How are theme parks planning on reopening after Covid-19?

Through a recent survey sent to customers by Universal Studios Resort Florida, we’re able to see the variety of restrictions theme parks are considering when they’re permitted to reopen.

These demonstrate the intentions of the park; with them wanting to gauge guest perception before committing to any measures.

Entry restrictions

Universal are exploring what they can do before guests push through the park gates, to deny entry to those with symptoms and limit overall attendance.

Limiting attendance

The survey asks how comfortable guests would be if total attendance was limited to 75%, 50% or even 25% – with the park keen to open and generate revenue even in an incredibly restricted capacity.

Whilst impacting revenue, this could tempt those guests on the fence about attending, with the promise of shorter queue times even in the peak seasons, albeit with a risk of being turned away.

Pre-admission testing

Various tests can be held, including an extreme, but oddly reassuring 15-minute rapid Covid-19 test, requiring a negative result before admission is granted.

Less extreme measures include temperature checks to stop feverous guests from entering, however, coronavirus is known to be contagious before any symptoms are shown. Reducing security checks such as the X-ray conveyors would help keep guests personal items clean but at the risk of overall park safety.

Universal are contemplating either requiring all guests to wear face masks, or strongly encouraging it. Likely to cause some glares at any guests not adhering!

In the park

Once guests are in, a collection of precautions are available to minimise the risks to guests and team members.

Rides and shows

Seating guests on rides and shows every other row and seat to distance guests, a tactic likely to work well with a limit on overall attendance.

Staff may be required to wipe down vehicles/seats between rides.

Alternatively, complete closure of all indoor shows is considered or limiting the use of 3D glasses in those attractions.

Nighttime shows, parades and any events generating large gatherings could be suspended.

Virtual queues?

With many virtual lines and queues already across the park, Universal are evaluating this for all of their attractions. This may cause denser groups across the park as guests aren’t scattered between queue lines.

Social distancing and 2m markers throughout the queue line would prevent dense crowds, but again, relying on an overall lower total of guests.

Food and payments

Touch-free payments for entry, food and merchandise are considered to remove the need for cash and physical contact. UK parks could benefit from a recent hike in the contactless card spending limit to £45.

By ending the use of self-serve food in buffets and drinks stations, Universal are assessing interest in having these stands manned by a team member.


Measures for staff are similar to those of guests, although likely to be more thorough. Including requiring all staff to:

  • Take a daily Covid-19 test before allowed to work.
  • To wear masks at all times.
  • Have a temperature check.

Would you visit?

With all of these thoughts, the survey ends with:

How likely are you to visit if the park reopens following its pre-Coronavirus standard operation procedures?

Showing Universal is wondering if they need to make any changes at all.

So would you visit given some of these restrictions?