Climate change. I live in Orlando so obviously its going to be extremely hot and humid here in summer. I pretty much avoid going to parks here May-September but decided to go to BGT last night since I had some time off and it was a school night/open till 9 so I figured it would be dead.
Walking through that park felt like a mix of being in an oven and swimming in a pool. I was only there for a few hours and left even though it was dead and could have easily marathoned anything I wanted. As a long time Florida guy I fully acknowledge we have a terrible climate for theme parks much of the year. IMO going to theme parks in this kind of weather is dangerous, its just not safe to be outside all day in this kind of heat especially when you add lots of walking and roller coasters on top of it. This is scary to think about because here in Orlando our economy literally is theme parks, without the massive amounts of tourism theme parks brings most people would be unemployed. So if everyone were to adhere to what is my offseason of May-September our economy is in big trouble. This is why when people talk about Climate Change as an environmental issues I think they are framing it wrong, its an economic issue (plus most of the worlds major cities are on coasts...seems like something obvious people should take more seriously).
I'm looking at the weather around the continent now and there is no escape, its 90 degrees at both Valleyfair and Canada's Wonderland. Its been extremely hot all over the continent for most of the summer. We are seeing northern parks that 15 years ago never would have thought of being open in the winter now have Christmas events. Of course there have always been really hot spells in the summer at the northern parks but its becoming increasingly common for it to just be hot every day all summer. I'm really concerned about this. Maybe the parks in the north have been able to monetize it by extending their seasons (though their attendance will probably go down during summer as there are more and more unbearably hot days) but I live in Florida and it's already hot enough.
I think parks need to make changes to address this. Parks rely so much on beverage sales that they don't want people going to places and asking for free water so they make no effort to make it available. Yes they will do it if asked but you still have to wait in line for it. If i'm running a park right now I would be thinking about serious investments in cool down stations all over my parks where there are cold water dispensers, AC, and seats. Also i'd be putting money into trying to not contribute to the problem and reduce emissions as much as possible. Spend the money and make it happen. To make these investments is better than having paramedics constantly carting people out of the park to the hospital IMO, and maybe more people will be okay with visiting during the summer.Tweet