Coronavirus has put the kabash on a lot of things and places people normally visit for fun. Some, such as Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights, the 2021 Tournament of Roses Parade and even BoardingArea’s own Freddie Awards, have been canceled this year. Others places, especially small, family-owned entities, have closed permanently.
However some venues are thinking outside the box and doing their best to survive, or even just start up. You’d never think that a state fair, safari park, Halloween attraction or strip club could be drive-thru experiences. But you probably never thought that 2020 would be the year of a worldwide pandemic, either. Here’s what some places are doing:
Drive-Thru Strip Clubs
I was not the least bit surprised to hear about this because very early on during the pandemic, in mid-April, I had written that the adult entertainment industry was thinking outside the box because of COVID-19 (by the way, the virtual lapdance site, mentioned first in that post, apparently works now).
Anyway, we had written back in that April post that a strip club in Las Vegas was trying to do a drive-up version, but didn’t work out because of the state’s mandatory shutdown orders for non-essential businesses. Although cases in our country are a bajillion times higher, things are more open now. Go figure. Here are some places where you can go to a drive-thru strip club (be aware of somewhat adult photos on each site):
(by the way, want to know what it’s like to work in a drive-thru strip club during the COVID-19 pandemic? Cosmopolitan can tell you all about it. Because of course it can. Head up for somewhat adult photos in the Cosmo thing)
Drive-Thru Halloween Attraction
On July 24, Universal Studios Orlando announced that the 30th season of Halloween Horror Nights was canceled. HHN at Universal Studios Hollywood (USH still hasn’t reopened, period) is also canceled. It was disappointing but not unexpected, considering the nature of both of the popular annual events – although they never said why, it’s easy to figure that between the crowds, the enclosed spaces and the screaming, there was no way to run the event safely.
Four days later, both the Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Weekly reported that a new drive-thru Halloween experience would be coming to Orlando this fall. The “Haunted Road” is describing itself as Orlando’s first immersive, completely contactless drive-thru Halloween experience. The plan is to tell an original, theatrical story through twisted creatures and “unexpected scares” in every drive-thru scene.
The attraction will be run by a team of creative minds that have worked in Orlando (both in and outside of the theme parks) for years, have won awards, worked on globally-renowned shows and attractions, as well as Broadway marketing and theme park operations. Not surprisingly, Orlando has a LOT of creative people ;-). They’re also consulting with some amazingly creative and successful people, as well. Here’s their website (warning: there’s not a whole lot there yet, but Halloween is still 3 months away).
Drive-Thru State Fairs
State fairs are something people look forward to every year. Unfortunately, state fairs and the 2019 Novel Coronavirus don’t mix. So several state fairs are doing (or have done) “mini” versions of their annual events via drive-thru. They’re usually just their food (because c’mon….FAIR FOOD!), but sometimes more:
- Wisconsin (July 23 – Aug 16)
- Florida (July 31 – Aug 2)
- Minnesota (Aug 20-23, 27-30, Sept 3-7) (sold out – tickets are on sale on Craigslist for $500!)
- Oregon (“all summer long”)
- South Carolina (Oct 20-21) (they are REALLY giving it their all!)
- New York State
- Washington State (Sept 17-20)
- San Diego County Fair (every weekend through Labor Day)
- Iowa (Aug 12-22)
Drive-Thru Safari Parks
This addition is actually cheating a little, because both attractions I’m going to mention had already been established attractions in Central Florida.
Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari Park has been around for about a year. From their website:
Buckle up for your wildest car ride yet! Travel down gravel paths within our Drive-thru Safari Park and discover more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely. During your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals often only found around the world. Enjoy identifying species from as far away as the African savanna to others from the deciduous forests of North America, all from the comfort of your own car.
The attraction, which encompasses 85 acres, includes a 2- miles path where you can see giraffes, zebra, eland antelope, scimitar oryx, American bison, mouflon sheep, and more. Located in Kenansville, which is about an hour southeast of Disney World, it’s apparently a fun way to see free roaming wild animals.
Further south and closer to the Atlantic coast, Lion Country Safari, located in Palm Beach Country FL, is situated on nearly 600 acres of natural area and home to over 1,000 animals. Founded in 1967, it claims to be the first ‘cageless zoo’ in the United States. In 2009, USA Travel Guide named Lion Country the 3rd best zoo in the nation.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary