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COVID-19 Coronavirus and Theme Parks Official Thread


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We're now getting some new guidelines from Orange County here in Florida, seen here in this meeting, that are subject to change.

 

 

For theme parks:

 

  • 6-feet tape markings in queues
  • Regularly wiping down surfaces at random
  • Employees wear face masks
  • Automatic hand santiizer dispensers at ticketing / turnstiles, ride entrances, and ride exits
  • Temperature checks for all employees, those above 100.4 deg F stay home
  • Employees with flu-like symptoms stay home
  • 50% capacity during "Phase 1" as defined by the U.S. government, 75% during "Phase 2"

 

Really typical stuff, there is also guidance for Orange County's other industries like hotels, restaurants and the like. Remember that a region is defined as able to go into "Phase 1" once they have demonstrated a decrease in COVID-19 cases over the course of two weeks, then Phase 2 after another two weeks of decrease. Mayor Demings commented that it is more realistic to see openings in June or later rather than May.

 

For what it's worth, the U.S. projection model was also revised today and says that "relaxed social distancing" won't be possible in Florida until June 21st (a week later than previous).

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[*]50% capacity during "Phase 1" as defined by the U.S. government, 75% during "Phase 2"

 

I know this will matter for some parks (maybe Magic Kingdom), but for most of them I can't stop laughing at the focus on this. I think people take this as "We'll make sure there are 50% less people in the park" but at some parks I doubt this will even be noticeable. For example, outside of Christmas is SeaWorld EVER above 50% capacity? They have like 2 entire parking lots and a bunch of trams that I've never EVER seen used.

 

What's the capacity of Epcot? It has to be ridiculous.

Edited by coasterbill
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Paultons Park in the UK have delayed the opening of their Tornado Alley area to Easter next year. I think we might see similar announcements from other parks in a similar position.

 

This is a family theme park in the UK who have really been punching above their weight recently. They put a lot of care and attention into everything they do, and their last few additions have been really well done.

 

Tornado Alley looked to be really well put together with 8 new rides including a Mack spinning coaster, Zamperla Discovery Revolution and more, all themed to a 1950s midwest town.

 

I'm really sad for them, but for such a big investment, the park currently closed and social distancing likely to be a thing for the rest of the year at least, it's the only decision they could have made.

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^^ Thanks for the update on Florida! I saw Busch Gardens Tampa posted some hours starting mid-May (or maybe they hadn't yet removed them) when I checked yesterday.

Keep in mind that the above update is only for Orange / Osceola counties I believe... the governor has yet to commit to a date for everything to start re-opening, though at the same time Florida has not yet extended the stay-at-home order set to expire at the end of the month.

 

I can also confirm seeing hours for Busch Gardens starting in mid-May... Hillsborough county is apparently one of the country's best-performing counties, so they may start to open things up before other counties in the state. Whether the governor says, "counties have the power" or "the state has the power" is to be determined.

 

I know this will matter for some parks (maybe Magic Kingdom), but for most of them I can't stop laughing at the focus on this. I think people take this as "We'll make sure there are 50% less people in the park" but at some parks I doubt this will even be noticeable. For example, outside of Christmas is SeaWorld EVER above 50% capacity? They have like 2 entire parking lots and a bunch of trams that I've never EVER seen used.

I would speculate that parks would be required to submit numbers for theoretical and actual capacity and the "restricted" capacity would be based on those. It's called out as a "mandate" as opposed to a "guideline" so the parks will probably have to track it.

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^ That coaster looks really good. Hope it all opens, eventually.

It's perfect for them - it's a clone of Sierra Sidewinder, but the theming in the whole area is great. I think with such a large investment for a relatively small park it makes sense to delay it to next year when they're more likely to get a proper return on investment.

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So, just for purposes of keeping everyone up to date on all the happenings; ACE has cancelled CoasterCon. Although more accurately they are postponing the entire thing one year. I think a lot of the parks will be open by the end of June but with restrictions in place, large events will probably be difficult for awhile.

 

On the good news front it appears Disney and Universal are eyeballing an early June opening, again with the aforementioned restrictions in place. Some Orlando youtubers have stated that they have heard from employees that training will start back up in May. And where those two parks go I suspect the rest will follow.

