As the world adjusts to its post-COVID-but-actually-still-pretty-much-mid-COVID-for-the-love-of-god-please-be-careful status quo, we’ve seen plenty of theme parks attempt to adjust themselves to the latest slate of health advisories and regulations. Any industry that relies so heavily on making people—many of whom have traveled from hundreds of germ-filled miles away—scream and/or barf on each other while standing in long lines in close proximity is going to be a major target, obviously, for control measures for the disease. But even so: Et tu, COVID? You had to take the Waterworld stunt show from us, too?
That’s right: Universal Studios’ premiere tribute to the fine cinematic art of Kevin Costner drinking his own pee is just one of several theme park attractions that have apparently been curtailed or affected by new regulations, specifically those that prohibit indoor rides or attractions that keep people inside for more than 15 minutes at a time. Said regulations have, among other things, led to a few key cutbacks in Disney’s Star Wars: Rise Of The Resistance ride, which typically runs 18 minutes and has now had several small moments trimmed out of it to keep its time down. Other rides, like Universal’s Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey, which features a line system that runs through an indoor version of Hogwarts, have had their systems updated to keep people outside for as long as possible.
In the case of the Waterworld stunt show—or, to give it its proper title, Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular—the concern isn’t for the audience, but the performers. The long-running theme park institution (which, at this point, we’d wager more people have seen than have actually watched Waterworld) simply isn’t set up for masked performance, which means that all the various Smokers, Deacons, and Mariners blowing each other up over its 16-minute run-time have no way to do so safely. Ah, high-brow stunt show culture. Truly you are like Kevin Costner’s urine: Finite, fleeting, and so, so sweet.