Orlando theme parks hit capacity during holiday weekend

Both Universal Orlando and Disney World capped visitors this weekend.

Annie Wilson was covering the crowds for Universal Parks News Today and shared her experience with FOX 35.

“I’ve been to Universal almost every day since they reopened in June. Maybe the last three Saturdays have just been crazy. It was mild up until a couple weeks ago. It seemed like the ‘back to school’ crowd was here. Now, it’s holiday crowd,” Wilson said.

Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay all hit capacity both days this weekend. Disney reservations filled up too.

“When they say they’re at capacity, it’s reduced capacity due to social distancing,” said Mark Johnston, a marketing and ethics professor at Rollins College Graduate School of Business.

Johnston says those big deals the parks have been offering to Florida residents may be paying off.

“There’s significant discounts involved. It is the Labor Day weekend and so given all those factors and it’s a pretty nice weekend, people are starting to say 'let’s try it out and give it a shot,'” he said.

Wilson tells us lines for rides, food and drinks were long.

She says even though social distancing wasn’t always possible, she still felt safe.

“You could see the park was preparing for the crowds. They added barricades, extra lockers, more staffing all around the park. They knew it was coming,” Wilson said.

“The parks are looking to manage this well this weekend with the anticipation that the news out of this weekend will be that people had fun,” Johnston said.

Johnston tells FOX 35 that a lot of people are watching and waiting to see what happens at the parks before deciding to buy their own tickets.