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Coronavirus: Impact on Theme Parks

UP87

Mega Poster
Heide Park is a bit lucky as the latest laws don't apply for them at the moment because the relevant numbers are not over the threshold in their government body. I think the region of every other German park except for Hansa-Park would be over that limit and thus the parks would not be allowed to open. For Heide Park this can change rather quickly, as well. The numbers only need to be above the treshold for over 3 days and they would have to close. The case they won was against restrictions in lower saxony but the new law on a federal level should still apply.
 

Rein

Roller Poster
I read the article through a translator, I seem to understand everything, but there is a question
tests will be carried out right in front of the park entrance? Or will you need a certificate of a preliminary test and a negative result? and how will the payment be made if the test is done right at the entrance to the park?
I apologize if this information was there, apparently I missed it or did not understand it because of the translator
As we know today, there won't be any testing in front of the entrance of a themepark in the Netherlands nor will you need a negative test to enter. Only Walibi Holland will be checking your temperature before entering the park.
 

cookie

Hyper Poster
I read the article through a translator, I seem to understand everything, but there is a question
tests will be carried out right in front of the park entrance? Or will you need a certificate of a preliminary test and a negative result? and how will the payment be made if the test is done right at the entrance to the park?
I apologize if this information was there, apparently I missed it or did not understand it because of the translator
Testing isn’t done at the entrance, it’s at a separate location out in the parking area. You’ll need to book a time slot between 7:30 A.M and 6 P.M (so you can’t just show up whenever you fancy) and, if my understanding is correct, you’ll get a test result rather quickly so you could use that result to get into the park the same day. It’s really no different from private vendors that you go to to get PCR/Antigen tests for travel and such.

The certificate requirement is a separate thing you can bring from home if you don’t fancy/don’t have the time to get a test on-site. It needs to be less than 24 hours old, however.

There’s more info here:
 
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ECG

East Coast(er) General
Staff member
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More financial figures reported:

Comcast revealed in its first-quarter earnings report that its Universal theme parks division saw a 33% revenue decline from Q1 2020 to $619 million because of coronavirus restrictions. Despite the decline, the company broke even for the second consecutive quarter with a 2% increase in overall revenue to $27.2 billion, which was partly driven by excitement for the June 10 opening of the "Jurassic World VelociCoaster".

Oriental Land Co. announced that its Tokyo Disney theme parks in Japan welcomed 7.56 million guests for the first three months of the year, a record low. The company also reported a net loss of 54.19 billion yen during the period and a 63.3% drop in sales to 170.58 billion yen. The company said it plans to continue to invest in the theme parks and promote cost efficiency.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
According to The Times, the 1m+ rule is being scrapped in the UK from 21st June, but masks may be kept in some situations, as well as things like one-way systems: https://apple.news/A0LZDNV8BTRutzapQ_sviXg

Excellent news, from an operational standpoint! This should hopefully mean a far more normal season for the UK parks going forward, not least because it allows the parks to operate rides on full capacity again!
 
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Hixee

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According to The Times, the 1m+ rule is being scrapped in the UK from 21st June, but masks may be kept in some situations, as well as things like one-way systems: https://apple.news/A0LZDNV8BTRutzapQ_sviXg
Excellent news, from an operational standpoint! This should hopefully mean a far more normal season for the UK parks going forward, not least because it allows the parks to operate rides on full capacity again!
I mean, having been at Towers and Drayton this weekend, it's not like those rules are being enforced anyway. Drayton in particular - masks truly sparse in the park and social distancing was an alien concept to most people there it would seem. Drayton felt just as busy at is would ever be - I think some creative accounting on their part for their "limited park capacity". It was gross.
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
I still find it a mystery why some parks are doing social distancing on rides to be honest.

Don't get me wrong, I get the logic. By them leaving a row between groups on certain rides, it shows that they're doing what they can to keep groups separated. And along with social distancing markers, it again puts on a face that they're doing something.

