Universal chief expects significant operational changes when the Orlando parks reopen

Apr 22, 2020 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday April 22, 2020 3:35pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

John Sprouls, CEO Universal Orlando Resort has told the new Florida Reopening Task Force that he expects some significant changes to operations when the parks reopen.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, he told the panel in one of today's meetings that they will likely be temperature screening of employees and possibly guests, and also the possibility of recommending masks.

Rides will be disinfected during regular operations, virtual queuing will be used wherever possible, lines will be modified to reduce crowding, and outdoor queues will be used in preference to indoor queuing space.

None of these suggestions are new, but the comments are the most recent from high-placed figures in the Central Florida theme-park community.

Walt Disney World President Josh D'Amaro is also part of the panel, but we are yet to hear any comments from him on behalf of Disney. The Task Force is expected to present its findings on plans to reopen Florida to the Governor Ron DeSantis by Friday.

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GoofGoof5 minutes ago

There’s no guarantee we will or won’t need regular boosters for Covid. No way of knowing that. I just posted 2 articles from the manufacturers themselves about actual trials they are running on boosters that show the efficacy boosting back above 90%. I get that if the vaccines don’t stop spread that works for your narrative, but we can’t just conclude that because it’s convenient. Well actually you can and have, but the people in charge can’t and haven’t concluded the same. We cannot not take action today because there’s a chance that we reach 80-85% vaccinated and that’s not enough. The more people vaccinated the lower the spread (basic math unless you are saying efficacy is zero) so even if we don’t get enough to slow community spread we could eventually get there anyway with natural infection added in too. That would be the hard way which includes lots of unnecessary deaths and strain on hospitals and a much larger risk of more variants developing.

mmascari5 minutes ago

It depends what question you're trying to answer. CDC for NM: At least 1 dose, age 65+: 98.3% At least 1 dose, age 18+: 85.8% At least 1 dose, age 12+: 84.4% At least 1 dose, age 0+: 71.9% Fully Vaccinated, age 65+: 89.1% Fully Vaccinated, age 18+: 74.7% Fully Vaccinated, age 12+: 73.2% Fully Vaccinated, age 0+: 62.4% Not sure why the state dashboard doesn't match the CDC for the 18+ number, they should agree or be very close based on the label. If your question is "When will the pandemic come under control and be over?", the only number that matters is the last one, "Fully Vaccinated, age 0+: 62.4%". We know 62.4% isn't anywhere near enough. Likely we need over 80% but no real idea, it's all a guess. If you're asking other questions, like "How are the most vulnerable protected", "How fast are we progressing", "How many of eligible are progressing", then the different numbers matter. It's a huge pain and failing in the media reporting. Stories frequently use one of the numbers, sometimes without the qualifier of which one it is like in a headline. Or someone compares two numbers for different areas and they may be fore different groups.

GoofGoof14 minutes ago

Moderna CEO says worldwide pandemic could be over by second half of next year: https://news.yahoo.com/moderna-chief-executive-sees-pandemic-055132723.html He also talks about the boosters being developed including a delta specific version.

DisneyCane16 minutes ago

Well, were going to find out if it works since the powers that be are putting the mandates in place and the testing option will let them stand up through court challenges (which is the reason the testing alternative is there). I still ask the question, if we get 80% to 85% of the population vaccinated and community transmission is still "substantial" in a lot of places, where do we go from there? Mitigation forever? Have to wait for vaccine approval for 0-4 year olds? The MMR booster is years after the first dose. If COVID boosters are required every 6 months to maintain efficacy, that isn't a vaccine with a booster it's an ongoing prescription. Regardless, I'm not sure that the vaccines ever were 90% effective in preventing infection and transmission of delta. I'm not downplaying the effectiveness of the COVID vaccines against severe illness, hospitalization and death. In fact I'm "up-playing" that aspect as my reason why I believe it is up to people to protect themselves. I'm only "downplaying" the reduction in spread because statements from the CDC and available data show that they are not nearly as effective in that aspect against delta as they were against prior variants.

GoofGoof23 minutes ago

The 70% from the state is only 18+ while the 62.4% from Google is total population so includes kids.

ABQ31 minutes ago

As we are talking about vaccination rates, I took a look at my state's and wow are there differing figures out there. Google, which uses Our World shows this: while the state's dept of health site is much higher: Perhaps google is including 12 and up, not sure why the state ignores that group.

GoofGoof33 minutes ago

On the topic of boosters the JnJ prelim results released were that a second dose would boost the efficacy against even mild infection to 94%. Some of that study was done before delta and some during and after so it’s hard to say how that translates to today’s real world. I believe Pfizer and Moderna are also running trials for their 3rd shot boosters but we don’t have full efficacy data yet. The point is that boosters can make the covid vaccine efficacy very high again. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/j-j-says-booster-greatly-improves-covid-19-vaccine-efficacy-as-experts-await-fda-decision-11632236156?siteid=yhoof2&yptr=yahoo Pfizer says 95% from their study in Israel: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/15/covid-boosters-pfizer-says-israel-data-shows-third-shot-restores-efficacy-to-95percent.html

mmascari35 minutes ago

112 still isn't 79, only off by 40% this time. Because kids under 5 don't matter either. All the analogies are crap, you're right. But so is that the solution to the pandemic is a personal thing to just accept your own risk. Either the group, all of us, reduce transmission or we don't. It's that simple. It's been that simple for 18+ months too. Don't like doing mitigations? Fine, find another way to reduce transmission? What was that, get enough people vaccinated and it does it? That's great, lets do that. Upset that "enough" isn't 50%, 60%, or even 70% but higher? That's unfortunate, but still the plan. Let's say it is 98% that we need vaccinated to reduce community spread. Then, that's the goal. Not achievable because of "reasons", that's to bad for us. Stop with the we need 100% and the it either works or it doesn't work stuff too. Those are just as crap as the analogies. Each of the different things either reduces or increases risk and transmission. We need to do the things that will reduce transmission to a manageable level. We've talked about this level before. We're not there, not even close today. We looked close over the summer, but couldn't keep it there and didn't have the conditions or processes to hold it at that level. So, we try again, get the stuff done that will get us down to an acceptable level.

