Universal Orlando hints at reopening strategy

Posted Thursday, April 23, 2020 9:22 AM | Contributed by Jeff

During a meeting of a committee focused on the state's tourism and other key industries, Universal Orlando's John Sprouls said the state’s theme parks will have to reopen with small, limited crowds and that getting them fully reopened could take time. Any decision to reopen, he said, would be guided by state and local officials, as well as by health considerations.

Read more from ABC News.

Thursday, April 23, 2020 9:24 AM
Jeff's avatar

I applaud them for wanting to think it through, but honestly, is anything that he describes something you want to endure? Rides running at partial capacity, slow loading to clean them, queues set up to social distance like a grocery store? That sounds horrible. I wouldn't travel to do that.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Thursday, April 23, 2020 9:42 AM
Fun's avatar

And yet some people are willing to protest to get a haircut. I think there will be sufficient demand for whatever they offer.

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Thursday, April 23, 2020 9:48 AM

As a local, I'll go just for the chance to walk around the park and maybe get a snack. If I can get on a ride or two, even better. It'll be good to just be in a park again. But no, I would not travel or spend money for a park vacation for that experience.

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Thursday, April 23, 2020 9:50 AM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

Better hope Busch Gardens doesn't implement these policies. They would be lucky to dispatch 10 trains all afternoon.

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Thursday, April 23, 2020 12:07 PM

Down from their usual 12? I'll hardly notice the difference!

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Thursday, April 23, 2020 1:32 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Shanghai Disneyland is setting up social distance queues.

I'm less worried about contracting it from surfaces and more worried about inhaling it from some 13 year old girl screaming her lungs out on the Mummy.


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Thursday, April 23, 2020 1:44 PM
99er's avatar

You'll have people ignore that they have been told these new operating procedures and still plan a trip from out of state. Then once Karen waits 3 hours for E.T. she will be first in line to complain at Guest Relations. "This is America! I should be able to sit where I want!"


-Chris
Remember, if you're arguing on the internet, you've already lost.

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Thursday, April 23, 2020 2:15 PM

Does spacing out every other row on a coaster train actually do anything? Row 3 still will be breathing the air Row 1 just particled on a millisecond after they did. An empty Row 2 doesn't stop that, it just makes my wait time twice as long. Social distancing theater you might say.

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Thursday, April 23, 2020 2:27 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Who knows. You may have seen some research done about the way particles spread via the air. Without repeated exposure to increase the viral load it doesn't seem like a roller coaster is going to infect people all that readily. But again. No one knows.


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Thursday, April 23, 2020 2:38 PM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

I imagine that they have already done the calculations, but the parks have mentioned opening at reduced capacity. What does this look like?

Assuming that the park is never really operating at capacity anyway, but what does a 50% or 75% reduction in park capacity yield for actual headcount, would it comparable to a somewhat busy day, or a really slow day.

Any guests in the park help to offset the fixed costs. But what about the variable costs? Those variable costs are not incurred linearly with amount of guests in the park either. For most of these variable costs you are looking at stepped costs. Rides burn electric unless they are shut down, in addition to maintenance, staffing, etc. The deep fryer costs the same to operate whether it produces 10 orders of fries, or 1000 orders.

Is operating the park at 25% capacity even profitable, or would they be better off just staying closed?

Of course, as mentioned above, what does the guest experience look like. We can understand and appreciate the efforts on this site, maybe, but the GP might not and if that results in negative PR for the park then would it even be worth it?

Last edited by TheMillenniumRider, Thursday, April 23, 2020 2:47 PM
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Thursday, April 23, 2020 3:29 PM

I saw that too. If "capacity" is New Year's Eve at Magic Kingdom or Columbus Day Saturday at Cedar Point, isn't operating at 50% capacity kind of just a normal day?

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Thursday, April 23, 2020 10:55 PM

Universal Doesn't to clean trains on the Mummy ride just send it through empty and let the "Brain Fire" disinfect the seats.

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Friday, April 24, 2020 8:10 AM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

Has anyone else ever been sitting there getting cooked and think "gee this would be an awful time for the ride to break down"?

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Friday, April 24, 2020 8:57 AM

While I agree with the intent of the post I and I will let someone here more classically trained in physics than I explain it, a deep fryer does not use the same amount of electricity to produce 10 vs. 1000 orders of fries.

However that is assuming some sort of oil is used, perhaps if disinfectant is used instead it might, but we should have the medical doctors look into that as opposed to the other kind of doctors.

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Friday, April 24, 2020 9:51 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

Donald J. Trump said:

I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets inside the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.

Sounds promising. Maybe Universal can give us all Lysol shots before we enter the parks?


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Friday, April 24, 2020 10:26 AM

TheMillenniumRider said:

Has anyone else ever been sitting there getting cooked and think "gee this would be an awful time for the ride to break down"?

Yep. It's essentially a block stop with a little show scene like the Mystic Timbers shed. I've sat there a few times 5 or so seconds longer than usual and even when the fire ceiling shuts off it's still a cooker.

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Friday, April 24, 2020 11:20 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Cargo Shorts said:

While I agree with the intent of the post I and I will let someone here more classically trained in physics than I explain it, a deep fryer does not use the same amount of electricity to produce 10 vs. 1000 orders of fries.

I suppose it's all about conservation of energy. The oil loses heat two ways - one is to the ambient air, which is more or less fixed over time and one is to the cold fries dumped in there. Do fryers idle at a lower temperature than when they cook? If so, you could probably reduce the loss to ambient air when idling.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, April 24, 2020 11:23 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

TheMillenniumRider said:

Any guests in the park help to offset the fixed costs. But what about the variable costs? Those variable costs are not incurred linearly with amount of guests in the park either. For most of these variable costs you are looking at stepped costs. Rides burn electric unless they are shut down, in addition to maintenance, staffing, etc. The deep fryer costs the same to operate whether it produces 10 orders of fries, or 1000 orders.

I think this is true in the small scale, but approximates linear for an operation on the scale of USF. They can open and close more or less rides/restaurants/food carts/shops and within each of those they can add or remove trains/fryers/staff etc. as demand necessitates. Each of those individually is a step (or maybe incurs some fixed cost some linear marginal cost on top of that) but probably approximates linear control in the aggregate.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Friday, April 24, 2020 11:24 AM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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