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Mask on or mask off? Your guide to the latest rules, by theme park

May 15, 2021
7 min read
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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.

Related: Update: Disney World, Universal Orlando loosen up masking rules effective May 15

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 parkMasks required for fully vaccinated?Updated mask policyExceptions
Cedar PointYes, except in certain areasEveryone (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.”
DollywoodNoNo longer required for fully vaccinated guests or children ages 12 or under.Unvaccinated individuals ages 12 or older must wear a mask indoors.
DisneylandYesMasks required for all guests over 2 years of age.No exceptions
Disney WorldNo, except in certain areasNo 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.
HersheyparkNoNo longer required for fully vaccinated guests.Unvaccinated individuals or children 2 years or older must wear masks.
Knott's Berry FarmYesMasks required for all guests over 2 years of age.No exceptions
SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Aquatica Orlando, Discovery Cove, and Adventure IslandNoNo longer required for fully vaccinated guests.All unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear a mask.
Universal OrlandoNo, 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

Dollywood

(Photo by Caitlin Riddell / The Points Guy)

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

Image courtesy of Hersheypark

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.

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The park has also dropped temperature screenings for all guests.

SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Aquatica Orlando, Discovery Cove and Adventure Island

Seaworld Orlando. (Photo by Julien Delaunay via Unsplash)

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

Cedar Point

Photo by Douglas Sacha via Getty Images

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.

Disney World

(Photo courtesy of Curb Free with Cory Lee)

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).

Related: Is now a good time to visit Disney World?

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.

Universal Orlando

(Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando.)

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

Cast members lined the walkways to welcome guests as the park opened. (Photo credit: Christian Thompson/Disneyland Resort)

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

Photo courtesy of 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.

Bottom line

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 image by With just a click, a tap or a swipe, guests can use their smart phones in exciting new ways on their visits to the Disneyland Resort. These convenient digital features are designed to be easy and intuitive, save time, and also support a more contactless experience. With the Disneyland App, guests can link their tickets, view menus, mobile order food and beverages from select locations, make dining reservations, view attraction wait times, park maps, hours of operation, request to join a virtual queue and more. (Disneyland Resort)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

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  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
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  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023