In this edition of Theme Park Bits:
- Six Flags will be instituting reservations when they reopen.
- Take a look at how Universal Studios Orlando will enforce social distancing when it opens.
- And more!
While the Disney theme parks still don’t have an opening date – no matter what the clickbait-y headlines tell you, it’s just the shopping and dining destination at Walt Disney World that reopened this month – there are plans afoot for one of its competitors for how they’ll handle guests moving forward. At Six Flags, you can expect to do a lot of reservations in advance moving forward. The article here details some of the rules surrounding the system, and while it’s certainly going to remove a lot of the enjoyable spontaneity of traveling through a theme park, making sure you know exactly when and where you’re at a park limits the concern of contracting the coronavirus.
Speaking of reservations, you may be hoping still that Disneyland will be open on July 1. After all, you may be thinking, reservations for hotels are available then! And for now, that is true. But if you want to make a dining reservation, you’ll have to wait a bit longer. Right now, dining reservations aren’t available well into July. (Both based on that article and a personal bit of research in the middle of writing this paragraph.) It’s hard to know for sure if that means a glitch hasn’t been fixed, or if July 1 is just a wishful opening date. But the latter seems awful likely, with each passing day.
Let’s hop back to Orlando, and take a quick look at what may be the new normal at Universal Studios Orlando. While the parks haven’t gotten a reopening date, there’s an understandable amount of preparation going on inside the grounds. This photo, captured by the Orlando Informer Twitter account, highlights a couple of circular signs just beyond the gates of Islands of Adventure that will promote social distancing to anyone spending time inside. Though these aren’t exactly in keeping with the park’s theming…well, there’s not much of an easy way to make the concept of social distancing in a pandemic well-themed, is there?
As a reminder, some of the Disney-owned locations within Disney Springs will be opening on May 27. And as a secondary reminder, there are plenty of new rules and guidelines being implemented at the shopping and dining destination. Yes, the mandatory rule about masks for guests has made some truly awful and selfish people angry (I know none of those people read this column, of course), but there’s even more you’ll need to think of. Temperature checks, limited parking, social distancing, and limited capacity are all the order of the day, for now. Hopefully it goes as smoothly at Disney Springs as things have gone at CityWalk.
Let’s wrap today’s column up with something that’s both Disney-related and completely separate from the coronavirus. Yes, really, there are theme park stories that are unrelated to the pandemic. This one, though, is kind of dystopian in its own way: Disney has filed a patent to identify the kinds of merchandise you’re likely to buy, based on both what you’ve bought in the past and by facial recognition. Now, granted, this is a logical endpoint from getting recommendations on a store website. Still. It’s kinda weird to think that by walking into the World of Disney, a computer would know what you’d want to buy just by looking at you.
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