Several theme parks in Florida hit their reduced capacity limits for the first time since they reopened amid the coronavirus pandemic as customers returned during the Labor Day weekend.
As reported by Click Orlando, all parks at Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World hit their limited capacity on Saturday, September 5.
Universal Studios, Island of Adventure and Volcano Bay all reached their 50 percent capacity on both Saturday and Sunday, forcing them to close for new attendees.
Volcano Bay also reached capacity again Monday, reported WFTV.
Although it is unclear what the new limits are after Walt Disney parks reopened in July, Disney executive George Kalogridis previously said the company was considering reopening with only 20 to 30 percent capacity.
Mateo Osorio was one of those who attended Universal Studios on Saturday. He described how he did not feel safe because of the number of guests and the apparent lack of social distancing and mask wearing.
“The first thing we saw was the temperature screening line,” he told WFTV. “There are markers on the ground for you to be social distancing, but they don’t have as many that far back, so then you have these big clusters of people not social distancing.”
Despite the reduced numbers, Osorio said the lines were “just like a normal queue” for the ride.
“We were like… ‘We don’t feel safe. There’s no social distancing. The lines are too long to do any of those rides,” Osorio added. “A lot of people had their masks below their nose. I counted at least 10 people just with masks either not on or below their nose.”
In 2020, this is what limited capacity looks like at SeaWorld, Walt Disney World and at Universal Orlando. pic.twitter.com/xOCpvYzBeo
— Clay LePard (@ClayLePardNews6) September 6, 2020
Islands of Adventure feels much more crowded than Universal Studios Florida today. pic.twitter.com/jBP441UsLp
— Universal Parks News Today (@UniNewsToday) September 5, 2020
Georgeanne McCreary said signs were placed at Walt Disney World to say that they were at capacity on both Saturday and Sunday, with people unable to purchase advanced reservation tickets.
McCreay added that Sunday at the Magic Kingdom felt “by far, the busiest day that we have been at any park” since it reopened, but staff were enforcing social distancing guidelines.
“There seemed like a lot of people just walking in the walkways and the waits seemed significantly longer on Sunday at Magic Kingdom,” McCreary said.
“They have cast members walking among the crowds telling people to put their mask on if they’re not complying. They enforce social distancing, so we do feel safe here.”
Speaking to WFTV, Melissa Wilson, who was at Universal both Saturday and Sunday, suggested the park may have lowered the capacity on Sunday after seeing the increased numbers the day before.
“It was a lot of closeness and I think that Universal—maybe because of it happening for the first time yesterday…saw how much it was, maybe too much, and that’s why today when they reached capacity, it didn’t seem as busy to me,” Wilson said.
Walt Disney World was previously criticized for reopening its parks in Florida as the state witnessed a huge second wave of the coronavirus.
Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando have been contacted for comment.