Florida’s major theme parks relax face-covering restrictions

Visitors to Central Florida’s main theme parks will no longer have to wear masks or other face-coverings outdoors. On Saturday, Orlando’s Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld, along with Busch Gardens in Tampa, relaxed the COVID-19 rule, according to the parks’ websites.

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The announcements come after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except when in healthcare settings, on public transportation, or in other areas where governments require masks.

Here are the updated policies for Florida’s theme parks:

Walt Disney World

At Walt Disney World, masks are still required in all of the parks’ indoor locations for guests ages 2 and older, spokesperson Andrea Finger said. Cast members are also still required to wear masks.

Masks are optional in outdoor common areas at the resort but remain required when guests enter attractions, theaters, and transportation venues.

“Anybody (who has) been in Florida in the middle of summer with a mask on, that can be quite daunting, so we think that’s going to make for an even more pleasant experience,” Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek said Thursday during an earnings call, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

For more information, visit Disney’s website.

Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando was the first theme park to drop outdoor mask requirements.

Guests are no longer required to wear a mask outdoors, but they are asked to bring them to wear when going inside or standing in line, Universal spokesperson Tom Schroder said in a statement.

“Face coverings will remain required at all indoor locations, including restaurants, shops, and indoor hotel public areas,” Schroder said. “Face coverings are also required at all attractions from the moment guests enter the queue to when they exit the experience.”

For more information, visit the park’s website.

SeaWorld

SeaWorld put out a statement late Friday, lifting the mask restrictions.

“Face coverings will no longer be required for guests at SeaWorld Orlando ... who are fully vaccinated in accordance with CDC guidance,” park spokesperson Lori Cherry said in a statement. “We will not require proof of vaccine, but ask our guests to respectfully comply with our revised policy.”

According to the statement, SeaWorld employees will continue to wear masks.

Vaccinated guests can also go free at Discovery Cove, officials said.

Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens, owned by SeaWorld Entertainment, announced Friday that coverings are no longer required at the Tampa park, along with its next-door neighbor, the Adventure Island water theme park.

“Based on the recently announced guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, we are modifying our policy regarding face coverings at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island,” spokesperson Rebecca Romzek said in a statement. “Face coverings will no longer be required for guests at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island who are fully vaccinated in accordance with CDC guidance.”

Legoland

At the Legoland theme park in Winter Haven, masks are still required for all indoor locations and on all rides for guests 8 years old and above, the company said.

For the water park section, masks are recommended for use when they are dry. Face-coverings are not required for children under the age of 12, according to WFLA.

For more information, visit the park’s website.

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