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Fri Jun 12, 2020, 11:01 AM

Universal Orlando's reopening shows challenges ahead for theme parks


(CNN) ó After being closed since mid-March, Universal Orlando Resort in Florida made a cautious reopening on June 5.

And just as Disneyland Shanghai in China did before it in May, Universal put limits on how many people were allowed in along with numerous coronavirus safety measures.

These reopenings show landscapes of lightly attended parks and could illustrate the challenges that lie ahead this summer for other amusement and theme parks. (That includes SeaWorld in Orlando on June 11 and Walt Disney World Resort on July 11 with the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.)

.....(snip).....

Will the Universal experience be universal?

In an email statement late Monday afternoon, Universal Orlando said "while we don't share numbers on our park attendance ... we were able to put in practice the measures we have been planning: screening our guests and team members, social distancing, requiring facial coverings, limiting capacity at our parks and attractions and increasing our cleaning and disinfection procedures."

Craig Williams, producer of The DIS Unplugged, attended opening day on June 5. He said he was surprised at what he saw.

"The reopening day was one of the slowest days I've ever seen at Universal Orlando since I've been attending," Williams told CNN Travel. ..............(more)

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/universal-orlando-reopening-theme-park-challenges/index.html




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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jun 12, 2020, 11:09 AM

1. Today and yesterday FL had the 2 highest days of positive test rates.

And the theme parks are only starting to open. Sea World opened yesterday. Disney is still to come.

Think about that for a second.

We were told (wishful thinking) that the heat and humidity would weaken the virus. The heat and humidity are official here in FL and yet we are experiencing a spike. Yesterday we had 1,698 new cases. Today we had 1,904. I use World of Meters. Again, thatís the 2 highest days weíve had. Our 7 day rolling average is likely heading in the wrong direction also.

DeSatan wonít publish the COVID hospital rates. If that info is accessible he makes it hard to get. Our percent positive test rate for the last week is edging up so the spike is not purely a function of more testing. I read on Monday on CNN that our R factor edged up to 1.07 and anything above 1 leads to exponential growth.

If anyone is reading this and thinking about coming to FL for vacation this summer, Iím sorry to say that I would stay the heck away. We are trying to get a cabin in the north GA mountain for a week but other than that donít come. And, yes, that hurts my stateís economy but this state is led by idiots and it could kill you.

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Response to OrlandoDem2 (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 12, 2020, 11:21 AM

3. Your economy will eventually recover

Someone dead from Covid-19 will always be dead

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Response to DBoon (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 12, 2020, 11:25 AM

4. Completely agree!

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Response to OrlandoDem2 (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 12, 2020, 11:43 AM

6. I don't see any difference with the park opening. It's mainly outside.

How can we complain about beaches and outdoor parks????

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 12, 2020, 11:50 AM

7. You make a good point, but people are often sitting close to each other on rides.

I support outdoor activities right now. Green spaces, trails, long walks, etc.

As I understand it, many attractions within each park have been closed for safety.

However, the parks can create all the walk ways they want for flow of foot traffic. They can rearrange restaurants. Gift shops can limit entrances. But if youíre around thousands of people (even at 25% capacity), taking loudly, breathing heavily from walking all day in the heat, screaming on rides, spittle flying, I have to imagine that thereíll be more spread.

Perhaps the opening of the beaches has contributed. We are fortunate that we donít need to use the public beach when we go so we can easily social distance and keep 6 feet away from others.

I had a 4 day Disney pass for FL residents. I used 1 day before the pandemic and then called and got my money back.

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Response to OrlandoDem2 (Reply #7)

Fri Jun 12, 2020, 12:09 PM

8. I would add, the day in the life of an out of state tourist isn't just about the parks.

Tourists check into any of the hundreds of hotels. We have hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms in Central FL.

Even if people drive their own car to Orlando, they are sharing elevators, lobbies, restaurants, gas stations, shuttles to the parks, busses and monorails in and around the parks, and so much more. Many return to their hotels in the heat of the day to swim. They get back on busses to return to their cars, drive to a hotel, possibly take the elevators back to their rooms, change into swim suits and go sit on pool chairs that others have sat on while sweating in the sun. Then in the evening they return to the parks. On shuttles, busses, and monorails, that have been used all day. When the parks close late in the evening they repeat that. Tourists are in crowds literally all day long. They wake up, run to a fast food restaurant and repeat the process for several days. As thousands depart, thousands more arrive, walking into lobbies as others check out, then going up elevators and others come down.

If I go to the beach or the springs, my family and I can wake up, fix my own food, and go find a place to sit and thatís that.

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Response to OrlandoDem2 (Reply #7)

Fri Jun 12, 2020, 12:34 PM

9. I think I would have rides where only one person in the individual seating only

Maybe with less people the wait time could be the same. Also six feet apart in line could be done. I live 40 minutes from Disney world and wonít be going for awhile.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Jun 12, 2020, 11:20 AM

2. I wonder if their customer contract limits liability from contagion?

If so, has it always or was it changed for the re-opening?

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Response to DBoon (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 12, 2020, 11:33 AM

5. I would guess that all parks may have quietly added that

after the measles outbreak at Disneyland a few years ago.

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