SeaWorld Orlando has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic since March 15, and with “full phase one” of reopening Florida in effect, it seems the theme park is testing how visitors would ride a rollercoaster once it’s given the green light to reopen.
Daniel Leavelle was outside SeaWorld Tuesday morning and captured photos and video of the theme park running its Mako rollercoaster with riders wearing masks.
Leavelle said he saw 30 test runs that lasted about an hour.
Riders can be seen on SeaWorld's Mako coaster wearing face masks. (Credit: Midway Mayhem / Daniel Leavelle)
He said each test run had riders taking on different seating arrangements as if they were practicing social distancing on the ride.
Leavelle said four different mask types were used and he did not witness any masks flying off during the tests.
Mako with MASKS!!!!— Midway Mayhem (@Midway_Mayhem) May 19, 2020
People continue to ride Mako at @SeaWorld during testing! Crews are testing out several arrangements of mask to see if it's safe to ride!#midwaymayhem #seaworld #seaworldorlando #mako #makomadness pic.twitter.com/2C0KqS83fR
While there’s no opening date set, theme parks across Central Florida are working on reopening plans.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said Friday theme parks could be allowed to open under the second phase of the governor’s reopen Florida plan, although it’s unclear at this point when that phase will begin.
“SeaWorld’s team of experts is currently making necessary preparations to reopen and operate our parks as soon as safely possible, including the testing of rides, new sanitation protocols, and a number of other enhanced health and safety-related measures. We look forward to welcoming guests back for fun and safe experiences and hope to make official announcements soon, as we continue to work closely with state and local officials.” SeaWorld said in a statement.