ORLANDO, Fla. — As Disney World and Universal Orlando begin to reopen parts of their resorts, SeaWorld Orlando has begun testing one of its coasters with riders wearing masks.


What You Need To Know

  • SeaWorld tested riders with masks on Mako

  • Online survey also asked guests about masks

  • Disney Springs, Universal CityWalk requiring guests wear masks

SeaWorld on Tuesday conducted dozens of test runs of its Mako coaster, according to Dan Leavelle, who runs Midway Mayhem. Leavelle captured pictures and video of the test runs, which show riders wearing different types of masks. 

According to Leavelle, who watched the coaster run for about an hour, none of the masks flew off.

SeaWorld has been closed since mid-March in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Behind-the-scenes, leaders are prepping for a reopening, whenever that will be. No reopening date has been announced yet.

Although SeaWorld hasn't said what measures it plans to implement when it does reopen, the Mako test runs and a survey sent out earlier month point to masks for visitors being part of the plan. That survey also hinted at capacity limits, a virtual line waiting system and a procedure to clean rides between each use.

Prior to the closures, SeaWorld was gearing up for the debut of its newest coaster, Ice Breaker. The park has not shared any updates about the ride.

Universal is the first theme park operator in Central Florida to reopen part of its complex to the public. Citywalk has been open in a limited capacity for nearly a week. The shopping and dining district reopened with strict measures in place, such as face masks requirements and mandatory temperature checks. Markers and signs were also placed throughout CityWalk to promote social distancing.

On Wednesday, Disney will do something similar with Disney Springs: Face coverings will be required for guests ages 3 and older and visitors will have to have their temperatures checked. There will also be ground markers and in some cases physical barriers to make sure people are keeping their distance.

As of now, none of the theme parks have announced when they will reopen. On Friday Gov. Ron DeSantis said Disney, Universal and other theme parks could start submitting their reopening plans to the state.

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