But when social distancing isn't being enforced in most instances in queue lines and pathways, it negates that. Why is it that you can have someone stand less than a meter behind you whilst you're in a queue for a coaster for 45 minutes, but then they have to sit two rows behind you for a 50 second ride where you're travelling at 40mph+ for a good chunk of it? It's a huge disconnect really, especially when I have doubts that social distancing on coasters is in any way effective.

Going to a theme park, I think most people accept there's a (small) level of risk associated with it. Even with reduced capacities, there's going to be thousands of people on a busy day. And regardless of how quiet it is, you almost always still spend more time in pathways and queue lines than physically on rides. So the focus should be on making those pathways and queue lines as 'Covid secure' as possible, and then accepting that - with masks on - the risk of catching Covid on a ride is effectively the same whether a person is sat next to you, or however many rows in front of / behind you.

I've mentioned this a couple of times on here, but I'll mention it again, When I went to Asterix last July, they had it spot on (more or less) in my opinion.
Social distancing encouraged in queue lines, but accepted that it would be hard to regulate.
Masks essential in queue lines, with regular checks from security staff to ensure people were wearing them.
Masks essential on most rides, with no social distancing on coasters (so you could be sat next to strangers, just like normal)

It threw me a bit at first, I won't lie. But in terms of Covid secureness, it was the 'safest' and most comfortable I felt at a park since this whole thing begun.


I've rambled a bit...But yeah, I think, with the UK parks at least, there's a lot of "Look, we've done a lot of things to make the park Covid secure", but in reality, those aren't the right things to have done. All mouth and no trousers I guess.
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
So French theme parks have had some news about their reopening...and they're not happy.

Source: https://www.sortiraparis.com/arts-c...en-from-may-19-rides-only-from-june-9/lang/en

Basically, outdoor visitor attractions - including theme parks - are allowed to open from May 19th. But, they're not allowed to open any rides. Rides are only allowed to open from June 9th. It very much seems like what some other countries have done, in that they're phasing the reopening of attractions, and theme parks are in a second phase. Can understand the frustration, but I do think there's something to be said for the slow and steady approach.

The limits in France are that no outdoor attraction is allowed more than 5000 people per day (regardless of size, but obviously less if the attraction is smaller), and any place expecting more than 1000 people per day have to enforce checking health passes (ie - visitors must prove they've tested negative prior to visiting, or be fully vaccinated). From June 30th, the 5000 people per day limit is removed and attractions can run at their full capacity if they want to.
 

cookie

Hyper Poster
...Why open at all if they can’t open anything? It’s one thing if indoor attractions are closed, like it’s being done in the UK and Belgium, but all rides? For places that have other attractions than rides it may not be the worst idea, but for most parks it’s going to be meaningless.
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
...Why open at all if they can’t open anything? It’s one thing if indoor attractions are closed, like it’s being done in the UK and Belgium, but all rides? For places that have other attractions than rides it may not be the worst idea, but for most parks it’s going to be meaningless.

I do wonder if it's very similar to how the UK restrictions were in late March / early April were, just worded differently. Theme parks couldn't open, but some outdoor places could. That meant that Alton Towers could open the Gardens and mini golf, for example.

I think it's stupid for the government to be going "Theme parks can open, but you can't open any rides" though. They should just straight out say "Theme parks can't open until 9th June", because that's basically what the rule is.

Asterix and Futuroscope have already said that they don't intend to open until they can open rides because of how meaningless it would be otherwise.
 

caffeine_demon

Strata Poster
I still find it a mystery why some parks are doing social distancing on rides to be honest.

Don't get me wrong, I get the logic. By them leaving a row between groups on certain rides, it shows that they're doing what they can to keep groups separated. And along with social distancing markers, it again puts on a face that they're doing something.

But when social distancing isn't being enforced in most instances in queue lines and pathways, it negates that. Why is it that you can have someone stand less than a meter behind you whilst you're in a queue for a coaster for 45 minutes, but then they have to sit two rows behind you for a 50 second ride where you're travelling at 40mph+ for a good chunk of it? It's a huge disconnect really, especially when I have doubts that social distancing on coasters is in any way effective.

