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'There was no spacing': Theme parks see jump in crowd sizes during Labor Day weekend



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Mateo Osorio was up early Saturday morning, ready to get into Universal Studios before the park reached capacity and said no more guests would be admitted.
“The first thing we saw was the temperature screening line,” he said. “There are markers on the ground for you to be social distancing, but they don’t have as many that far back, so then you have these big clusters of people not social distancing,” Osorio said.
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He said didn’t get any better once he tried to get on the rides.
“There was no spacing; it was just like a normal queue line,” Osorio said. “We had a return time for the new Hagrid’s ride and when we got there, the line was stretched out all the way back into The Lost Continent. It was maybe a 45-minute wait just to get to the entrance of the ride.”
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Universal Studios, Island of Adventure and Volcano Bay all reached their 50% capacity on both Saturday and Sunday. Volcano Bay reached capacity again Monday.
“We were like … ‘We don’t feel safe. There’s no social distancing. The lines are too long to do any of those rides,” Osorio said. “A lot of people had their masks below their nose. I counted at least 10 people just with masks either not on or below their nose.”
At Walt Disney World, guests like Georgeanne McCreary said it was a busy weekend there, too. The parks there reached capacity on both Saturday and Sunday.
“Both Saturday and Sunday mornings, they had signs out that said the parks have reached capacity (and) you need a reservation,” McCreary said. “If you don’t have a reservation there are none available.”
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She said Sunday at the Magic Kingdom “felt like, by far, the busiest day that we have been at any park since reopening.”
“There seemed like a lot of people just walking in the walkways and the waits seemed significantly longer on Sunday at Magic Kingdom,” McCreary said.
She said Disney officials were ensuring guests were social distancing.
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“They have cast members walking among the crowds telling people to put their mask on if they’re not complying,” McCreary said. “They enforce social distancing, so we do feel safe here.”
Many Disney cast members are still furloughed. One cast member who did not want to go on camera shared an email with Eyewitness News stating the furlough could be extended into October or later, beyond the six-month mark from their initial furlough.

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