Are amusement parks still maintaining business in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic ?

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Overview:

Hi everyone my name is Luca. I live in Orlando, Florida which is the home of the theme park Universal studios theme park. I have had the liberty of visiting the park again for the first time in one year since the pandemic first hit. I was curious to see how much of the park has changed since the last time I was there. I gotta be honest, it pretty much felt like the same park except for a few key differences. Everyone was wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and refraining from eating their snacks when they walked. So even though those people were still going on rides, hanging out and having a good time it was obvious that there were specific rules and regulations that were made to keep the visitors healthy while also making sure that the entire park was still making a profit out of the rides, Islands of Adventure and the City Walk. So I asked myself, “what are the kinds of rules and regulations that keep your average theme park in business in the midst of a pandemic ?’ You’ll be surprised to find out that a lot of thought has been put into this new normal for a theme park like Universal.

What was the first response ?

When extreme cases of COVID-19 started spreading all across the U.S back in March 2020, theme parks had no choice but to close themselves off from the general public. Major precautions had to be taken during the first lockdown such as thousands of hourly employees and cast members being furloughed, pausing major renovations and losing millions of faithful local visitors during its closure. For a moment, it seemed as if amusement parks were never going to see the light of day ever again as the pandemic cost theme parks like Disneyland more than $2 billion in lost operating income and revenue. The government stated that they were not to be reopened until the COVID-19 cases have fallen substantially. That might have sounded like bad news for all of the former visitors who missed forgetting about their issues on a giant roller coaster, but the parks themselves, it did give them a lot of free time for some efficient reevaluation. 

 

What are the massive changes implemented ?

Over the past couple months of its closure, the theme parks have taken their time to formulate new safety regulations that adhere to not just vaccinated people but older adults and those who have serious underlying medical conditions. With help from the CDC they have established that everyone is required to wear a mask or face covering during their visit, temperature checks will be required (More than 100 degrees is a bad sign), wash their hands often for 20 seconds (Or use hand sanitizer often), be aware of the social distancing floor markings, follow team member direction and not come in contact with people who are sick. All of those rules also apply to all the employees and cast members as it is their job to do so.

 

My response:

I think that theme parks are making the right decisions with these new guidelines as it is generating a positive response since it reopened back in June 2020. I would like to do my part by taking its new rules and safety guidelines very seriously as there are members who are keeping an eye out for rule breakers. I would maintain separation from everyone, even those who had early park access. I would take into consideration that certain areas of the park are roped off until further notice and make sure to use the Universal app to buy my ride tickets and reserve spots for concerts. I would even maintain social distancing on roller coasters as well ! If I can maintain efficient and respectful behavior for the safety of all who love to come to this theme park, I am confident that Universal Studios will make a grand reopening in the safest way possible.

Conclusion:

Therefore, I believe that theme parks are doing extremely well at the moment as most of all of their tourists are managing to follow the rules and behave. However, there are still obstacles that these them parks will need to overcome like integrating these rules as an official part of them and teaching Generation C how to assert themselves properly. If everyone can take a chance to keep their masks on the whole day, constantly use hand sanitizer and maintain social distancing whenever they wait in line to go on a roller coaster. If those people can follow those rules, theme parks like Disneyland, Universal and Six Flags can prosper, no matter how long we fight this pandemic. 

 

Questions to discuss among yourselves (Feedback is also welcome !):

  • What you your opinion about going to theme parks during the pandemic ? Would you be willing to spend some time there safely or would you rather stay home until the majority of everyone is vaccinated ?
  • How do you think those theme parks should promote social distancing and mask wearing to children growing up in the pandemic ?
  • Do you happen to know anyone who strongly oppose the new rules and guidelines ? If so, what do you think makes them believe that we shouldn’t value our safety and the safety of others ?
  • How would you make sure that a high-risk friend or relative stays safe and healthy in a theme park ?
  • If you have recently been to a theme park, how would you describe the behavior of the visitors regarding the safety guidelines ?

Works Cited and Consulted

 

9 Comments

9 comments

  1. olivia lawless

    Hi Luca,

    I really enjoyed your project! You did a really good analyzing the topic. I haven’t really thought about how amusement parks are impacted by Covid but I now realize how big an impact it has had. To answer your question, personally I don’t think I would to go an amusement park right now because of the amount of people that go and touch the surfaces.

    Nice work!

  2. Taryn

    Hi Luca! I really enjoyed looking through your page. I went to Universal and the Magic kingdom this past March and the experience with covid did not disappoint. I found that there were many workers keeping guests in line and I even witnessed people who pulled their mask down on a ride get reprimanded by getting their photo deleted.

  3. Cristina_213

    Hey, I thought your project topic was really interesting. Amongst so many other effects of COVID-19, I must’ve overlooked the issue of lack of business in amusement parks. As for your first question, I think depending on the level of park safety, I may be willing to attend an amusement park. That would be depending on the maximum capacity and appearance of how clean the park is.

  4. Emma_222

    Hey Luca- As a fellow Florida resident who has not had the opportunity to re-visit the parks, I was very curious to read through your project. I was glad to hear that the parks are taking the pandemic seriously, because I think if they didn’t, a lot of people would be seriously unwilling to return to these attractions. I think that the biggest thing that parks need to continue to work on moving forward is making their guidelines clearly published (maybe by signs or announcements throughout the park) and to continue to uphold these standards strictly. I think if people are respectful and held accountable by park staff, we can begin our transition to new normalcy. Great work!

  5. Laura Plata

    Hey Luca, I was super interested to read more about your project because I am a huge theme park lover who hasn’t been able to visit a theme park since before the pandemic started. I’m feeling Disney deprived! I’ve been interested in how the parks are handling social distancing with the pandemic, and from what I hear you say, they are doing a great job. I don’t think that I would be willing to go to a theme park anytime soon though. I think that the idea of people coming from all different parts of the country would make me really uncomfortable and unsafe. I guess I’ll wait a couple more months 🙂 Nice job!

  6. Tillie Spencer

    Hi Luca. I really enjoyed your presentation. The pandemic is definitely not only going to take an immediate toll on things such as the business of amusement parks but will most likely affect it in the long run as well. It is important to pay attention to changes like this and what people can do in order to keep the parks open.

  7. Miles_158

    Although I cannot say what this presentation has to do specifically with digital photography, I can say it was cool. All in all, I believe that the big amusement parks will survive in the long run, though they will have to make sacrifices along the way. Look at Disney for example. Disney Land has the craziest die-hard ADULT fanboys and girls. Cool presentation my macho man.

  8. Katrina Adewale

    Hey Luca, I am also from Florida and this project heightened my interest in the subject. You seem very passionate about this project and I can see your strong confidence in the intro video. The infographics are very helpful and tie well with your information. I also think you came up with a great conclusion, great job!

  9. Tori DaCosta

    Hi Luca! This is a great question I have always wondered how amusement parks have been staying afloat while closed due to covid. I know Disney has a considerable following because of all the other aspects they have as a company but places like universal and other amusement parks (like six flags) rely on getting customers to actually buy tickets and play games. So although your presentation does not cover it I wonder what the pandemic has done to places like six flags that cannot really rely on other aspects like movies tv or a streaming service?

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