Horror Nights: Is it Safe?

Fatima Garcia, Writer

After a year and a half of public attractions being closed, ongoing mask mandates and even limitations of human contact due to a pandemic, society is finally starting to get back on its feet. One of the main public attractions that was not active last year that is up and running, perfect for the upcoming Halloween season, is Universal Studios Hollywood Horror Nights. This attraction first gained popularity in 1991 starting as a three night event in Florida. Over the years residents have dedicated much of their attention to this attraction; making it a huge event hosted by the parks every year from September 3rd to October 31st. Since we are living through a pandemic, it only makes sense to fixate on the implementation of the park’s own safety protocols to protect visitors against COVID-19. The parks have posted their guidelines in their website and state the following; strongly recommend you are vaccinated before visiting the park, vaccinated or not masks are mandatory, social distancing between parties is highly encouraged, frequent sanitation and washing your hands, and following team member directions to ensure a safe visit. 


However, how effective are these protocols in protecting visitors from COVID-19? In an interview with Alyssa Rubio, 12, she was asked the question “Do team members actually enforce their COVID-19 protocols?” Rubio responded, “At first staff does enforce protocols such as social distancing, cleaning rides in between and encouraging visitors to sanitize their hands but after a while they do stop.” Rubio also states,” Staff members get tired of having to constantly tell hundreds of people to remain a safe distance between parties, and for most of my visit, people would not listen.” Rubio shared, “Obviously staff are going to grow irritated with guests since they are hardly following protocol and when asked to follow protocol most of them choose to ignore them.” 


Humans naturally despise being told what to do, so it is no surprise that they choose to look the other way when asked to follow the park’s protocols. If society can’t be trusted with a simple task of following directions to ensure their safety and those around them, then maybe theme parks should not be open yet. Covid-19 cases are beginning to increase again because of the new strand -Delta Variant- that spreads a lot faster from host to host. Many sources state that “are theme parks safe to attend right now/?” is not a simple answer question. It’s more complex and ultimately in the hands of the public and the park administrators. Los Angeles is in the process of making vaccines mandatory in order to enter the parks, which will serve to control the spread of the virus and promote a safer visit, according to CNN. 


This issue is not a one person solution, it’s a problem society must solve. Do your part and make the experience of going to a theme park safe again. If you find yourself at Universal Studios Horror Nights this year, follow protocol and be safe Vikes !