Ahh… Back In The Days When We Thought The Parks Were Only Closing For Two Weeks

On March 12th, 2020, the Walt Disney Company officially announced the temporary closures of their United States theme parks. This decision was made in hopes that it would prevent the further spreading of COVID-19. Later that day, Universal Studios executives made a strikingly similar announcement, stating that Universal Studios parks on both coasts would be closing for two weeks. Executives claimed that they made this decision for the very same reason Disney did, simply as a precaution. Both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios began their temporary shutdown on March 14th, 2020. Both theme park empires assumed they would reopen as soon as early April 2020. Their assumptions proved to be incorrect, to say the least.

Now, just a little under two months later, the world stands still and waits for the re-opening of their beloved theme parks… with little to no sign of an actual hard date or timeline.

Remedies for Theme Park Blues

In the meantime, our team tried to help curb your inner enthusiast by bringing some park magic into your home during this unprecedented and trying time of isolation. However, whether you indulged in our Butterbeer Fudge and Pumpkin Juice Copycat Recipes from Wizarding World, treated your ears to a rockin’ lineup of park hits from the Universal Studios Spotify Playlists, or had your curiosity peaked with a myriad of fascinating facts regarding defunct lands and attractions in our recent Abandoned Disney: What Happened to Discovery Island… we know all too well that nothing compares to the real deal. Despite the fun we had to prepare each of these temporary remedies, there really is no real cure for that roller coaster-sized hole in your heart.

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing…

And so, it would seem that we have little to no choice but to sit tight and wait. In addition to exercising patience, we must also come to terms with the fact, that while we may not know exactly when the parks will open, one thing is for certain… the themed entertainment industry will never be the same. Or, at least that is what we have been led to believe by the myriad of daily updates we’ve received on how Walt Disney World or Universal Studios plan to combat the ever-growing concerns regarding coronavirus.

Universal Orlando Resort’s Policies and Procedures

Recently, in a letter sent to employees, Universal Orlando Resort announced that they will begin checking the temperatures of team members and business visitors who enter resort property and off-site locations. Anyone with a temperature exceeding 99.9°F will not be permitted to enter and must wait 72 hours before coming back. In addition, Davis also urged team members to continue to exercise social distancing guidelines and to wash hands frequently.

Six Flags Takes Matters Into Their Own Hands

One must stop and ask… what will the “other” parks do? Sure, we can assume that they are likely to follow their successor’s lead. However, with much less manpower to put such effective measures into place, what can the “smaller fish” do to ensure the health and safety of their future customers and consumers?

As of this week, it would seem that Six Flags has begun making waves of its own with its new advanced reservation policy in order to enter the park.

This new reservation requirement applies to all members and Six Flags season pass holders. Guests will be able to make reservations through a new online system, yet to premiere.

This new policy and procedure will allow Six Flags the capability to manage the number of guests within its parks. This is exceedingly imperative, as without this data, Six Flags runs the risk of drawing members to the parks only to find that they cannot get in. Can you imagine making the trek to your local Six Flags park, only to be turned away? It feels heavily reminiscent of a scene from National Lampoon’s Vacation!

Six Flags must limit park capacity to conform with the social distancing requirements that states will be implementing as a condition of reopening.

While this may not be the first time that a theme park’s pass holders have had to make a reservation in order to use their passes, it is the first time Six Flags has implemented such a policy. We can only assume that it is the first of many changes to come to theme park fans living in a post-COVID-19 world.