Going to a theme park in Central Florida nowadays is typically a very different experience than it was pre-pandemic. Guests, as well as theme park officials, are working hard to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic safely. One of the biggest changes that Guests experience not just in theme parks, but almost anywhere else they go, is the need to wear appropriate face coverings.
At Universal Orlando Resort, Guests must always wear an approved face covering at all times covering both their nose and mouth, unless actively eating or drinking. Of course, this means that when you are at an attraction, you generally have to keep your mask on.
All of that being said, there are a few rides where Team Members will actually tell you that you should take off your mask once you are all strapped into your ride vehicle.
The three attractions that this rule pertains to are all found at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, as they are all water-based and riders may get soaked. Universal Studios Florida does not have any water attractions, so Guests must wear a mask on all rides.
At Island’s of Adventure, however, Guests may remove their mask on Jurassic Park River Adventure, Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, and Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges.
All three attractions often leave Guests soaked, so it makes sense that Universal would allow them to remove masks. Personally, having recently been to all three attractions, I can say that if my mask ended up as wet as the rest of my clothes, it would not have worked out too well for me.
If we take a look at Universal’s FAQ, they answer the question as to when Guests will be able to remove their masks on attractions.
Will I have to wear my face covering while on the attractions? Yes, guests will be required to wear face coverings on all attractions, except those that include signiﬁcant amounts of water as part of the experience, as well as Volcano Bay’s slides and pools. Please note that face shields will not be permitted on attractions. For all ride requirements, please see our Guide for Rider Safety and Accessibility.
Aside from our own personal experiences getting soaked on these rides, the guide to Universal attractions specifies that these three attractions do indeed use significant amounts of water as part of the experience.
Going into the summer months in Florida, these water rides will become increasingly popular. Wearing masks in water can actually be dangerous to Guests, so this is why the no-mask policy exists for water-based attractions.
Also, Guests can remove their masks when they visit Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando Resort’s water park. Guests are required to wear a mask when purchasing food or entering any storefront area. However, when in the water and walking to a water attraction they intend to ride, Guests are not required to wear a mask.
Below is the current face mask guideline as stated on the website:
Guests must wear face coverings at all times, unless they are actively eating or drinking, and they must also be socially distanced from other travel parties while consuming their food or beverage. Inside restaurants, we have arranged tables and seating so that guests can safely remove their face coverings while enjoying their dining experience.
Universal Orlando Resort has set up mask-free “relaxation areas” that allow guests at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure are able to take off their face coverings in a designated socially distanced outdoor area.
Universal Orlando also outlines what is and what is not an acceptable face covering on its website:
An appropriate face covering for a visit to Universal Orlando must fit the following criteria:
- Must cover your nose and mouth and be secured under your chin
- Must fit snugly against the sides of your face and be secured with ear loops or secured around your head
- Must be at least two-ply (consist of at least two layers)
The following are NOT permitted at Universal Orlando:
- Face coverings with exhalation valves
- Face coverings that are not secured with ear loops or secured around your head
- Face coverings that include mesh material or holes of any kind
- Costume masks or veils, per our costume guidelines
Guests unable to wear a face mask may contact Guest Services and receive permission to wear a face shield instead. However, face shields are not permitted on certain attractions.
Find up-to-date information on COVID-19 and face masks on the official website for the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Do you like that some Universal attractions do not require a mask?
If you want to plan a Universal vacation, you can get started today! From events such as Halloween Horror Nights to Mardi Gras to just enjoying their Volcano Bay water park and CityWalk, there is so much to see and do! Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure is fun for all ages. Jurassic World VelociCoaster will also be available shortly in the Jurassic Park section of IOA, which is a huge reason to visit!