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9 Things You Won’t See in Theme Parks Anymore

After being closed due to the coronavirus, many theme parks will look a bit different once they've reopened to the public with new safety measures in place.

Off on an adventure

From how we stay in hotels to how we shop for clothes in clothing stores, life as we know it has changed forever due to the novel coronavirus. Now that theme parks like Universal Studios and Disney Shanghai have started opening up, here are a few things you can expect to see if you decide to visit theme parks. It’s important to know that even with these new safety measures in place, theme parks can’t guarantee your safety. With that in mind, here are 15 diseases you can prevent just by washing your hands.

Visitors without face masks

Gone are the days of walking through a theme park without wearing a face mask. Because of COVID-19, visitors are required to wear face masks at many theme parks including Universal Orlando Resort. According to the FAQ section on its website, select merchant stalls in City Walk and the theme parks will sell face coverings. Also, keep in mind that costumes still aren’t permitted in the theme park. To be prepared before your trip, here’s how to make your own DIY face mask at home. 

Large crowds

The days of winding through large crowds in a theme park may be long gone. About 80,000 visitors would walk around Shanghai Disneyland on any given day before the pandemic. However, due to the pandemic, Shanghai Disneyland will operate at 30 percent capacity, which is around 24,000 visitors. Here’s how much a Disney World ticket cost when it first opened.

Sick guests

Ever thought of going to a theme park while under the weather? It looks like those days have long passed. SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Florida are requiring temperature checks and guests who have temperatures may not be allowed inside the park. At Legoland, guests who have a temperature of 100.4º Fahrenheit or above will be refused entry. This is why Americans use Fahrenheit instead of Celsius.

Photos with Disney characters

The next time you go to Disney World, you may need to wave at a Disney character from afar instead of commemorating the momentous occasion with a photograph. According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Disney has already said it’s eliminating parades, character meet-and-greets and fireworks, all of which would draw major crowds at theme parks when it first reopens. Don’t ask a cast member to take a photograph with your phone either. Employees will politely decline.” Here are a few more things that will change when Disney World reopens.

Cash transactions

You might be surprised to know that paying for cash in theme parks will be a thing of the past. As opposed to passing dollar bills to a teller and receiving change in return, theme parks like Legoland have gone cashless to help decrease physical touch between theme park employees and guests. Mobile ordering in theme parks will become more common at restaurants and in gift shops as well. Here are 13 times you should never pay in cash.

Water fountains

After a long day of walking around a park in intense heat, when you’d stop to take a drink at a water fountain, you might need to think of an alternate method of having some water. To help maintain social distancing, according to Visit Orlando, water fountains at Legoland will be closed for public use. This is the safest bottled water you can buy.

Concerts and festivities

If you’re looking forward to concerts and festivities at theme parks, you might need to manage your expectations. For example, at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark, a variety of classic concerts and performances have either been canceled outright or postponed until 2021. As one of the oldest museums in the world, Tivoli Gardens is also the best value theme park in the world, so if you do make the trip to Copenhagen and visit this theme park, you’ll be sure to get your money’s worth.

Single-rider lines

If you’ve used to doing things solo, this change might come as a shock. According to The Points Guy, to decrease interaction between guests, single-rider lines, used for people flying solo to fill in seats when incomplete parties join the queue, will no longer be used. This is just one of the 11 things that you won’t see at Universal Orlando anytime soon.


No more screaming (in certain theme parks)

When you imagine going up the slow incline on a roller coaster, you’re excited and can’t wait for the drop and to feel the rush of wind in your face and scream as you soar through the air. Multiple major theme parks in Japan have closed their doors to visitors since as early as February and March but are now starting to open back up. However, things are going to change. According to CNN, the East and West Japan Theme Park Associations released a new set of guidelines to help maintain safety for theme park employees and guests, which includes encouraging visitors to refrain from shouting or screaming on theme park rides. A hard task, indeed! Next, here are 25 photos that show face masks are part of the new normal.

For more on this developing situation, see our comprehensive Coronavirus Guide.

Madeline Wahl
Madeline Wahl is a Digital Associate Editor/Writer at Previously, she worked for HuffPost and Golf Channel. Her writing has appeared on HuffPost, Red Magazine, McSweeney's, Pink Pangea, The Mighty, and Yahoo Lifestyle, among others. More of her work can be found on her website: