For over two months, Central Florida has been shut down. However, just a few short days ago, some of the first attractions opened their doors. ICON Park, located on Orlando’s famous International Drive is home of the The Wheel at ICON Park, Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, and Madame Tussauds. At this time, only the two walk through attractions are open, but they are well worth the visit.
Sea Life Orlando is a unique experience as it is one continuous hallway through themed areas representing the different oceans of the world and providing guests with one of the most up close views of sea life— along with Florida’s only 360 tunnel.
Having visited Sea Life before, I noticed that some of the interactive activities were hidden with fishing nets (to keep in theme) or shut down to minimize surface touching. But, on the whole, they did an excellent job of reopening with very minimal impact to guests.
Along with the social distancing reminders throughout the location, they had also set up a sanitizing station midway for those who didn’t have their own.
As pointed out by one of the staff I spoke with (one who was walking through and cleaning the high touch points), both Sea Life and Tussauds were running with a skeleton crew in an effort to get both attractions up and running. They’re hoping to bring in more guests and, in turn, bring back more of their staff.
Madame Tussauds Orlando follows many of the same changes as Sea Life, including only operating with touchless pay systems for merchandise as well as tickets at this time.
The biggest changes to this attraction is not being able to touch the wax figures — something that has always been the biggest difference between this Madame Tussauds and any other wax museum.
The other big adjustment was the removal of the props and costumes that guests were encouraged to use while taking fun photos with the figures.
I have to say, getting out and visiting these attractions was a great step in the return to the world as we knew it. Still, I enjoyed the creative signs the most to really help turning the “new normal” into a themed experience.
Even though both of these attractions have been closed for all these many weeks, they were both taking the extra step to help thank the true heroes: the healthcare workers. They’re donating tickets based on the number of social media posts done by guests visiting the respective locations.
For more information on hours of operation and tickets, visit iconparkorlando.com — and for a deeper look into both attractions here are a few highlights of my visit”
Our main correspondent for Walt Disney World and the Orlando area and a heck of a paleontologist if he does say so himself.