Is It Too Early to Reopen Theme Parks?

June 14, 2020, 10:33 PM · [Updated] Now that we have officially announced reopening dates for the eight largest theme parks in America - including those from Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Universal Orlando - it's time to ask the question: Are you ready to go back to a theme park?

I suspect that several of you already have, as Universal Orlando, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens have returned to welcoming guests in Florida. But judging from the relatively light crowds at those and other parks since their reopenings, I also know that the vast majority of you haven't been back to a theme park since they began closing last winter due to the pandemic.

That pandemic has not ended. Nor has the economy even begun to recover from the global recession/depression caused by shutting down businesses around the world. Reading comments here on Theme Park Insider and our social media channels, I can see the pain, frustration, fear, and anger that so many people are feeling as a result of this pandemic, the resulting economic collapse, and the social unrest that has followed.

For many, that combination makes this both the perfect time to want to get away and go on a theme park vacation - and possibly the worst imaginable time actually to do that.

Arguing in favor of visiting parks this summer, we have emerging research that suggests the risk of transmission is much lower outside than in, and for people moving around rather than staying still in groups. With six-foot spacing in queues or the use of virtual ones, theme parks might offer a safer environment for people to get out than going to shopping malls or dine-in restaurants.

Arguing against visiting theme parks is this, shared with me by a friend in the Orlando area....

New daily cases in Florida

It's not any better in California, either.

New daily cases in California

Rather than getting into a big debate over what parks should or should not be doing in response to the virus, let's get some actual data that might suggest what the future holds. Allow me simply to ask about your travel plans for the summer. Will you be going to any theme parks? If so, will you plan overnight trips or just visits to a local park? If you are traveling, will you be doing as much as you would have planned before the virus?

In the comments, please tell us about the next theme park visit you're considering - whether it'll be this summer or later in the future. Where will you go, and when?

Wherever you go and whatever you do, please take care of not only yourself but everyone around you. Best wishes.

Replies (67)

June 14, 2020 at 7:20 PM

I have two thoughts in my head.

Number 1 is a UK trip in my head that hits Alton towers and Drayton a Manor, with a divert to bourneville for Cadbury. Don’t know if I can talk the wife into it, but if it happens it would be at the end of the season.

Number 2 is maybe a return to Orlando next year. This relies upon the virus being under control for two reasons. First is practicality, if the virus is not under control in Florida, I’ll potentially face quarantines. Second is product quality, If I’m going to go that far and pay that much money, I want the full experience. I might accept a lower quality on a short Paris trip, but not a trans atlantic one.

As for is this the right time? Two answers. Medically I’m convinced it’s no, I don’t see what’s different to the day before lockdown. Opening up things I think naturally ramps the R rate up. As a matter of business, Disney is a business and as a matter of duty to shareholders they need to open as much as is legally and medically appropriate to do so. If they are allowed to they should, but I’m not convinced they should be allowed to.

June 14, 2020 at 9:38 PM

My mom a nurse in her 70s still hoping to go in August. Her new complication is that she was going to Dolphin which is now used for MLS players so new rules preventing them and NBA guys from mingling with guests. But she still wants it (a graduation present for nephew) so yes, folks will be wanting to go no matter what.

June 14, 2020 at 10:39 PM

Is it too early to reopen theme parks? I don't think it is, at least not with proper precautions. While cases have increased by about 50% over the past month due to reopening, they have not skyrocketed as some feared they might and still remain well below the capacity of medical systems in most parts of the country. Additionally, while there's still a lot we don't know, we do know that there are ways to reduce spread of the virus, so with no cure in sight I think we need to start getting back to as normal as safely possible for the good of society as a whole. Based on what I've seen, I don't feel theme parks are any riskier than most everyday activities as long as distancing and sanitation are practiced.

Are you ready to go back to a theme park? Yes, and if the parks in Southern California were open I would have visited one this weekend.

Will you be going to any theme parks? If so, will you plan overnight trips or just visits to a local park? If you are traveling, will you be doing as much as you would have planned before the virus? I am currently finalizing travel plans for a road trip next month that will last about a week and a half. I will be traveling mostly to parks I've visited before rather than places I haven't in case the experience is marred by new procedures in place, but I am planning to visit a couple new ones that are covered by passes I currently have. In total, I won't be visiting as many parks as I was originally planning to visit this year or the same parks I had planned for this summer, but I will still be visiting over a half dozen parks on my trip.

