SeaWorld cuts social distancing in half, phases out temperature checks

ORLANDO, Fla. — Starting Thursday, SeaWorld said it’s cutting social distancing in half and doing away with temperature checks.

Channel 9 was there when the park went from handheld temperature checks to using a thermal scanner. As of Thursday, it’s scrapping temperature checks altogether.

The theme park said it’s also not asking guests to stay 6 feet apart anymore. Now, it’s 3 feet.

READ: Heading to the theme parks? Here’s what you need to know about changes coming to temperature checks, social distancing

“Those protocols are changing right now and will change,” said CEO Marc Swanson. “We expect some of those will change going forward so they provide a more positive guest experience.”

Newly crowned CEO Swanson and Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Gulacsy told shareholders the company is still struggling financially but things are improving. They reported that the parks, including the one in Orlando, hit or were near capacity during spring break even though attendance was only at 2.2 million, a 4.5% drop from 2020. They said it was due to the pandemic, not the park.

READ: Universal Orlando to eliminate temperature checks, reduce social distancing to 3 feet starting Thursday

Currently, 10 out of the company’s 12 parks are open. All 12 are expected to be open by the summer.

READ: Disney announces plans to phase out temperature screenings

Two of the big three theme parks have had their first quarter earning calls.

Walt Disney World plans to reveal how it did in about a week.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, and click here to watch the latest news on your Smart TV.


Cierra Putman

Cierra Putman, WFTV.com

Cierra Putman flew south to join Eyewitness News in July 2016.