 

Hoping we can reschedule our cancelled Texas trip for later in the summer and make the (for us) more local HW,KK,KI, CP run. I may finally get to use those CF platinum passes.

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I know this will matter for some parks (maybe Magic Kingdom), but for most of them I can't stop laughing at the focus on this. I think people take this as "We'll make sure there are 50% less people in the park" but at some parks I doubt this will even be noticeable. For example, outside of Christmas is SeaWorld EVER above 50% capacity?

 

This reminds me of our local Walmart. They have queues and employees set up outside with signs that they're limiting the amount of customers within the store, but there's never a wait. I asked the cashier how many customers are allowed in the store under these restrictions and she told me 700. She said the only day of the year where they exceed 700 is on Black Friday.

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Yeah I think the "limited capacity" thing is all about making the public feel more comfortable, it will be very easy to manipulate. Same with the employees wearing facemasks, more about optics than anything else. Sanitizing will be the most effective thing.

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Based on Gov. Gavin Newsom's reopening plan, it sounds like California's parks aren't reopening anytime soon. While he didn't specifically mention amusement parks, I assume he is lumping them in Phase 4, with other events that draw large crowds - such as concerts, convention centers, and sports with live crowds. Phase 4 will take place when a vaccine is available to the public. 2021, anybody?

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Based on Gov. Gavin Newsom's reopening plan, it sounds like California's parks aren't reopening anytime soon. While he didn't specifically mention amusement parks, I assume he is lumping them in Phase 4, with other events that draw large crowds - such as concerts, convention centers, and sports with live crowds. Phase 4 will take place when a vaccine is available to the public. 2021, anybody?

 

i'm curious how this is going to be handled, and if indeed a theme park is the same as concerts or sports. real sports with bryant gumbel on hbo had a segment talking about the outbreak in italy and focused on one soccer game. as well as the golden state warriors games played after the recommendations to halt mass gatherings.

 

i believe theme parks can control close contact much better than concerts or sporting events. so i won't be surprised if theme parks actually open before sporting events. but we can only wait and see what happens.

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I've said before, and I'll say again. . I think for certain we're looking at parks being back open by end of Summer.

 

likely in July, if not by Mid-June.

 

(with restrictions for social distancing. . be it virtual queue, or using every other switch back, or something).

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I'd place my money on the queue restrictions being similar to the aforementioned Korean examples, with the outcome being the same.

 

As long as I can find a mask durable enough to be pulled up and down repeatedly for at least 4-5 evening beers, with the availability of skip-the-line passes, I'll be good to go.

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Funtown USA in Maine will not be opening for the 2020 season and if the pandemic extends into 2021, they fear they'll have to close for good.

 

No splashdown at Funtown this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic

 

Owners of Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco say the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic has forced closure, which will break its six decades-long opening string

 

SACO, Maine — One of the largest amusement parks, and employer of teenage workers in Maine is not planning on opening its gates this summer, due to the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic.

 

After 60 consecutive years, the Funtown Splashtown USA will not operate this summer, according to the park's owner, Kevin Cormier.

 

The decision to remain closed was made earlier Wednesday due to evolving state COVID-19 protocols, which include the limitation on large gatherings through June - and at the national level – the impacts on hiring temporary workers through the J-1 Visa program.

 

For those reasons, the Funtown Splashtown would not be ready to open in time.

 

The park has been a mainstay attraction in Maine since the 1960s.

 

The history, according to the Funtown Splashtown website, "In 1960, on a then remote stretch of U.S. Route 1 in Saco, Maine, Ken and Violet Cormier opened Marvel Drive In, a drive in restaurant. Ken’s brother-in-law, Andre Dallaire opened a mini-golf course next to Marvel Drive-In in 1959. In 1963, Andre opened a Go-kart track behind his mini golf course, and in 1964 Ken added batting cages and an archery range behind Marvel Drive In. Over the course of the next few years, Cormier and Dallaire added several kiddie and carnival-style rides including SkySlides and Swinging Gyms. A gift shop was also opened. In 1967, Cormier and Dallaire form a partnership and Funtown USA is born, adding a “Zipper”, outdoor bumper cars, Merry-Go-Round, and the “Luv Machine” (Bayun Kurve). The Zipper was located where the Cash Cube is now. The outdoor bumper cars where replaced by the bumper car building. If you look at the area around the bumper cars, you can still see the original concrete pad for the outdoor bumper cars. The “Luv Machine” was only at the park a short time, and was located where the Red Baron Planes are now."

