Home » What About Water Parks? Typhoon Lagoon, Volcano Bay and More Could be Closed for Much Longer Than Theme Parks

What About Water Parks? Typhoon Lagoon, Volcano Bay and More Could be Closed for Much Longer Than Theme Parks

Right now, all eyes are on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ task force to reopen Florida’s economy, which is supposed to be giving an update in the near future about when (and under what circumstances) theme parks in central Florida can reopen. And while we’ll post news out of this task force as we hear it, as summer approaches we can’t help but think about the world class water parks in central Florida, including Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Volcano Bay, Aquatica , and Adventure Island. Of course, while nothing is set in stone, we think it will be a LONG time before water parks reopen, and here’s why:

1. Social distancing is impossible in many situations

Though simple waterslides or those you can ride with a single rider tube or mat might be easy to social distance on, any attraction that requires multiple riders on a raft won’t be able to run while social distancing is still being recommended by the CDC. And though the chemicals in the treated water do kill viruses, the CDC says that individuals in chemically-treated water should continue to protect themselves and others at recreational water venues both in and out of the water by practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene. This would also make high capacity pools, wave pools, and lazy rivers unable to operate under the current guidelines.

2. The problem with queues

Right now one of the big issues that theme park operators are working on is how to make queues safer for guests who need to stay six feet apart. However, at water parks this may present some additional issues. Not only are queues at water parks shorter and more tightly packed  (which would make physically distancing a challenge), but with guests carrying around tubes, mats, etc., there are more potential contact points inside water park queues than in your standard theme park queue as well, complicating matters further. 

Interestingly, the one water park that does not have this issue is Universal Orlando Resort’s Volcano Bay, which uses virtual queues only. However, even though Universal’s water park doesn’t have close quarters queues, there is another problem they (and other water parks) would have to contend with when it comes to reopening in the coming months…

3. Close quarters dining and sunbathing 

Though the rigorous sanitizing and distancing measures required for a reopening of the big theme parks will present Cast Members and Team Members with some serious challenges, water parks, with their close, almost picnic-style eateries and long rows of beach chairs would be especially difficult to not only keep apart, but also keep clean as well. And while undertaking such a massive task could be possible, water parks would have to severely limit capacity to achieve distancing in sunbathing and eating areas, while still keeping high staff levels for sanitization, which would make for a mix that would be particularly tough given the current financial climate for many theme park and water park operators.

With temperatures on the rise in Central Florida, nothing sounds better than a nice, refreshing trip to a water park, but unfortunately, it seems very unlikely that water parks will be able to open soon, even if a social distancing plan is put in place for the larger theme parks. Of course, we’ll keep you updated as this situation changes, but for now, we wouldn’t plan on being able to visit a water park any time in the next few months.  

As always, while this situation is evolving, all theme park fans should check out the CDC’s official site here, which has information on the virus and how to prevent its spread. 

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