coasternut wrote:I'm curious. Did anyone go yesterday? Interested in your thoughts and observations. How did it go????
So, I wasn't planning on doing a report or anything nor did I take any photos from my visit, but my boyfriend and I went back on Monday, and honestly it was some of the same sh*t that's been said about SeaWorld Orlando, with some miniscule improvements that I think they made after getting a lot of negative publicity over the weekend.
Going into the park, I actually got flagged for registering 102 degrees when they put the gun to my head, but I was quickly whisked away into the secondary screening tent, re-checked twice, and was good to go after about 3-5 minutes.
The park did enforce mask-wearing when entering, but a lot of people were walking around with them pulled down or with their nose exposed, or just not wearing them at all. I think we saw two employees all day actually enforce mask wearing and that was about it. One guy walked up to us and told us to "watch out for the mask police". We weren't sure if the guy needed to lay off the meth or the Fox News. (Probably both).
Social distancing was pretty much not a thing at all both out in the park and in queues, people were really piling in. The only place we witnessed it being really enforced was at Kumba, but only once you got past the attendant going into the station. They did run two stations for the first time I've seen in like 8 years on Sheikra, which was nice, but even past the ride attendant there people were right on top of each other. The way they loaded the trains was super random. I saw one row of Sheikra with one seat between two parties, one with two, another with none. A lot of parties were merging with one another or asking other people to merge parties because they didn't want to wait. Sometimes a group of two would just follow another group of two onto a ride and nothing was said. Unlike SeaWorld, we did not once see a train seat wiped down between riders. We weren't at all about to be big enough of dicks to ask for our platinum pass re-rides with the long, slow lines, but I did ask an attendant if we could re-ride through quick queue. She replied, "we aren't doing the platinum pass re-rides anymore". I pointed to the sign above us that was still up advertising platinum pass re-rides. It's still being advertised on the website, too.
It's obvious that staffing cuts were made to save money but they seemed to stupidly cut the staff in areas that literally make them money; food and retail. We were disappointed to find a sad, scaled-back menu at the BBQ place by Sheikra, which is usually one of our favorite places to eat in that park. Only one side of the restaurant was open, so the line was super long and people were packed in with, you guessed it, no social distancing. The liquor stand we usually frequent on the path across from Stanley Falls was closed. Ride exit shops were closed. It was over 90 degrees and it took us a good minute to find somewhere to buy a bottle of water. There were just so many missed opportunities where we literally WOULD have spent more of our money there. And like, I get it may not make sense to staff something like a full-service restaurant, but did they really make the call that they didn't believe they'd sell 1/2 of one cocktail or a cheeseburger without fries per hour to make up for the $7 they'd have to pay one employee to be in a few of the smaller stands each hour?
Whew, when I started typing that I didn't think it'd end up being this long. In a nutshell, SeaWorld as a chain seems to need to get their sh*t together. On the way out we even saw the repo man demanding the keys to Iron Gwazi.
Jk about the last part.