Where will you go, and when? Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico (if they open in time), Oklahoma, and Texas in July 2020.

June 14, 2020 at 11:11 PM

I was bored and decided to go on a night drive around Universal and I-Drive tonight. When the quarantine started it was kind of cool to see everything empty but now after all this time it's just sad, you just can't help but feel gutted that all those businesses are just dead with no recovery in sight. Restaurant after restaurant just sitting there. Fun Spot and Icon Park were operating but there was no on there on a beautiful summer night.

June 15, 2020 at 1:08 AM

We were very kindly gifted Disneyland tickets and were planning a trip this year. We have since re-evaluated our situation and will be holding on to those tickets for the foreseeable future. Seeing how eagerly many people are throwing caution to the wind, I can't see us visiting the parks before next year. So it's not the money that's stopping us. The stay-at-home order has actually been a financial boon to my family. Until we are convinced it is safe to return to Disneyland, we are content to wait.

June 15, 2020 at 1:55 AM

I had to tick the 'Virus' answer to the second question although its a blunt answer to a more complicated question. We have cancelled our plans for a big trip to Florida (from the UK) because it's obvious that even if it is all functioning (including flights) it won't be the magical experience we intended it to be. \And that's because of the virus so yes, we've cancelled because of the virus but not necessarily because we were frightened of catching it. That said if cases in the USA continue to grow that might have affected our decision in other ways.

The UK market will take some time to recover. We're now thinking of 2022, maybe even 2023.

June 15, 2020 at 3:56 AM

Chad H, if you do decide to visit us in the UK may I recommend Thorpe Park theme park and, if you are a Potter fan, Warner Brothers Studio.

June 15, 2020 at 4:32 AM

I have been to Thorpe park many times. I’m not in the mood to go into London so I’m not sure Warner’s would work.

June 15, 2020 at 7:29 AM

Chad, if you do do Warners, nearby, is the infamous Hellfire Club caves, a favourite place for Benjamin Franklin. Well worth a visit if you are in the vicinity. Something unique to visit.

http://www.hellfirecaves.co.uk/

June 15, 2020 at 8:51 AM

We have Universal AP we got last time over from Oz, they had extra 6 months as part of deal. We planned going back to Orlando this summer but not now, so we will lose out on the whole purpose of having bought the APs. When will we go back, probably once a vaccine has been developed!! We would currently spend all our holiday time in self isolation anyway even if we could fly from Oz. But honestly, would you spend 24 hours in the close confines of multiple planes, before even contemplating the parks. I live for visiting the parks, but in the current climate, that may not be so true!!!

June 15, 2020 at 9:04 AM

I miss going to theme parks desperately. There is no way in hell that I would go back right now.

June 15, 2020 at 9:04 AM

We will be travelling to disneyworld in sept. Can't wait. We drive so not worried about airplane ride or fare.
Not concerned about the virus either, it's gonna be like the flu either you get it or you don't.

June 15, 2020 at 9:24 AM

I will be driving to Orlando (I'm within 3 hours) July 19th to stay for a week at a Marriott vacation property. I will definitely be visiting SeaWorld and Universal. A Disney visit will depend on their reservation system and whether I can get get reservations for myself, and my friends. I will also definitely visit Disney Springs. If at anytime I feel too many people are not following the safety protocols, I'll just leave that park and try another. I have annual passes to all. I believe there are reasons other than the lift on the stay at home orders that are playing a role in the spike in Florida's cases. Though that obviously will have a role, I don't think that's the 'whole ' story. Just my thoughts and opinions though. I'm an RN, I know how to stay safe. I've been out and about, with my masks and my hand sanitizer, keeping my distance, and I have stayed well. As long as I feel the majority of those around me are doing the same, I'll be out there doing what I love....theme park hopping.

June 15, 2020 at 9:34 AM

I do believe the theme parks have done their homework in regard attempting to ensure guest safety. The guest have to do their part. I still see more than half of people walking around without masks conducting their daily activity. And while they do this the numbers are spiking. Despite consistent encouragement to wear a mask in public, people demonstrate careless disregard. No measures a theme park will takes can stop it only because people won't follow public health guidelines.

