Universal Orlando stops temperature checks, reduces social distance

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

With new guidance from the CDC and other health leaders in mind, Universal Orlando Resort is doing away with temperature screenings and reducing social distancing requirements at its theme parks. Effective Thursday, guests will no longer have their temperature checked before entering the property and the social distancing markers will be reduced to 3 feet.

Read more from WKMG/Orlando.

Jeff's avatar

I think I would have kept the social distance, ditched the masks outside. Though I suppose that only works if you continue to limit capacity, which I'm sure they don't want to do.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Disney is also dropping the temp checks.

eightdotthree's avatar

I don't like that they got rid of the social distancing but probably only 50% of the people paid any attention to it anyhow.

Jeff's avatar

Yesterday at DHS (TR forthcoming), I found it was tough to keep any distance on the midways, but it was easy enough to manage in the queues. In my case, we're just trying to bubble our kid a little.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

I don't get the dropping the temperature check thing at all but lots of parks are doing it. It seemed to me like it would be one of the more effective ways to stop symptomatic people from entering parks.

The temperature check thing always seemed like a red herring to me. Plenty of people are asymptomatic transmitters, and even those with symptoms don't always present with fever. I don't know about y'all, but if I have a fever north of 100.5 (or whatever it was) the only place I want to be is on my couch.

On the other hand, defense in depth is a thing, so...sure I guess they make some sense.

Last edited by Brian Noble,
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yeah, to me, the temperature checks were probably the most "hygene theater" part of all the precautions we took.

I'll see your temperature checks, and raise you "sanitizing the box my cereal came in."

ApolloAndy's avatar

It was never even clear to me that there was a correlation (especially in the hot Florida sun) between the reading and what was going on in your body. There are a million different reasons your temperature could register at 100* and even if one of them was Covid, it's not clear that turning you away at the gate would help significantly.

Now, that said, if it was being used as a deterrent/signal so that people who were currently positive didn't try to get into the park (in much the same way that on some rides height is used as a stand in for age and consequently maturity), I could kind of sort of see it.

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."

You could just take an Advil if you were so inclined in any event to avoid the temp check. And most people with a fever (not just an elevated temp) are not looking to go to an amusement park and walk around all day in the sun.

eightdotthree's avatar

I think that's just it. Who is going to an amusement park with a 100 degree fever when everyone is whining about the low grade fever they get after the second dose of these vaccines. My wife was a baby about it and she was still within the allowable range at the parks. :P

If you were symptomatic enough to have a high enough fever to get in, how would you have even mustered up the strength to show up?

If you were asymptomatic or just had a scratchy throat that wound up being COVID, the temp checks were meaningless.

I think it's a good science based decision that also will be a big labor help with more attractions/venues in the parks reopening

Brian Noble said:

I'll see your temperature checks, and raise you "sanitizing the box my cereal came in."

My wife’s school did a 14 quarantine of books checked out from the library. It was the librarian’s decision and no other school in the district did it.

Tommytheduck's avatar

eightdotthree said:

I think that's just it. Who is going to an amusement park with a 100 degree fever....

I think it depends. A person may decide not to visit their home park, an hour away, if they feel even slightly sick.

Someone who spent thousands to fly their family to a destination park and resort may still attempt to visit even if they mostly sit out and take it easy while everyone else rides.

Jeff's avatar

That temperature checks covered one detectible vector I suppose makes sense, but at its most optimistic, it was a case of diminishing returns for how infrequently you'd encounter it in the wild. Stand all day at one of these at a park and tell me how often they would even get someone over the limit, and I suspect you would be very bored.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Vater's avatar

Brian Noble said:

sanitizing the box my cereal came in

This was the 2020 version of "be on the lookout for large white panel vans" when searching for the DC sniper.

I for one am glad they are getting rid of the temperature screening. I hope other parks will follow suit. Even though I haven't recently gone to an amusement park feeling under the weather I always got nervous about someone in our group getting flagged.

I agree with Jeff in regards to the distancing. At the three parks I've been to since Covid became a thing I've found people generally spaced out in the queues. The midways were generally a free for all. Removing the temperature screening should hopefully reduce a major pinch point. The only time I've felt very uncomfortable was the area where the Universal parking garage meets the temperature screening area. Social distancing was non-existent. This was pre-vaccine.

Last season the only park I visited that was actually doing temperature checks was Kentucky Kingdom. Holiday World was going to do them, but abandoned the practice early on as it was evident that it wasn’t particularly useful. Indiana Beach had a guy with a temperature gun at the entrance but he seemed only to be spot-checking people; I was never scanned. At Zoombezi Bay I don’t recall a temperature check, though I did get my head examined there after going down a tube-slide face first (and deciding my optically-corrective swim goggles were also useful as PPE!). Thing is, all those places said they were planning to do temperature screening, but early on it became clear that it was just not useful, and it just wasn’t happening.

—Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

Temperature checks are nonsense. I was subjected to one recently for a routine medical appointment, and it said I was about 3º below where I was supposed to be. This wasn't massively surprising given that it was pretty close to freezing outside and I'd been waiting outside for half an hour!

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