individuals or children 2 years or older must wear masks.|
|Knott’s Berry Farm||Yes||Masks required for all guests over 2 years of age.||No exceptions|
|SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Aquatica Orlando, Discovery Cove, and Adventure Island||No||No longer required for fully vaccinated guests.||All unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear a mask.|
|Universal Orlando||No, except in certain areas||No longer required for all guests when outdoors.||Masks required for everyone (even if you’re fully vaccinated) at indoor locations and each attraction.|
Completely mask-free theme parks for the fully-vaccinated
Fully vaccinated guests or children under 12 years of age will no longer have to wear a mask or practice physical distancing at Dollywood, both indoors and outdoors.
Masks are required for all unvaccinated guests older than 12 years of age at indoor locations but remain optional in outdoor areas.
Hersheypark was one of the first amusement parks to drop the mask requirement following the CDC’s update. Fully vaccinated individuals no longer have to wear a mask. The park has also dropped social distancing requirements for those who are fully vaccinated.
This is a different story for children (ages 2 or up) or anyone who’s not fully vaccinated, in which case masks are required during their visit except when eating or drinking.
The park has also dropped temperature screenings for all guests.
SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Aquatica Orlando, Discovery Cove and Adventure Island
If you’re headed to Seaworld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Aquatica Orlando or Discovery Cove, fully vaccinated individuals will no longer have to wear a mask during their visit. Proof of vaccination will not be required, but the website states that “[we] ask our guests to respectfully comply with our revised policy.”
Theme parks with a hybrid mask requirement for the fully-vaccinated
All guests will no longer have to wear a mask when outdoors “unless it’s not possible to maintain social distancing.”
Everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) must wear a mask in indoor areas unless you’re eating or drinking.
Masks are no longer required for all guests at common outdoor areas or pool decks at Disney World. However, everyone will still need to wear a mask while entering and moving through the park and at all indoor attractions (including theaters, transportation and restaurants when not actively eating or drinking).
These rules do not differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated guests. Keep in mind that there are still specific rules for what face coverings are acceptable. For example, gaiters, open-triangle bandanas and masks containing valves or holes will not suffice. Finally, physical distancing requirements still apply.
You will no longer need to wear a mask when visiting Universal Orlando — with a few exceptions. Even if you’re fully vaccinated, make sure you have a mask handy if you’re visiting any indoor locations (such as shops and restaurants) as well as when you’re getting in line and exiting each attraction.
Otherwise, masks are not required when you’re outdoors. Social distancing precautions of at least three feet will still apply.
Theme parks where masks required for everyone
Disneyland in California reopened to guests just a few weeks ago. Even with the CDC’s announcement, face coverings are still required for everyone over the age of 2. The website does not currently provide further guidance for fully vaccinated individuals.
Knott’s Berry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm will reopen to guests on May 21. However, attendance will initially be limited to no more than three households at a time and for California residents only. Upon reopening, all visitors age 2 or older will be required to wear face masks.
What are your options for changing your plans?
It’s true — you could have planned a visit to any of the theme parks above and wake up to a completely different set of rules for face coverings and physical distancing. If you’re fully vaccinated and aren’t quite ready to visit these amusement parks that have eliminated mask requirements, you may be thinking of changing your plans.
Unfortunately, your amusement park tickets are likely non-refundable and non-transferable. Depending on the theme park, you can try to postpone the date on your ticket.
The CDC’s recommendation for masks follows suit with COVID-19 vaccines that are widely available in the U.S. But for some, this updated guidance still may come as a shock, as there’s no real way to show proof of vaccination when visiting public areas. If you plan on visiting a theme park this summer, you’ll want to be fully aware of the mask requirements for your family — especially if you have children who aren’t eligible for vaccines just yet.
Featured photo by Disneyland Resort.
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