Roo News

The Student News Site of University of Missouri - Kansas City

Roo News

Roo News

Banner and KC skyline at Boulevardia.
Boulevardia 2024: Kansas City's ultimate urban music fest rocks Crown Center
Catie Walker, Staff Writer • June 20, 2024

Kansas City partied last weekend on Grand Boulevard at Crown Center for Boulevardia 2024, KC’s largest urban street music festival. The...

Taking place from June 7-9, the event featured performers, businesses and other organizations.
Kansas City PrideFest: A vibrant celebration of love and acceptance
Catie Walker and Evelyn BergerJune 11, 2024

  Kansas City celebrated the LGBTQ+ community at the 47th annual PrideFest and parade this weekend at Theis Park.    “Pride gives the...

Courtesy of Rosanne Wickman
Remembering G. Fred Wickman: Journalist, Professor and Mentor
Melissa Reeves, Guest Writer • May 16, 2024

On April 27, 2024, former Kansas City Star columnist, UMKC professor and U-News (now called Roo News) advisor G. Fred Wickman passed away after...

Kansas City has a chance to advance to the Summit League Championship for the first time since 2011.
Roos Softball Advances to Championship Semifinal
Zach Gunter, Sports Editor • May 10, 2024

  Kansas City has thrilled viewers in the first three games of the Summit League Softball Championship.   Entering as the third seed,...

A picture of the posters on the University Walkway.
UMKC Students Received University Pushback at Pro-Palestine Protest
Aurora Wilson and Maisy BlantonApril 29, 2024

  Over 150 students showed up to participate in a protest in solidarity with Palestine and other protests across the nation on Monday.   Around...

Worlds of Fun to reopen amid coronavirus

Despite low rates of vaccination in Missouri, Worlds of Fun still plans to open its gates for business on May 22. (Emma Lane)

Missouri is ranked 45 in vaccination rates and Kansas is ranked 30 as of March 21. Despite the low rates of vaccination, Worlds of Fun still plans to open its gates for business on May 22. Oceans of Fun and its newest attraction, the 486-foot-long mat slide named The Riptide Raceway, will be following suit, and opening on May 29 during the peak of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. 

This is the first time either park is scheduled to be open to the public since the parks closed on Sept. 7, 2020 due to the pandemic.

“While reopening is something that would’ve had to happen eventually, it seems a bit early for that,” said Darius Stewart, vice president of public relations for Sigma Phi Epsilon at UMKC. “Especially since Worlds of Fun tends to be an extremely popular spot where social distancing is largely going to be unenforceable.” 

There are concerns that reopening the park would be unwise in light of current vaccination rates.

“I am far more enthusiastic about opening schools than opening theme parks. If President Biden’s promise is kept, every adult will have access to the vaccine by May, including the young people who work at WOF,” said Dr. Mary Anne Jackson, dean of the UMKC School of Medicine. “Is it possible by the time Worlds of Fun says they will open? The answer is no in my mind.” 

On its website, the Worlds of Fun states it will enforce social distancing protocols and continuously sanitize high traffic areas in accordance with CDC guidelines to ensure customer safety and to prevent the spread of germs. 

However, for the seasonal hourly employees that make up much of the park staff, keeping safe can be a daunting task.  

“Employees have continuous close contact with customers at entry turnstiles and at game stations,” said former Worlds of Fun employee and local metro resident Jackie Bell. “The locker rooms, restaurants, and employee cash counting areas are small and poorly ventilated as well. So, I don’t think opening during the pandemic is the best idea for their workers.” 

Historically, their staff pool has consisted of local high school and college students looking to make money during their summer break. Since data collection on vaccinations for young adults are still in their early stages, this brings to question how they will get vaccinated or if they are eligible before the season begins. 

[email protected]

Leave a Comment
Donate to Roo News

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Missouri - Kansas City. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Roo News

Comments (0)

All Roo News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *