Is There Still a Reason to Give Thanks in 2020?

November 26, 2020, 1:22 PM · Happy Thanksgiving, Theme Park Insider readers!

I know that this has been a tough year for many us who love theme parks. Hundreds of thousands of employees and contractors have lost their jobs. We have missed vacations due to stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions. Projects have been canceled, throwing more out of work. And worst of all, some of us have lost loved ones, too.

But as a certain character found in one of my favorite theme park attractions once said, "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." While there might be little to make one happy in 2020, there is much for which we can be grateful — for it is in the expression of gratitude that we find strength and inspiration for making a better tomorrow.

In my Orange County Register column this Thanksgiving week, I write about the importance of gratitude: Why theme park fans should feel grateful in 2020. [Here is the link, should you need it.]

And to celebrate the day, I give you last year's Universal's Holiday Parade Featuring Macy's, giving us one more opportunity to see Thanksgiving Day's famous balloons parading down a "New York" street.

Best wishes to everyone. Keep wearing your masks, get your flu shot, and please stay safe.

Replies (8)

November 26, 2020 at 2:09 PM

I feel thankful for TPI and the fact that I’m fortunate enough to have forms of entertainment during this stressful time and to know that when it’s all over the final three Disney parks I haven’t been to will still be waiting for me.

November 26, 2020 at 3:55 PM

This has been one HECK of a year, and there are a lot of reasons to feel badly.

But there is also a lot to be grateful for.

I'm thankful for memories of better times. I'm thankful for my family -- which sounds generic, but they have shown me support in the last year that I would have NEVER expected of them, so they get the mention this year where a couple years ago, they would not. I'm thankful for friends who have shown me the same support that my family has shown.

And Robert, now it's your turn to be embarrassed. I'm thankful for you, and the rest of the community on this site. And no, I'm not sucking up. We're both former cast members (though I was Outdoor Vending, and you were Attractions). And while I keep up on the news of the parks, and share it with friends, you are the one reporting the news that I share. Theme Park Insider is one of the few reliable sites out there, which doesn't post articles with an agenda in mind (though you're not shy about speaking out when circumstances dictate it, but you don't approach every article with a desire to steer people a certain way).

Thank you for doing what you do, Robert. Especially during these times, you help keep me centered and informed, without the "doom and gloom" that I see elsewhere. I can only handle so much of that.

November 26, 2020 at 8:18 PM

I'm grateful to have had an essential job keeping me employed. More importantly, that no one in my family has caught Covid and stayed healthy and that things going so much better than other people.

November 27, 2020 at 6:14 AM

I believe 2020 has taught us that nothing should ever be taken for granted, and we should actually be thankful for things that we usually don’t even think of...

November 27, 2020 at 9:23 AM

We were talking yesterday about what we have to be thankful for. It may have been a horrible year but it was only 1 year. My last trip to WDW was last January before Covid19 hit. Since then I have cancelled our regular April, September and November trips. I have rescheduled and cancelled too many trips to count. I am about to cancel my last trip, December but I hope that is it. I want to reschedule for the end of January with the hope my wife will receive the vaccine, 2 shots, before we go. I just recovered from Covid19 so I can wait a bit before receiving it. Anyway, no matter what we will be going in April, so it was only a one year loss of WDW. That is something we can all be happy about.

Here is a wish for a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And most importantly, that things get back to normal in 2021 and all our Cast Members get their jobs back but that is up to all of us celebrating WDW 50th by visiting. Take the vaccine and get back to WDW.

November 27, 2020 at 10:08 AM

My philosophy has always been, and will always be "No matter how hard done to you feel you don't have to look very far in any direction to see people far worse off."

A cancelled 2 week holiday at the Hard Rock Resort in Dom Rep in April, a cancelled 2 week holiday in Orlando in October, flooding in my street impacting my home, Lockdown, restrictions and cancellations of pre-paid rock concerts and UK Halloween nights but, ultimately, they are only nuisances which can be done at a later date. I have a job, which I love, my family and friends........... everything else is a bonus. Am I thankful? You bet!

November 30, 2020 at 11:29 AM

I'm thankful to have TPI to keep me connected with the theme park industry and internet Scrabble to keep me busy. It's nice to have hobby which is mentally challenging, especially now that I have a lot of time on my hands. Several weeks ago I lost my job due to COVID and began spending a lot of time volunteering at an animal shelter and was grateful for that but unfortunately, new COVID restrictions in Philly which went into effect 10 days ago forced the animal shelter to suspend in-person volunteering. So at this point I'm just thankful that I haven't contracted COVID - especially after visiting Six Flags Great Adventure, Hersheypark and Playland's Castaway Cove. As to the parks, Hershey is the one at which I felt the safest and Playland's Castaway Cove the park at which I felt the least safe because I was required to remove my mask and sit next to a total stranger on a roller coaster there.

December 1, 2020 at 7:07 AM

Eye opening ...
Very sad and very problematic, IMHO...

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