I've been wondering similare about masks on rides - surely with all that airflow, there's a higher chance of your mask falling off, than droplets infecting someone "near" you??
 

Will

Strata Poster
^
To be honest, I wonder how much some of it is just paying lip service in order to get 'Covid secure' status.
On a more intense ride as well, particularly if I've 'vocalized' during the ride, I'll get to the brake run and find it's anywhere but where it should be.
Ironically, they're probably more use on family rides - but if it makes people feel more comfortable, I don't really take any issue with them anymore.
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
Wasn't sure quite where to put this but this works...


The restrictions in Belgium at the moment do not allow indoor eating, much like the UK currently. As such, Plopsaland have transformed their Teacups attraction (which has a roof but no walls, so counts as outdoors) into a designated eating area, with tables and chairs...

 

VonRolland

Hyper Poster
Wasn't sure quite where to put this but this works...


The restrictions in Belgium at the moment do not allow indoor eating, much like the UK currently. As such, Plopsaland have transformed their Teacups attraction (which has a roof but no walls, so counts as outdoors) into a designated eating area, with tables and chairs...

I wanna see them start it up mid afternoon tea, that would cause a storm in a tea cup ;)
 

Ethan

Strata Poster
Thought I'd pop over to Thorpe Park with a mate today.

Weather was crap until midday which was hilarious but the park was very low on people so queues weren't an issue. The operations however, my god. I don't think I've ever witnessed something as tragic. Really really quite poor, with the exception of perhaps Stealth. Regular cleaning on the coasters was nice to see but when they stand around chatting for 5 minutes afterwards before restarting the coaster it did get a little frustrating. They were cleaning them rather thoroughly though which was good to see.

Also on a side note, that place is exhausting. Every coaster bar Inferno and Swarm are awfully rough, it really detracted from our day. Stealth's pull-up is so intense that, mixed with the rattle it has, it was almost unbearable! Launch is still incredible but I found myself wishing the ride stopped after that so I wouldn't have to endure the top hat again.

Did enjoy my first park visit since before Covid though, just wish things were a little smoother, both in terms of operations and coasters!
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Disneyland Paris has confirmed that they are reopening on 17th June:
 

gavin

Administrator
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There's an article in today's local news about Hong Kong Disneyland: SCMP Article

Unsurprisingly, they've had their worst year ever, losing HK$2.66 billion (US$347 million / £242 million). That's around 25 times last year's loss of HK$105 million.

A loss isn't surprising, obviously, since the park has only been open for 40% of the year and Hong Kong currently has zero tourism, but that difference is huge. In terms of the loss, I don't know if that number includes outgoing costs for the new castle and Frozen area or whether those numbers have already been accounted for.

Visitor numbers were down 70% to 1.7 million, which clearly isn't good. However, considering there are no tourists here and the park has only been open for 40% of the time (with reduced capacity), that's very good in terms of local visitors. 1.7 million would look decent for most parks, but it's clearly not going to be anywhere near enough for Disney. Local attendance was up 46% per day in the first half of the year, but without the international visitors, it's just not enough.

Sales of annual passes have gone up which is not surprising given that we can't realistically leave Hong Kong, so people are grabbing onto stuff to do locally. From my experience, the park has been pretty busy when I've been there, but if the customer base is made up mainly of annual pass holders, then the per-head spend on the day is probably not very high.

Oh well, it's possibly still better than California and Paris, though with those places staying closed, they've probably managed to not lose anywhere near as much money. Will those parks have to release numbers in the same way though? Hong Kong does since it's 53% government-owned.
 

Peet

Hyper Poster
Dreamland have sent the following email out; headlines are that they are getting a few new fairground type rides opening on 10th July including a ghost train BUT The Scenic Railway will not be opening at all in 2021:
Screenshot_20210519-210303_Outlook.jpg
Combined with the removal of the Pinball X cred, this has got me seriously concerned about the future of Dreamland as an amusement park. It does seem to be doing well as an events venue though.
 
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cookie

Hyper Poster
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