June 15, 2020 at 10:33 AM

Had planned to stay at DLR for a few days to celebrate 70 complete laps around the Sun. Since they are pretty loose about what constitutes a birthday there, waiting a year isn’t the worst thing. Dr. Fauci today said he expects real normalcy to be about a year away.

June 15, 2020 at 10:36 AM

I must confess that the increase in cases in Florida over the last few days is alarming and means our trip in October will be monitored closely over the coming month and possibly may be deferred. Being remote, has there been any strong evidence for the current increases? Does Orlando area have its own data?

June 15, 2020 at 10:38 AM

My answer was "no, I will not be visiting"... but not because of fear. I simply lost my travel window (the parks and hotels were shut down because of the virus in early June).

All of our plans changed (vacations, internships, scheduled summer education experiences) and now we're on a different track which means new schedules will not allow us to go. My teens signed up for a summer school course (why not knock a required course off the list?) and one just got hired at Chick-fil-A.

We can't plan an Orlando trip for the fall because we don't know how everything else will work (will there be a revised or normal school schedule? what about school sports?).

I would imagine there are others who "would" go now (or at least plan a trip) but are still paralyzed because everything else in life is still an unknown.

June 15, 2020 at 10:48 AM

I really don’t like going to parks in the summer because of the heat and crowds. We gave up on a early June trip but are still looking forward to the beach in August but are going to be cautious with going out to eat. Already have a (cheap) flight and accommodations for a fall Florida trip.

June 15, 2020 at 10:59 AM

I am a 10 yr passholder at Universal and I reside in MI. Normally make 4-7 annual trips to Orlando and was there when they opened this month. We flew roundtrip; stayed at an on-site resort hotel and interacted with thousands of people for 3 days.

It is clear they are taking unprecedented steps to make the park as safe as possible and in combination with my own efforts, I felt safe the entire time we were there. Wearing a mask on a rollercoaster was different but so was not leaving my home for 3 months. We all acknowledged the "new normal" and had a ball.

I talked with Universal security and they felt 95% of guests were following the guidelines; and initial feedback was positive. Folks if you are not at a high risk, take advantage of the lower fares and short lines at the parks. If you don't adapt easily to change, then stay at home until you feel safe enough to leave.

June 15, 2020 at 12:45 PM

Those of us working in the themed entertainment and amusement industry are either back to work or returning to our roles with these reopenings and have no practical alternative. Poll offers no option for those who are by definition actual "Theme Park Insiders" called back to the front lines. We are the ones adapting new procedures and dedicated to keeping our guests and ourselves as safe as we possibly can. Our numbers include part timers who worry they risk their furlough benefits for returning to work despite remaining furloughed from their full time roles elsewhere despite legally being eligible for assistance due to missing most of their usual income due to the pandemic. That's on top of the potential for being exposed to the virus and other risks all due to some of our guests being less than honest or careful about their own respective health. Many of us have been long time participants in this community- since many working in this industry are also dedicated fans. Most of us are not free to weigh in on divisive political opinions or make comments on social media regardless of how we actually feel. I am proud to have been greeting guests and coworkers at multiple theme park venues in the past couple of weeks- and prouder than ever of the thousands of us smiling through our face masks and shields, doing the best we can to ensure the best possible experience for our Guests while pioneering new procedures and protocols intended to keep everyone as safe as possible.

June 15, 2020 at 1:32 PM

From what I understand Sea World has been running 1 train on their coasters, seating every other row, and cleaning the vehicles every cycle, resulting in really long lines even though the park is slow. That is completely unacceptable IMO. I know they are trying to prove a point but if you're going to open a major park at least have enough people working to clean the vehicles quickly enough to run multiple trains. Loading B&Ms is not difficult (I know i've worked on my share of them) they should have no problem accomplishing this...and then add the fact that they have quick queue on top of this is just criminal.

I've really been turned off by Sea World Parks business practices over the past decade or so, they have basically become just like Six Flags where there is no effort made in operations or quality of experience its basically "well we have a big new coaster so if you want to ride it you have to deal with our BS." It's sad I everyone I know that were dedicated long time "company-men" employees at Sea World over the last decade have either all been laid off or retired out of disgust and everyone that works there now are part time kids that don't get any hours, have no connection to the company, and just flat out don't care. They do still make pretty rides but that doesn't mean anything if the way the park is operated is incompetent.

