Why Disneyland Didn't Make Major COVID Change, But Universal Studios Did

Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland now have different rules on vaccine status when entering their parks. As of today, Universal Studios Hollywood is requiring proof of vaccination for any visitor to its park who is 12 or older, the result of a new Los Angeles County public health order that mandates proof of vaccination to enter most indoor public locations. However, the nearby Disneyland has no such requirement. If you're wondering why the two parks have different standards, CinemaBlend points out that it's a matter of geography. Disneyland is located in Orange County, which has no vaccine mandate in effect. 

As local governments pass their own vaccine mandates or face mask requirements, we can expect other parks to start deviating from each other. For instance, both Disneyland and Walt Disney World both require guests over the age of two to wear face coverings regardless of their vaccination status if they're indoors, including on many of the rides. However, Universal Studios Orlando only requires unvaccinated guests to have masks on...which of course is impossible to enforce unless checking vaccine cards before visitors enter indoor spaces. 

Other theme park companies have taken other approaches to face coverings and vaccine requirements. For instance, Cedar Point in Ohio has discontinued all social distancing requirements and only recommends that unvaccinated guests wear masks. However, Carowinds, which is also owned by Cedar Point owner Cedar Fair, requires face coverings on all visitors. A lot of the requirements are driven mainly by local requirements, so theme park fans can continue to expect some variation until the pandemic has ended. Current CDC guidelines recommend that anyone age 2 or up wear masks indoors. Masks are not usually recommended in outdoor settings unless in crowded spaces.

Obviously, visitors to theme parks should know the park rules before entering. As the pandemic continues and local and federal requirements continue to change, we'll likely see more parks deviate from each other when it comes to their pandemic rules. While Disney Parks largely follow CDC requirements, other theme park operators stick to local requirements and guidance. Expect more changes and differences to occur over the coming months as the COVID-19 pandemic approaches its third year.