Both shopping and dining districts mandated the use of masks for both guests and employees. Making the change to wearing masks in daily life has been a bit of a transition — but add a little Florida heat and walking around all day to the mix and things start to get a little swampy pretty FAST.
Our Disney Springs days while wearing face masks were good practice (and gave us some idea of what to expect!) but now that Universal Orlando theme parks have reopened, we can finally give you the official scoop on what it’s like to wear a face mask at a theme park ALL. DAY. LONG!
Masks vs. the Heat
We’d be kidding ourselves if we said wearing a face mask wasn’t really, REALLY hot at times. It definitely the hardest part of the whole face mask-wearing lifestyle we’ve recently procured for ourselves (along with everyone else)! Mid-day when the sun is beating down (not to mention Florida is VERY humid) we’ve been noticeably sweating uncontrollably!
But here’s the thing — if you’re like us, you’re already used to shvitzing half of your body mass in sweat and having your clothes cling to your body! Being outside this time of year can be hot, sticky, and uncomfortable even without a mask.
Luckily, we did a little pre-theme park conditioning before we hit Universal Orlando — and we highly recommend taking some long walks outdoors with your face masks and see how well you handle the heat. Chances are you’ll find it tolerable — but you’ll probably have to work up to it!
Masks vs. Thrill Rides
We weren’t exactly sure what would happen to our face masks once we went on a rollercoaster for the first time since we know what usually happens to loose articles! Bye-bye favorite sunglasses!
But with face coverings that fit snugly against your nose and mouth, this isn’t an issue! The only time we felt our mask start to slide was on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit — one of Universal’s more-intense rides. And even then, our face mask stayed in place. We recommend giving your mask a quick tug to make sure it’s secure before take-off!
Mask vs. Excitement
Does wearing a face mask take away from rides? This was something we were the MOST curious to find out!
So what did we think? We still had a great time on the rides, despite wearing face coverings. In fact, on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and The Incredible Hulk Coaster, there were moments we totally forgot we were wearing them!
Check out 6 things we learned at Universal this week that you’ll need to know for Disney World’s reopening!
But here’s the thing — if this is your first time visiting Universal Studios or experiencing these rides, you might not get the full experience! We’ve been on the rides before, so for us, it’s just exciting to get to enjoy them again. If you’re only planning on visiting Universal (or Disney World) once, you might want to wait until face masks aren’t mandatory.
Masks vs. Eating
We weren’t about to let a face mask stop us from consuming as much Butterbeer (and Butterbeer Ice Cream!) as Muggle-ly possible! And like our experience at CityWalk and Disney Springs, eating and drinking with a face mask isn’t much of an issue.
Guests are allowed to lower their masks while eating or drinking and since tables at restaurants have been spaced apart, you’re free to remove your face covering while you enjoy your meal. Universal employees were keeping a watchful eye on everybody and any time a guest had their mask lowered but wasn’t holding a snack or drink, they were asked to re-cover.
Masks vs. Breathing
Getting in some practice with wearing a mask definitely helped us get more acclimated to breathing through a mask while outside. We also noticed the material of your face mask will make it easier or harder to breathe. Click here for some suggestions as to the most comfortable face masks you can choose.
Universal has set up several U-Rest Areas (two inside each theme park and one at CityWalk) where guests can remove their masks temporarily while social distancing. You can stay in these areas for however long you need to get a break.
Masks vs. Children
We didn’t have any children with us on our trips to the theme parks this week, but we understand many of our readers are concerned about being able to get their young children to wear face masks for the duration of their visit. The kids we’ve seen so far have been doing a really good job keeping their face masks on, and waiting until they got to a restaurant or U-Rest Area before taking them off!
While we think this will be a matter each parent will need to address with their children individually, we think having the flexibility to remove face coverings when sitting down for a meal or in a designated U-Rest Area will provide some extra relief for families with younger kids. It’s also possible you might need to plan shorter park days than you’re used to — at least for the time being!
Overall, face masks do take some getting used to. But that being said, wearing a mask in a theme park didn’t feel TOO much different from a mask all day at Disney Springs. We found out some lessons the hard way, so we have some top tips for wearing a face covering here!
Our most important tip is probably to have back-up. Bring at least two masks (and maybe three) for each person in your party, just in case one does fly off on a ride, or you’re stuck in a rainstorm and the mask you’re wearing is no longer effective.
And remember — YOU get to decide when you’re ready to go back out in public and if you’re ready to go to a theme park right now. But we were pleasantly surprised that face coverings didn’t actually put too much of a damper on our day!
Do you have any questions about wearing a mask in a theme park? Please let us know in the comments below!