June 15, 2020 at 3:47 PM

Our Disneyland APs expired before all of this happened. If there was ever a time to choose to let our passes expire, this was it.
As much as I am missing going to the parks, I am in no hurry to return. I look forward to a day when I'm ready to go back, but I just don't know if the experience would make up for the concern over the risk. Time will tell.

June 15, 2020 at 4:48 PM

I agree with what Chad said at the start. The key thing for us international visitors to florida or california is when the USA lifts the ban on international visitors. Recently Dr Fauci said it’s likely to be a long time away and could be well into next year before it is lifted

June 15, 2020 at 5:42 PM

Aren't visiting guests who are inside the theme parks by "definition actual 'Theme Park Insiders'"?

June 15, 2020 at 6:06 PM

I'm slowly walking back and losing all hope of attending my local parks this year (KD, BGW SFGA, Hershey and DP) being as though they were no more than a 3 hour commute. So far my KI and CP trips have potentially been shelved. With two of the three Orlando trips also being canceled, my intentions were to still make the Oct trip for HHN but that too is looking grim. I have to also take in to consideration the risk of exposure during air travel and accommodations. Im not knocking anyone willing to go, but just wish more people would at least take the necessary precautions. As far as 2020, I'm ready to just throw the whole year away.

June 15, 2020 at 8:30 PM

@Dave Bakas: Many industries are returning workers under new circumstances and procedures. Please do not act like those in theme parks are in the same boat as the doctors and nurses from the last three months. Your description is the same as almost any company and industry in the country right now. Don't be so dramatic.

June 15, 2020 at 8:28 PM

Data is broken down up to the county level at that source, not that it should matter at those levels.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/florida/

It is sort of hilarious when people think the decisive question right now is when the US will let people enter again. As long as the local situation is completly out of control like that, the question is really who will allow entering the US without major obstacles like a two weak quaranteen upon return. It shouldn´t even matter if anybody from abroad joings the lockdown. Those are shut everything down again numbers.

June 15, 2020 at 8:32 PM

Context. Comments directed specifically to this article. Those of us who work in theme parks replying to the questions in this poll are returning to work regardless.

June 15, 2020 at 8:35 PM

@Dave Bakas: "Those of use who work in theme parks replying to the questions in this poll."

Who else are you speaking for exactly?

June 15, 2020 at 9:09 PM

Will I get digitally stoned and tarred and feathered by the louder (more activist) members of this assembled gathering, if I voice my top concern of the (no doubt a lot) of cast members having been in massive outdoors gatherings (very close to each other like sandines) with chanting and 50 percent of people wearing masks. some of them probably at 3-10 of these for several hrs on end. Assuming no cast members stayed after curview and got arrested posing a higher risk. Although something like 100 probably did .

the health dept's do say chanting or singing transmits more virus. several american states have said you can go back to church at 25 or 50 percent of the seats, but ONLY if you don't chant or sing. of course, people in these street gatherings of 3000 to 10000 people in one location chant and sing and no one gets a fine.

Yeah. Seems completely fair and equal. Nothing at all to get mad about for people who have always previously followed all laws in the middle of the country or florida


June 15, 2020 at 9:11 PM

@ Davedisney: Please state your facts regarding the number of cast members outdoors in larger groups? Are you simply speculating or do you have data you support your claim?

June 15, 2020 at 10:32 PM

Sea World Orlando is only running one train on the coasters?! Oh crap, that's terrible. I mean the point is to attract people to your park not keep them away. Antarctica, Atlantis, half of Sesame Street all closed up and now your coasters are running at much reduced capacity...is not good. Universal up the street is running all non-kid play area attractions and their coasters have short waits most of the time because even with social distancing they are running at decent capacity. C'mon Sea World, the selective people who will venture out with the virus out there and have money to spend want to be treated like super valued customers that they are. They are willing to go out and spend a day at your park in these times and your giving them a much more diminished experience than you are able to. Universal has shown they are able to treat them to a pleasant day. You have some mighty competition in your area, no excuses pick it up!!!

June 15, 2020 at 10:51 PM

For all international members here, it won't be as simple as the US opening their borders and off to Orlando we go. There's a lot of other limiting steps. In Australia, we can't travel overseas at all unless with specific government permission, but I understand that's not the same the world over.

