LOS ANGELES — Going to Universal Studios Hollywood or Six Flags Magic Mountain next week? Get your vaccine card or a photo of it ready.
Starting Oct. 7, visitors to these two SoCal theme parks will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test for entry into the theme park.
As part of an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus and the increased hospitalizations, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health earlier this week issued new guidance for operators of mega-events requiring them to check a visitor’s proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of entry.
The health order is aimed at operators of mega-events such as outdoor festivals, concerts and sports stadiums that bring in more than 10,000 people, but it also applies to theme parks. Some previous health orders have excluded theme parks.
Earlier this week, Universal Studios sent a message to their annual passholders notifying them of the new requirements. Along with showing proof of vaccination, visitors, regardless of vaccination status, would also need to wear a face-covering or face mask indoors and outdoors unless actively eating or drinking.
The mandate comes as Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain rev up their Halloween offerings, one of the busiest times of the year for theme parks.
Visitors heading to Halloween Horror Night at Universal Studios Hollywood and Fright Fest at Magic Mountain on or after Oct. 7 will need proof of vaccination or a negative test.
A Universal Studios Hollywood spokesperson said the park would comply with the health order, but it presents several challenges.
“Universal Studios Hollywood will comply with LA County Public Health. However, we continue to believe that the process would have benefited from more transparent communication and a willingness to understand the complexities of our business,” said a Universal Studios Hollywood spokesperson in an emailed statement to Spectrum News. “We have repeatedly explained there will be operational and staffing challenges that could have been mitigated with more time to execute.”
The spokesperson added that Universal Studios, despite operational and staffing challenges, would “manage this new order as efficiently as possible and to ensure we continue to provide the quality experience our guests have come to expect.”
A Six Flags Magic Mountain spokesperson did not return a Spectrum News request for comment. The Six Flags Magic Mountain website, as of Friday, did not include any information about the new health order.
A Six Flags official told the LA Times they should not be part of this new health order.
“Our guests are not seated next to unrelated parties for extended periods of time, and we have ample room for parties to social distance,” Six Flags officials told the LA Times in a statement.
There is no visitor proof of vaccine requirement at Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and Legoland since those theme parks are in different counties. The health order only applies to venues and mega-events in Los Angeles County.
What will visitors to a Los Angeles County theme park need beginning Oct. 7?
A Universal spokesperson said all visitors ages 12 and older would need to show proof of both doses of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the visit.
To confirm the vaccination matches the ID, the staff at Universal Studios will ask for photo identification for visitors ages 18 and over but not those younger than 17.
Universal officials said proof of vaccination includes the white vaccination card given during the vaccine process or a photo or digital photo of the card.
Universal would also accept the digital vaccination record or QR code from the California Department of Public Health or other vaccination documentation from a health care provider.