GoofGoof47 minutes ago

You keep downplaying the effectiveness of covid vaccines because it supports your position that we cannot win and should just give up and drop all mitigations. You don’t want to be labeled anti-vaxx but that is in fact anti-vaccine. It’s fine to have that opinion, you are not alone. Many who won’t take the vaccine hear these arguments all day and use it as a reason to not get the vaccine. Covid vaccines are highly effective and with boosters may get back to the 90%+ we started at. MMR requires boosters to reach full efficacy. Even if the efficacy never hits 95% again it doesn’t have to since covid is half as contagious as measles. You are in a rush to jump to a conclusion since you think that’s the fastest way to dropping masks. This discussion only highlights why vaccine mandates and passports are the best and only viable path forward. Will they work? Will we get enough people vaccinated? Who knows, but I’m certainly glad the decision makers didn’t just give up.

DisneyCane48 minutes ago

In my post I meant to point out the deaths for 5-11 year olds since those were next up for vaccination. It's 112. The vehicle related analogies that people love to use are false equivalencies. Kids left in a hot car is a 100% preventable death. If you don't leave the kid in the car they will not die. Nothing COVID related is 100% except if you lock down the world. If we want to use the automotive equivalency, from 2002-2011 (the most recent data I found quickly) over 900 children 12 and under were killed in car accidents per year with a population mortality rate in 2011 (one of the lowest years) of 1.2 per 100k per year. Using the FL data, the COVID population mortality rate for 15 and under for the 18 month pandemic is 0.5 per 100k. Therefore, it is an indisputable fact that children under 12 are at a significantly higher risk of dying while riding in a motor vehicle than they are from COVID. Now can we stop with the false analogies?

Bob Harlem59 minutes ago

No more than two weeks after Orange county gets under 5% positivity. So... based on UF projections, this would mean probably November for Disney (If not a little sooner).

DisneyCane1 hour ago

From the CDC: One dose of MMR vaccine is 93% effective against measles, 78% effective against mumps, and 97% effective against rubella. Two doses of MMR vaccine are 97% effective against measles and 88% effective against mumps. The COVID vaccines aren't nearly that effective vs. infection and spread. I'm not "wishing" for the vaccination campaign to not drastically slow the spread. I'm observing that they aren't. Your last paragraph summarizes the reason for my change in tone. A not-insignificant number of people have been convinced that COVID zero or near zero is possible given enough vaccinations and if that doesn't happen we need to have mitigation forever. At one time not so long ago, you yourself were in favor of no more mitigation once the vaccine is available for children 5-11 and they have had time to become fully vaccinated. Now you've switched to the goals being community spread and case numbers. In FL, through 8/12 just before the plateau in the delta spike there were 12,420,704 residents with at least one shot and 10,319,844 residents fully vaccinated. Through 9/16 there were 13,427,208 residents with at least one shot and 11,208,873 fully vaccinated. Do you believe that the 889,029 additional fully vaccinated residents, representing 4% of the population are the reason for the rapid decline in cases over the past month? Assuming it isn't and the decline continues and cases/community spread return to mid June levels in 3-4 weeks, are you willing to even entertain the idea that forced vaccination of people who don't wish to be vaccinated for the good of everybody may not be necessary? Why is there not even an attempt made by the CDC to track hospitalizations and deaths from reinfections in unvaccinated people like they do for vaccine breakthroughs?

mmascari1 hour ago

290 https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#demographics If you're going to ignore the very severe impact because it's not statistically significant, at least get the number right. That's 290 at minimum, since it's out of 550,130 deaths not the full 677,086 as age wasn't known on all of them. No worries, you were only off by 367%. In 2018 and 2019, 53 kids died in hot cars. 106 kids. The auto industry is implementing all kids of things to warn parents about a possible kid left in the backseat. Compared to the number of times a kid was even in a car, or all the times one was and wasn't left behind, that 53 yearly is nothing. It's not even a rounding error in the statistics. Yet, we're doing all kinds of things to stop it. COVID deaths are 300% worse for kids. Plus all the risk a transmissible kid presents to others too. If you want to pick something to rail against, just stick to that COVID should be a personal risk and not a population one. It's just as wrong, but at least it's consistent and not trying to justify based on any stat.

helenabear1 hour ago

I see some of this as more abrupt than you but that's perception and total opinion. Not all of it mind you. Like I agree that the singular view of the vaccine has always been there. There has been a lot of "all about me" which is hard to combat. It's an issue with the country as a whole. I see it more for the covid anti-vaxxers as a whole too - which goes against often historically what is gone for with them. I have had people tell me that vaccines were never meant to be about protecting all, just the individual. I want to know where they were during the vaccine appointments for themselves or if raising a kid during their appointments. It isn't personal as a whole. It's global and universal which is something people are absolutely missing. The only personal view should be if there is a legit cause to wait or not vaccinate per a doctor medical order. Like a loved one who was told to wait during cancer treatments. Or those with true vaccine reaction worries who need a special location to be vaccinated. Those are the only times when I see it as "personal" it's time we stop thinking personally. We need global. And the anti-vax stuff I hear creep in even on vaccinated people needs to end. My guess is not until after kids 5-11 can vaccinate and/or positivity rates drop more. They don't want to keep flopping around on the rules so when they remove they'll hope it's really for good. JMO