The big sting will be in obtaining travel insurance. Not many insurers will allow for international travel insurance, particularly to a place as dangerous as the USA. I personally wouldn't go to the states without decent insurance, the medical costs are insane (and I'm sure no government's have reciprocal health care agreements with them). Until that's obtainable, I think eveyone will need to reconsider international travel.

June 15, 2020 at 11:14 PM

Maybe i'm ethnocentric because I live right in the middle of the theme park capitol of the world and can go to these places whenever I want, and have traveled everywhere I want to go more than enough times, but it's blowing my mind how people in this topic are talking about international travel? How is international travel even a thing that people are thinking about right now? I can't speak for other places but here Florida we never even had a dent in the virus cases, new cases started to slow but the number of infected people never went down and now they are shooting up again, and it's still technically not even legal for people from New York/New Jersey/Conneticut to go to parks in Florida (unless they quarantine for 14 days in the state first which nobody is going to do).

Until something changes there should be no international travel to or from the USA unless its essential.

June 15, 2020 at 11:30 PM

What annyoys me now is seeing in New Zealand, 20,000 people sans mask or distancing watching a rugby game. That's because they were very strict on lockdown and testing, knowing short-term pain better in the long run (being an island also helped). The result is no active cases in weeks and life returning to semi-normal. Shows how so many countries could have benefited with that kind of plan.

June 15, 2020 at 11:47 PM

Please do more research if you're intending to visit theme parks in Florida. The Department of Health in Florida is not 100% truthful in their reporting of Covid-19 cases.

The DOH fired a scientist who would not jigger the numbers to fit the re-opening scenario. Orange County (Orlando) has not met the criteria to move forward with opening, but they did it anyway.

We now have 85,000+ cases in Florida, up 45,000 in the last six weeks.

If you want real numbers for all parts of Florida, please check here:
https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/7572b118dc3c48d885d1c643c195314e/

The state is not looking out for your health. They want tourist taxes. The state is not requiring face masks, but sensible parks are (which leaves out Legoland).

I do give Disney credit for closing before they were asked to, and waiting to open.

June 16, 2020 at 5:46 AM

Most Americans are either a) over this whole little annoyance in their lives or b) consider it a phony pandemic because they don't personally know anyone affected. So it isn't even a question of whether or not it is too early to reopen _______ , we are doing it data be damned. With that being the case, it seems risk management still makes a lot of sense. I need to go the grocery store, but I don't need to go to a theme park.

It is my opinion that a few things will happen over the coming months. People that are "just over this whole thing" will get a smack of reality when they realize that it isn't just going away. And those that think this whole thing is nothing more than a phony con job will eventually wake up to the reality that it is anything but phony as people more directly around them become affected. In both cases, they will feel mislead by their leaders and angry that the opportunity to be better prepared was squandered.

Queue the "you can't hide in your house forever" comments at this point in the discussion. People can assess their own risk and decide for themselves. It is clear that the majority don't want to be told what to do. If you are one of the "there's no risk here, let's move on" advocates - that's fine. If that plan backfires, own it.

June 16, 2020 at 5:51 AM

We are Annual Passholders for Disney World and we will definitely be attending the parks this summer. I don't mind wearing the masks for myself and for others. I will definitely be abiding by the social distancing requirements. I do think those who will visit the parks will abide by these policies as well. Having less crowds in the parks sounds really good. No fast passes is old school and I also like the sound of that. Looking forward to July!

June 16, 2020 at 6:51 AM

Thanks Sue.

June 16, 2020 at 11:03 AM

Creeping closer to 3000 new cases a day ..... and the impact of having the parks reopen, plus the protests of late, have not had chance to be factored in.

We've had a few restaurants close again due to staff and/or customers testing positive for the virus.

Orange increased by a couple, but Demmings is getting twitchy, and seems to be laying the foundation for mandatory mask wearing in the county.

Interesting to also note, the spikes are seeing the average age of positive cases to be around 30. Yep, the bars are open, social distancing for all those on the beach during Memorial Day weekend was non-existent ... what possibly could have gone wrong .... !!

And yes, thanks Sue. It's a far better dashboard than the 'official' one that Florida is constantly fudging.

