As if visiting a theme park resort during a pandemic wasn't already potentially stressful and confusing, now we see that Disney and Universal are taking opposite approaches to promote social distancing.
At CityWalk, Universal has put down floor markings showing people where to stand when queueing. But at Disney Springs, Disney is using its floor markings to show people where not to stand.
Hopefully, people will shrug off the difference and do what they're supposed to at each resort. But given the importance of people changing their former habits to help prevent spread of Covid-19, it would be nice if we could at least get consistent messaging and instructions on what people are supposed to be doing.
The phased reopenings of CityWalk and Disney Springs should help each company determine best practices with new health and safety procedures. Deciding whether it's clearer to mark where people should stand or should not stand is one of those details that needs to be resolved. At Shanghai Disneyland, Disney established that it would go with the "don't stand here" route to keep people an adequate distance apart in queues. But many other businesses, including Universal, are going with the "stand here" approach.
We could debate the merits of each forever, and I expect readers to start with that in the comments. But absent any federal government leadership here, it'd be nice to see an industry association such as IAAPA step forward to provide guidance.
The theme park industry is the business world's expert in managing crowds efficiently. So theme parks have an opportunity here to help teach countless other businesses around the nation and the world by example how best to protect and promote the safety of their customers while doing so with grace and goodwill.
But theme parks will need their example to be clear and consistent to do that.Tweet
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