The major theme parks in Florida, including Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld, could reopen at their own discretion.

The possibility of allowing theme parks to reopen under their own judgement was discussed by a group associated with the Orange Country Economic Task Force. The group met to talk about the guidelines for reopening businesses in Orange county.

During the call, Chuck Whittall, president of Unicorp National Developments and co-leader of the working group within the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, read a draft approach which would enable theme parks to determine their own reopening schedule.

According to the draft: “Theme parks and other venues of that magnitude shall each develop their own specific and unique set of guidelines following the CDC recommendations and using best practices that will protect the life, health, and safety of their employees and guests. They will be permitted to open at their own discretion with their internally determined level of safe capacities throughout the various phases.”

Universal Orlando, SeaWorld and Disney World have been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



For theme park enthusiasts missing their favourite rides and attractions during lockdown, they may be able to have some kind of fix by building model nanocoasters.

The miniature replicas of famous rollercoasters from SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks are being sold as being easy to assemble.

As well as some of the most well-known rides, buildable models are also available in attractions that have yet to be opened, including Iron Gwazi in Busch Gardens Tampa, Pantheon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando.

Each nanocoaster model costs $37.99.



SeaWorld Entertainment has announced it is taking a series of proactive measures to ensure the safety of its customers, employees, and animals, in response to the pandemic. The measures include the amending of its existing credit facility, appropriately managing costs and expenditures and ensuring liquidity as SeaWorld parks remain closed.

On April 19, 2020, SeaWorld Entertainment entered an amendment of its existing revolving credit facility. The agreement stipulates that the company will be exempt from complying with the financial maintenance covenants for the second, third and fourth quarters of 2020. SeaWorld will be required to comply with the covenants from the first quarter of 2021 onwards.

Marc Swanson, interim chief executive officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, described what the amendment will bring to the theme park and entertainment company: “The increase in our revolving credit facility that we secured on March 10th, the amendment to our revolving credit facility that we announced today and the expected proceeds from the notes offering that we also announced today, will provide us with significant financial flexibility and liquidity to operate in this unprecedented and highly uncertain environment.”

“I am proud of our team and thankful for their resilience during these uncertain times. We are fully committed to successfully navigating through this current environment, reopening our parks, and welcoming back our guests as soon as it’s safe and permitted. We are confident in our business and strategy and sincerely look forward to coming out of this crisis and continuing to drive improved operating and financial results and long-term value for all stakeholders,” Swanson continued.



In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New York, alongside its Hurricane Harbour waterpark, have delayed opening for the 2020 season.

Six Flags plans to open Great Adventure on May 21, 2020, almost seven weeks later than the original opening date of April 4.  The Hurricane Harbor waterpark is also due to open in mid-May or soon afterwards.

In a press statement, Six Flags said: While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at the property, the safety of our guests, team members, and animals is always our highest priority. We will continue to closely monitor this evolving situation, and follow the most current guidance from federal, state, and local officials.”

A number of other theme parks have closed across the United States due to the coronavirus outbreak, including Disneyland, Universal Studios Florida Theme Park, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Studios Hollywood, and many more.



Since it first opened its doors in 1965, SeaWorld has rescued 36,000 animals in its ongoing mission to help stranded, ill and injured marine and terrestrial animals.

Working in partnership with animal care experts, rescue specialists and veterinarians, the much-loved amusement park has been successfully rescuing and rehabilitating animals for almost 55 years.

As Donna Wieting, director of NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Protected Resources, said: “SeaWorld’s work rescuing and rehabilitating wild animals is of the highest calibre and the reason why the rescue team has been a long-standing and valuable partner.

“We also value SeaWorld’s mission to educate the public about marine wildlife conservation and the role they play in protecting animal habitats,” Wieting continued.

Jon Peterson, senior leader of Zoological Operations at SeaWorld Orlando, describes SeaWorld’s commitment to animal rescue: “Our teams remain on the frontlines of marine mammal rescue because of our enduring commitment to supporting rescue, rehabilitation and return,” said Peterson, adding: “In a perfect world, animals would never need to be rescued, but until that changes, our teams will continue to work closely with our partners to help save these animals.”

For every ticket purchased for SeaWorld Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego, funds go towards the rescue and rehabilitation of the animals that are rehomed at the resort.



SeaWorld Entertainment has announced the company’s CEO, Gustavo Antorcha, is to resign as CEO, after being in the position for just seven months.

Antorcha has also resigned as a board of directors’ member.

Marc Swanson, CFO of SeaWorld, has been appointed as interim CEO. Stepping into Swanson’s shoes is Elizabeth Castro, who has been promoted from chief accounting officer to interim CFO.

Antorcha says he will assist SeaWorld in the smooth transition of appointing its next CEO.

“While I may have a difference of approach, I continue to believe in SeaWorld’s strategy, mission, team and prospects.

“Marc and Elizabeth are fine leaders, and I am confident in their abilities to guide the company forward,” said Antorcha.

Scott Ross, chairman of SeaWorld’s board of directors, said:

“We thank Gus for his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavours.

“We know Marc and Elizabeth will be excellent leaders in their new roles and will continue to successfully drive the business forward.

“Marc has been with the company for 19 years and has a deep understanding of the company, its parks and its strategy.

“He has been a key contributor to the success of the business for several years. Elizabeth has been with the company for seven years and has extensive knowledge of the company and its financial profile,” Ross added.