June 16, 2020 at 1:03 PM

Thanks Sue for sending people to a site set up by a wacko who is manipulating #'s how she sees fit.
She is also a felon, arrested for revenge porn and based on her degree's is definitely no data scientist!

Jones has a PhD in Geography from Florida State University, a masters in Geography and Mass Communication from Louisiana State University, and a B.A. from Syracuse in Geography and Journalism, according to a resume posted on FSU's website.

June 16, 2020 at 1:37 PM

Mr Torrance, do you actually have a challenge to the information, or do you think an ad hominem fallacy makes you right?

(One would think Geography involves the study of data, so I have no idea where your objections are coming from other than simply being upset at “bad facts”)

June 16, 2020 at 1:31 PM

There are so many factors in this question. I have visited Universal, SeaWorld and Disney Springs. Both of my visits to Universal have been really good and felt safer there than at my local grocery store. 90%+ of the guest have proper face covering, obey the social distancing makers and staff is working hard to enforce their safety protocols. The same can be said at Disney Springs.
Our SeaWorld experience was the absolute opposite. We lasted 1 hour and left. I would say 60% or more of the guest had either no face mask on or it was hanging around their necks. No social distancing or mask wearing was being enforce by staff. NONE. Even some of their staff was not wearing a face mask. I honestly felt the park had decided that guest safety was just not a priority. It felt like their safety protocols was just for show to get their reopening plan approved by the State.

So it really comes down to the park and it’s guest. If they follow through like Disney and Universal, it an option. If they do it like SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, no way. They will just become virus hot spots.

June 16, 2020 at 1:31 PM

Media needs stop focusing on just the number of new cases. Yes, it is rising in Florida, but the 7-day moving average number of deaths as reported by Worldometers (the same site the graph above came from) has been between 30 and 40 since May 16, so this is not a matter of a death increase lagging 2 weeks behind as the highest 7-day moving average of deaths in Florida was 50 on May 9.

Nationwide, the number of deaths per day have been declining for two months now.

June 16, 2020 at 1:39 PM

The number of deaths declining is nice, but it doesn't really tell you much about how the disease is spreading in the population, which is what we want to know. Yes, of course deaths will be reducing as we get better at treating a disease, and we keep those most suseptible to bad outcomes away from it. But if the disease is wideley spread, what do you think is going to happen when the floodgates open again?

June 16, 2020 at 1:44 PM

Chad,
Having a background Data Science myself, I take issue with her reporting method. The numbers in the summary, which is where most people will stop reading says for example:
"Of Palm Beach County's 9,015 confirmed-positive cases, 22% were admitted to the ER and 16% had in-patient hospital admissions on file.
Of all the COVID-19 positive people in Palm Beach County who were hospitalized, 31% died. "
People are going to stop at the OMG 31% DIED!!!! part and not go down to the data. It's 31% of the 16% which comes out to 5% of the total. Reporting it like that is technically true, but it's being stated in a way that will make the average user think it's worse than it actually is.

Anyone that has a Data Science background at all knows that the average user is going to look at the highest level data on the main dashboard and then move on, only nerds like me are going to go to the other tabs and dig down into the data. Knowing that, while she's complaining that the state is counting the antibody tests all as negative, she's doing the exact opposite (and just as potentially misleading) by counting them all as positive on the main dashboard. It's not until you start going to the other tabs that you see that 9.5% of the COVID POSITIVE PEOPLE were only antibody positive, and I don't see on here that it says that those could be potentially false positives.

I gotta say though, I wish I had thought of this myself, arcgis experience builder is free, even if it wasn't, there are several other tools that do the same thing, Tableau Public for instance. I could have made a cool $150k for about 8 hours of work. I'd have that smug smile in my photo on here too.

June 16, 2020 at 1:49 PM

As someone with a masters degree I want to add that just because you have a degree shouldn't automatically give you full credibility, anybody can sit through classes and write papers.

June 16, 2020 at 2:10 PM

If you look at the number of people being tested over the last 30 days in Florida it has stayed about the same. So the increase in new cases are a real concern.
While deaths have not spiked yet they have risen noticeable to what they where in early to mid May.
The concern is that as more things open and more tourist arrive these numbers have no place to go but up. Add in the Governor's determination to reopen all schools in August at full capacity and we may have a big outbreak on our hands by late fall.
This will halt any rebound in the tourism economy or the State’s economy.

