For the first time since it debuted in 2017, the Volcano Bay water at Universal Orlando will not keep a seven-day operating schedule. 

Starting Sept. 8, Volcano Bay will be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Universal said in a press release that the change was made due to “operational needs and fall travel trends.” While no timeframe for the reduced hours was mentioned by Universal, its calendar does list Volcano Bay remaining closed two days a week through the end of 2020. 

Reduced operating days have been utilized by other Central Florida parks during the COVID-19 pandemic. SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and their two adjacent water parks have largely operated five days a week since reopening in June. 

Scaling back hours at Volcano Bay, however, shows just how much the pandemic is hurting larger theme park resorts like Universal. Since reopening in June, Universal Orlando has undergone two rounds of layoffs, temporarily shuttered four on-site hotels and placed construction of its new Epic Universe theme park on hold. 

Southwest Airlines cutting flights to Orlando in September and October 

The No. 1 carrier at Orlando International Airport, Southwest Airlines, is trimming almost 25 percent of its daily flights to the city in September and October. 

In a statement to Orlando Business Journal, Southwest said “Rest assured, local travelers can still reach our destinations from MCO with convenient, connecting service via other Southwest cities. We look forward to increasing flights when customers are ready to travel again.”

The moves are part of nationwide cutbacks by Southwest. According to CNBC, Southwest booking trends have been “inconsistent” while planes are typically flying at between 40 to 45 percent capacity. 

Kings Island Fall Fest calendar

Cedar Fair’s Kings Island has announced its operating schedule for the fall, showing that its new Tricks and Treats Fall Fest will run on weekends from Sept. 26 through Nov. 1.

As Theme Park Insider reports, the Halloween-themed food festival will feature games, shows, outdoor mazes and crafts. 

The new fest is temporarily taking the place of Kings Island’s other fall events, HalloTween and The Great Pumpkin Fest. Both are listed as “returning Fall 2021” on the Ohio park’s website.

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