 

Current owner Kevin Cormier told NEWS CENTER Maine, if the pandemic lasts into 2021, Funtown Splashtown may be forced to close for good.

 

 

https://www.newscentermaine.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/no-splashdown-at-funtown-this-summer-due-to-the-coronavirus-pandemic/97-a745e832-3c09-4785-a2d5-0d996e301181

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We have a first date now - Florida (with the exception of the greater Miami area) will enter "phase 1" of re-opening on Monday May 4th.

 

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/04/29/gov-ron-desantis-says-most-of-florida-can-enter-phase-1-of-reopening-on-may-4/

 

The governor did not answer any questions regarding the theme parks, but the allowance of 25% of retail and restaurant space means that places like Disney Springs may be able to start re-opening with restrictions.

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It says “therapeutics” not a “vaccine”. There is a massive difference. Also, I firmly believe that that’s entirely subject to change.

This guy read the actual article.

 

Overall, this looks like a reasonable outline that's based in the epidemiological science and not wishful thinking or a desire to make money as fast as possible. It's obviously not perfect, but it's a good start, and a refreshing counter-argument to the "plans" currently coming out of other governors' butts.

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Just had SeaWorld pop into my email inbox. Here's what's happening with their tickets and passes for apparently all parks under the company's umbrella:

 

  • Annual passes and memberships will be extended for the length of time of the closure
  • Domestic tickets that were set to expire during the closure get extended through the end of 2021
  • Tickets purchased internationally that were set to expire during the closure get extended through the first week of 2022
  • Any in-park experience that you would have participated in can be rescheduled through the end of 2021
  • Upcoming discounts on tickets and new benefits for passholders

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Hmmm. I honestly believe that this year should be called, "The Year Of Being Together/Apart".

 

NOT "The Year of Co-We-Know-What".

 

The way everyone has been coming together, through the world wide web, with mucho imagination and style....

 

To all the world involved.

 

EDIT: And all Coaster Enthusiasts on the Front Lines, Medical and Non-, Everywhere... YOU ARE AWESOME!

Robb and Elissa? Maybe it's time to add a "hands clapping" emoji to the collection. A suggestion for these times.

Fireworks.png.3f0e09a670b6fc81609b51c6434683cd.png

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Based on Gov. Gavin Newsom's reopening plan, it sounds like California's parks aren't reopening anytime soon. While he didn't specifically mention amusement parks, I assume he is lumping them in Phase 4, with other events that draw large crowds - such as concerts, convention centers, and sports with live crowds. Phase 4 will take place when a vaccine is available to the public. 2021, anybody?

 

Theme parks could easily be part of phase 3. Asian parks already have a model in place...

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So I put this in my old planning trip for my summer ohio trip, but I feel this may be a better place for answers current situation given...

 

So question does anyone have experience with Tickets at Work and cancelling stuff. All the hotels are "non-refundable" but I had an experience talking to them about it saying that there rule right now is refunds for everything up until June, or if the hotel/event will not happen, but most of my trip is in June. Holliwood Knights and Coastermania have already been rescheduled, and msot of the hotels on their sites mention refunds for June, but I had a bad call a few weeks ago asking questions. I'd prefer to get a refund, as it seems unlikely anything will be open for this "trip".

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We went for Fine French Cuisine Take Out tonight. Turns out it was #TakeAwayDay .

Not sure which country this was in. But we did our duty and supported a fave

restaurant of our, Absinthe Bistro.

 

Here's the photo of our 7 pm pick up.

 

Anybody else with a great Take Away TR to share?

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The pizzeria opposite us is doing their social distance thing, for orders at the door.

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The New Building at the corner.

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This household does the 7 pm appreciation Big Time, with music, noise...and MORE NOISE!

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Our order is ready!

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Juliana and Cory. Host and Head Chef at Absinthe. Great couple. Great staff. Awesome food.

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It was raining.

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Everything out. Beef bourguignon and scallops were the main courses. And bread w/butter!

Rice pudding and creme brulee for dessert.

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Lots of "dishes" to recycle, and we hadn't even finished dessert yet!

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