June 16, 2020 at 2:35 PM

Any theme parks I visit are likely to be in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, within easy driving distance - and even then I'll be apprehensive because I simply don't trust most parkgoers to follow safety protocols. I normally make half a dozen trips a year to parks via air travel but this year I can't see that happening. Nor can I see myself taking the five-hour trip on Amtrak to visit Six Flags New England. And yes, it may be too early to reopen theme parks. I doubt that they have adequate staff to enforce safety regulations; many of them can't even enforce policies against line jumping. As to theme parks compared with, say, supermarkets, while it's probably true that there is less risk of infection in outdoor environments, in supermarkets we're dealing with a far lesser number of people and from what I've observed, conditions and protocols in supermarkets are being well controlled.

June 16, 2020 at 3:21 PM

@rave5 is right as many reports I've seen indicate Sea World is still doing a lousy job enforcing masks/distancing which is not a good look for them. I'm sure WDW will handle it better but Sea World's lax policy is hurting them already.

June 16, 2020 at 4:00 PM

As someone with a Bay City Rollers Fan Club Membership Card (charter) I find it amusing when anonymous people throw around their degrees on an Internet discussion thread.

June 16, 2020 at 4:17 PM

...so because she reported data accurately, and with the right statements to clarify hat that data means, that justifies your tirade how again?

As a self declared scientist you should know better than ad hominems. And your response tells me her data is correct... you just don’t like it, or have a few minor issue with the wording.

You said she was manipulating the numbers. It seems you’ve failed to meet your burden.

June 16, 2020 at 4:17 PM

I didn't see any mention of specific degrees, just "Background" and "Master" without specifics. I intentionally didn't mention mine.

June 16, 2020 at 4:20 PM

You said, and I quote

“Having a background Data Science myself”

If I am incorrect in calling you a scientist, then I spologise. I’m more than happy for you to correct the record in confirming you’re not an expect, if that is the case.

In which case, I’ll listen to the person you conceded was an expert.

(And seriously, that’s your defence to using ad hominems?)

June 16, 2020 at 4:21 PM

Her data is typical of ANY data, you pick and choose how to interpret it to fit your narrative. She has issue with NOT including "Possible" cases that are not proven, but does not have an issue with 100% counting of data of a test that is not 100% accurate and has many false positives.
It's very easy to take any study and manipulate the #'s to fit what you want. That is why all scientific studies need to be peer reviewed to be considered valid.
What scientific journal reviewed her data?

June 16, 2020 at 4:26 PM

Hey Chad,
Background can be taking courses or part of your job, not a Degree.
SO yes, never ever said Expert, or as your hastily typing says, expect.
I have multiple degrees including engineering and physics, YOU ASKED (Basically).
Obviously you do not have one in English and thanks for your spology!

June 16, 2020 at 4:37 PM

I’ve reviewed you objection again, and it’s without merit.

If the 5% was reported as a death rate, as you’ve suggested, then it would be an under read, because by definition it excludes all non hospitalised deaths.

It reads to me that she reported the correct figure for the data she actually had. Deaths from hospitalised.

As such, there’s no misrepresentation in the data. No manipulation. Just you not trusting the reader to be able to understand it, or you not understating why your figure would be flawed.

And now claiming to have engineering or physics degrees does nothing to justify your appalling use of ad hominems. Someone with such degrees has no excuse to use logical fallacies and should know they have no place in either good reasoning or civil discourse. You should know better.

It is okay to acknowledge your sports team was bad when they play bad. It doesn’t make you any less of a fan. The same is true with politics. You can acknowledge the data isn’t good for your side without being any less of a loyalist. The same is true in politics.

June 16, 2020 at 6:51 PM

MrTorrance. As a medical doctor and someone who understands the various testing methods being employed, I can tell you that the false positive rate is not a significant issue. The PCR testing has an incredibly low false positive rate (<3%), but a false negative rate of 20-40%. For those without a background in this, that means if you have Coronavirus and get tested, there's a 1-2 in 5 chance the test will say you're clear. If you don't have Coronavirus, there's less than 3 in 100 you are actually healthy. Some of those false positives are actually people who had Coronavirus, but are now clear, with some remnant rna being detected.

