California Releases Revised Theme Park Guidelines, Plus New Face Mask Exemptions!

Source: Disneyland

The state of California has released new COVID-19 guidance for theme parks as of March 26 and is to go into affect on April 1. On page 2 of 13, the document lists key prevention practices:

  • physical distancing to the maximum extent possible,
  • use of face coverings by workers (where respiratory protection is not already required) and customers/clients,
  • for indoor locations, ensuring adequate ventilation in all spaces,
  • frequent handwashing and regular cleaning and disinfection,
  • training workers on these and other elements of the COVID-19 prevention program.

The document covers face mask guidelines and exemptions, and theme park entry. Later on in the document they cover “Additional Recommendations” for admission/entry/security, rides and attractions, and interactive exhibits/attractions. We have gathered the most important information from this new document for you below!

Face Covering Rules and Exemptions 

Face coverings are required for all employees and Guests, unless actively eating and drinking. They ask that Guests be removed if they do not comply. The guidance also calls for park operators to “allow for exemptions identified in the CDPH Face Covering Guidance.” The CDPH Face Covering Guidance can be found here and includes exemptions for various physical and mental conditions.

The 13 page document also states the below for all tiers:

  • Employers who have employees working at Amusement Parks and Theme Parks must develop a worker COVID-19 testing program for weekly optional testing of all workers who may encounter other workers, support staff, or performers. PCR or antigen are permissible diagnosis tests for workers/performers where the interval of between tests is no greater than seven days. For workers returning to work where the interval between a prior test has been greater than seven days after receiving a prior test, only a PCR test is permissible.
  • Workers participating in routine weekly testing are NOT counted toward any occupancy capacity limit. All workers not participating in a routine weekly testing program shall count toward any occupancy limit.
  • Performers and workers in the performance sector who cannot feasibly perform or work with a face covering are not required to wear a face covering during the time period in which such tasks are actually being performed on the condition that (1) the unmasked performer or worker is at least six feet away from all other persons, or (2) all unmasked performers or workers and any workers who come into contact with those people are routinely tested at least twice weekly for COVID-19. 

The guideline also states that parks must have extra face masks available for Guests in the case that a mask flies off during a ride.

Admission and Entry

The new guidelines reiterates that only California residents are allowed entry in the park.

  • At the time a guest makes a park reservation and purchases park tickets, the park operators must obtain an attestation that when visiting the park, the guest’s party size will not contain more than 3 households and the guest, and all members of the guest’s party will be in-state visitors.
  • Consider offering all-inclusive package deals/wristbands that combine park admission, parking, and special upgrades like reserved seating and cabana rental to reduce the number of transactions made inside the park.

Rides and Attractions

  • Indoor rides are allowed and must be limited to no more than 15 minutes long.
  • All queuing must be performed in outdoor settings only and guests from different households or other parties must be at least six feet apart during queuing.
  • Board household members in the same vehicle when possible. Passengers from different households must be at least six feet apart.
  • Discontinue use of a ride or attraction where use of face coverings presents a safety issue or high incidence of loss of face covering during operation.
  • Only outdoor live performances and shows are allowed in all tiers.
  • Consider cancelling post show meet-and-greets. Modify photo opportunities and sets to maintain a minimum of six feet of distance between workers and guests.


  • Park visitors are permitted to eat and drink only in designated dining areas.
  • Concession stands must be accompanied by additional designated and shaded eating areas. Food and/or drink consumption is NOT permitted while queuing or using rides and attractions, including cinematic attractions.

You can view the entire 13 page document here.

We are beyond excited for Disneyland and California Adventure to reopen on April 30! Universal Studios Hollywood has yet to set a reopening date, but we anticipate that they will make an announcement any day now!

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