The situation with COVID-19 has continued to change and evolve in recent months.
One of the ways we continue to see the impact of COVID-19 on Orlando theme parks is through mask requirements in the parks there. Disney World currently has an interior mask requirement. At Universal Studios, the rules for masks will change from December 24th. How are their policies the same and how do they differ? We break down what you need to know here.
Keep in mind that all of this examines the current mask rules at Disney World and the mask rules at Universal Orlando that will be in effect from December 24th.
Indoor locations (usually)
Let’s start with the interior locations (usually), which is where Universal and Disney’s mask policies are very similar.
Disney World requires all guests from the age of 2 to wear masks in ALL indoor locations, including restaurants (except when actively eating or drinking while standing). This also includes at the entrance and throughout indoor attractions, indoor queues, and Disney buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner. All this is necessary regardless of the state of vaccination.
At Universal (starting December 24), Masks will be required in all public indoor areas, regardless of vaccination status. This includes indoor restaurants, indoor shops and indoor hotel public areas. Masquerades are also required “at all shows and experiences that take place indoors or indoors.”
So if you go to a public indoor public area at Disney World or Universal, you should expect them to wear your mask.
It is important to note that in both locations, these rules apply to all guests regardless of vaccination status. At Universal Orlando, there are a few different rules based on vaccination status for team members, but not for guests.
Now, let’s talk about attractions. At Disney World, Guests must bring their masks to all indoor locations, including indoor attractions and indoor queues.. However, in outdoor areas, including outdoor attractions, outdoor queues, and outdoor theaters, masks are NOT required at Disney World.
At Universal Orlando, the rules are a little different. At Universal, starting December 24, Masks will be required at ALL attractions from the moment a guest enters the queue until the moment the guest leaves the experience.. According to the Universal website, this includes outdoor walks and queues.
Exceptions appear to be (1) water walks in Islands of Adventure, where masks are required in the queue but can be removed once in the passenger vehicle; and (2) outdoor shows and entertainment experiences, where no masks are required. But keep in mind that masquerades are required “at all shows and experiences that take place indoors or indoors.”
So at Disney World, expect to wear your mask to all of your indoor attractions and all your inner queues. At Universal Orlando, expect to wear your mask to ALL attractions and ALL queues (indoor or outdoor), with the limited exceptions discussed above.
What about indoor food? Disney specifies that the masks should be taken to all indoor locations, including restaurants, except when actively eating or drinking while standing.
Universal Orlando specifies that in indoor restaurants, guests must do so wear their masks until they are sitting at your table. They also point out that face covers can be removed indoors if you eat or drink while standing.
When it’s outdoors, you don’t have to wear masks at Disney World. This is for all outdoor areas, including outdoor attractions, outdoor queues, and outdoor theaters.
At Universal Orlando, the rules are a little different, as we noted earlier. Masks are optional outdoors in most places, but there are a few exceptions in Universal Orlando. There will be masks from December 24th mandatory on all queues and outdoor attractions. They will also be required to cover their face “in all the shows and experiences that take place … in a covered place.”
However, masks will not be required in other public areas outside Universal Orlando, and will not be required for outdoor shows and entertainment experiences.
One big difference between Universal Orlando and Disney World is the age at which masks are required. At Disney World, Masks are mandatory for all guests from the age of 2. At Universal, Children under the age of 3 are not required to wear a mask.
As for transportation, at Disney World, Masks are required in all indoor locations, including closed transportation such as buses, monorails and skyliner.
The Universal website points this out It is recommended to cover your face during the transport of the complex, including water taxis. It seems to apply to shuttle buses that take guests to the parks. But be sure to check the rules before boarding the bus to confirm them.
What masks are allowed
It is important to know not only where masks are required, but also what types of masks are accepted.
At Disney World, Neck leggings, open chin, triangular bandanas, and masks containing waltzes, tights, or holes are not acceptable.. Costume masks are also not accepted. Masks should fit snugly, be secured with ear ties or ear ties, completely cover the guest’s nose and mouth, and secure under the guest’s chin.
Universal has similar rules, but there is a small difference. Masks with exhalation valves, masks that are not secured with ear ties, masks that have mesh or holes, masks that cannot be secured under a guest’s chin (such as bandanas), and costume masks are not allowed as face masks.
But Universal’s policies are noticeable a gaiter is considered a suitable face mask as long as it covers the nose and mouth of the guest.
As for other things to consider, the use of facial blankets in swimming pools or water slides is not permitted at Universal or Disney World.
And here’s a look at how mask policies are similar at Disney World and Universal and how they differ. Of course, keep in mind that mask policies are subject to change. Be sure to check back with us for all the latest information and check the park signs during your visit to make sure you are meeting the latest standards. We will keep an eye out for more news from both parks.
More stories about Universal Orlando
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