The antibody test has a higher false positive rate (as yet uncertain as to the figure) due to antibodies generated to previous exposure to other Coronavirus species.

Florida's testing is predominantly with the PCR, with only about 1000 being diagnosed with antibody testing. Also, most testing is done due to symptomatic presentation. This leads to a higher pretest probability and lower false positive rate. If this lady is off the mark due to this, it's not by much.

As for the presentation, I personally had no issues in interpreting it. If you think other people on this site aren't intelligent enough to interpret it, maybe reiterate your warning.

June 16, 2020 at 7:22 PM

As a guy with bad hair but a decent Bob Dylan ITunes playlist, I have always been more attracted to Maryann than Ginger.

Also, Disney Springs is a theme park.

June 16, 2020 at 7:40 PM

TH - I'm with you on Maryanne, but not Disney Springs. But Volcano Bay isn't a theme park either.

June 16, 2020 at 9:28 PM

Demanding confirmation by increased death rates sounds rather cynical. Those have an even longer time lag than confirmed cases obviously. Just like not every corona infection is confirmed, not every corona death is confirmed as one. It´s not the same margin, but still, short of maybe Belgium no one is overcounting death. New York might be about correct based on excess death rates, but that does not seem to be based on a metholdology used in any other US staates. So expect reported death both to go up with a time lag and be undercounted.

Not that it should matter, since as long as one infected person infects on average more than one other and we definitly are at that point in Florida, we are really just argueing about when, not if death will exceed the old peak. Now how that reproduction rate is supposed to go below one again while countermeasures are relaxed even more is truelly beyond at least my imagination.

It doesn´t really matter if time spent in the park itself a particular risk factor, what matters is the overall effect of the activity for both workers and visitors.

June 17, 2020 at 5:37 AM

All this back and forth about who's tribe is best, who can interpret the data correctly, etc. etc. etc.

Here's the only data that really matters - this virus will continue to spread until there are no new hosts or a vaccine is developed and successfully deployed to hundreds of millions of Americans. Everything else is just a debate on how that timeline will unfold, not if.

It seems right now that most people are content with being told a bedtime story about how the bogeyman isn't real. So be it. It will just make waking up to the reality of what is actually happening that much more painful at some point.

"I feel safe" is exactly that, a feeling. You may or may not actually be safe.

June 17, 2020 at 11:25 AM

And now the governor forced to admit 280 out of 500 workers at Orlando International Airport tested positive.

But sure, short-lived shelter orders and then reopening fast will go over great.

June 17, 2020 at 11:40 AM

https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2020/06/17/gov-ron-desantis-causes-confusion-with-remark-about-orlando-international-airports-covid-19-numbers

June 17, 2020 at 1:12 PM

Oh Sue, look what you've started and you were only trying to help me. I still appreciate your info.

June 18, 2020 at 1:45 PM

I find it curious that the argument of "we're still well below medical capacity" is the prevailing one in this thread. Shouldn't the risk of death be enough to keep us from visiting theme parks? I understand the argument, of course, and believe me, I'm quite disappointed in my inability to travel to a resort (we had planned on going to Universal Studios in Orlando for our honeymoon, but, after having to postpone our wedding, we opted not to). What I don't understand is the bold denial of the deaths that result. It's irresponsible at best.

June 19, 2020 at 2:47 PM

ProfPlum,

I didn't mean to cause a fuss. I do think everyone needs to be cautious. The number of infections is rising in Florida. The governor has his head in the sand. Regardless of anyone's opinion of Ms. Jones, the numbers are going up in Florida. We had more than 3800 new infections reported today, bringing us to 39,188 in the last month. Even ignoring Ms. Jones statistics that show 8,000 more cases than the state reports, we've had an increase of more than 45% in 30 days if we believe the state's number of 85,926 infected.

We (Orange County/Orlando) have a new mandatory mask order beginning on Saturday. Disney has already cancelled the Not So Scary Halloween events and won't have Eat to the Beat concerts at Epcot this year.

I live here. I'm an annual passholder. I'm just as anxious to go back to the parks as anyone can be. Will I go? I don't know. I think the governor is lying about Covid-19 in Florida. I think Disney is doing what it can to continue to earn our trust.

Just be safe and well, and become as informed as you can before you decide it's safe to come to Florida.

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