How are you feeling about the new year?
Like many of you, for months I have been looking forward to putting 2020 in the rear-view mirror. But I also can't help thinking of the old warning, "be careful what you wish for." Because as bad as 2020 has been for many of us — and for the theme park industry worldwide — the beginning of 2021, at least, promises to be even worse.
Vaccines might offer the hope of an end to this pandemic, but if we want to lean on another cliche, "it's always darkest before the dawn." Infections and deaths are rising in many communities around the world, as millions of people learn the hard math of exponentiation. If life is to get back to anything like the pre-pandemic normal — including for theme parks — we need governments to do better in allocating vaccines and more people to be willing to take them.
The pandemic dominated our news coverage here on Theme Park Insider in 2020, especially while the Orlando-area parks were closed and readers around the world looked for any word as to when we might begin the long journey back to "normal." Here were five of our most-read stories of the year:
But Covid-19 was not the only story in 2020. This was a big year for us here on Theme Park Insider, as we celebrated our 20th birthday with a retrospective of 20 top stories from the past 20 years: 20 Great Reads for 20 Years of Theme Park Insider
One of those great reads was our look back at the opening day of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure on its 10th anniversary: Harry Potter and the Day That Changed Theme Parks Forever
And we reviewed several new attractions in 2020, despite the pandemic.
Other new attractions opening this year included:
Upcoming attractions in 2021 will include Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan (now in a soft opening), the new Universal Studios Beijing park, Jurassic World VelociCoaster at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure, and Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at Walt Disney World's Epcot. And when the parks reopen in California, we should get The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! at Universal Studios Hollywood, Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure, Knott's Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair at Knott's Berry Farm, The Lego Movie World at Legoland California, and Emperor, the new Bolliger & Mabillard dive coaster at SeaWorld San Diego — one of the delayed-from-2020 line-up of new coasters that will debut in 2021 at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks across the country.
So there's much to look forward to in the new year... provided we all can get there safely.
Stay tuned to Theme Park Insider for the announcement of our Theme Park Insider Awards on New Year's Day. Happy new year, everyone. Please stay safe.Tweet
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