Theme parks in Florida have been eerily quiet since March. While there is no set time on when these giant emporiums of fun will reopen, amusement parks have been experimenting with new ways of making that happen. On Tuesday, masked riders were seen testing out social distancing measures on SeaWorld Orlando's Mako roller coaster.
Daniel Leavelle of Midway Mayhem got a glimpse into what the future may hold for theme parks. The testing appears to be a part of a grand experiment to see how novel coronavirus mitigation practices would allow visitors to enjoy the attractions safely.
Leavelle told Orlando's News 6 that SeaWorld was running tests of Mako for an hour, in which 30 test runs were performed.
Each run tested out a different way as to how riders could safely ride the coaster. Most of the photos showed riders donning masks while sitting on the two outside seats, leaving the middle two spots open.
The ride arrangement could provide a preview into what other parks like Islands of Adventures and Universal could start doing.
While Florida is in full phase 1 of its reopening plan, theme parks were left out of the initial strategy to get the state back to a form of "normalcy."
Governor Ron DeSantis did allow the parks to begin submitting their plans, which could be carried out in phase 2. However, a set date on when that would occur hasn't been announced.
Mako with MASKS!!!! People continue to ride Mako at @SeaWorld during testing! Crews are testing out several arran… https://t.co/ikO1X3fKDA— Midway Mayhem (@Midway Mayhem) 1589903136.0
Destinations like Universal Orlando recently reopened CityWalk on a limited basis last week, whereas Disney Springs plans to do so on May 20.
A condition of reopening is following the guidelines set forth by the state. Both spots will require its guest to wear masks, and hand sanitizer will be available throughout shops and restaurants.
Introducing SeaWorld@Home! Feel the virtual wonder and adventure of our parks from the comfort of your home. Experi… https://t.co/vg5oChOTiB— SeaWorld (@SeaWorld) 1589905758.0
SeaWorld released a statement on the Mako ride testing to News 6, saying that its experts are "making necessary preparations to reopen and operate our parks as soon as safely possible."
The move is a signal that a reunion with your favorite roller coaster may be in the near future, but also that masks are here to stay.