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Universal Offers Alternative to Masks for Guests With Disabilities Disney Says No Exceptions

Universal Offers Alternative to Masks for Guests With Disabilities, Disney Says No Exceptions
Universal President Bill Davis greets guests in his face covering, credit: Universal Orlando Resort

There’s been a lot of talk about guests wearing face coverings to the theme parks. Universal Orlando is offering an alternative option for guests with certain disabilities, but Disney World is not issuing any exceptions. Read on for details.

Universal Orlando is offering an alternative face covering for guests with disabilities. They address this issue on the frequently asked questions on their website.

Guests with certain disabilities that would prohibit them from wearing a traditional face covering can stop by guest services and will be offered the opportunity to wear a face shield rather than a mask that fits securely around the nose and mouth:

Note that the answer here states that some rides will not allow a guest to wear a face shield and the guest will be asked to temporarily switch to a regular face covering to ride the ride.

If you’re impacted by this, be sure to bring a regular face covering and ask the Team Member outside of each ride if you will need to change into it for this particular attraction as a list of attractions that require a regular mask is not provided. Definitely assume that anything with an inversion would be on the list.

This style will be acceptable for guests with certain disabilities at Universal Orlando, but NOT at Walt Disney World
Photo from Amazon

It also is not clear whether the face shield is to be provided by Universal Orlando or if you will need to bring your own.

Down the road at Walt Disney World, it seems that no exceptions to the face covering rule are allowed. ALL guests must wear a face covering that fits snugly over the nose and mouth to enter the parks.

I checked with the Disney Parks Moms Panel on face shields, but their answer as of June 2 says they don’t know and to check with guest services.

I called Disney Disability Services today to confirm that they are not making any exceptions. They reiterated that ALL guests 2 and up must wear a face covering that fits snugly over the nose and mouth.

Disney has since come out with a policy specifically stating that Neck Gaiters, like the one pictured below, are not permissible inside the Disney Parks.

“Neck Gaiters” like the one I’m sporting here are allowed at Universal but Disney has since clarified they are not allowed at Walt Disney World.

The Cast Member I spoke to confirmed that a face shield does not meet this requirement and is not considered a face covering for the purposes of entering the Disney Parks.

Luckily my (Rebecca’s) family members are able to wear our face coverings. We have been practicing in the Virginia heat but it’s clear we won’t last long in the parks this summer.

My son, ASD +ADHD, does fine in his mask

How are you impacted by this? Will you be putting off your trip because of the face covering requirement for guests in your party with disabilities? Let us know in the comments on Facebook and in our Facebook group.

-Rebecca W Davis


  1. That is not how you handle persons with disabilities. We have just as much right to go as you do, and we have the right to have reasonable modification by ADA and CDC guidelines. I was at Epcot today and they would not relent on me wearing a face shield…I have COPD, but that should not be a sentence to stay at home. I know how to stay away from others and I do stay as far away from others as I possibly can. To tell someone to stay home because of their disability is rather juvenile.

  2. We are in a Pandemic. If you can’t comfortably or safely wear a mask, don’t go. Period. There is nothing to argue.

  3. Some of us cannot wear cloth face coverings due to medical conditions or disabilities. How is this even legal not to mention unfair to ban the use of face shields . Face shields are actually superior to masks. I think Disney just wants us to buy their face masks, I don’t think I will be visiting even after the pandamic

  4. We are booked to visit in December. While I am hoping for parades, fireworks, and park hopping, we will most likely still go if those are not available. The face mask issue could be the game changer. With both asthma and high blood pressure, masks are difficult and potentially dangerous for me.

  5. Currently, we are still booked for our vacation in December. We have trip insurance, so we will make a decision about 45 days from travel. Here are items that need to change or we will cancel. Park hopping must come back. I refuse to pay full price for everything and not be able to end my day at a nice sit down at Epcot every night if a choose. We will not wear masks. Now don’t chastise me for that. It is my decision and if masks are required, we will not go and no harm is done to anyone.

  6. We canceled our May 4th trip due to my non-verbal 4 year old son who has autism and can not tolerate a face coving or a face shield. I also have an 8 year old son who can tolerate a face cover because he is a typical child but I’m afraid that the magic may be gone before we are able to visit. Not real sure when we will be able to go.

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