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Amusement Park Safety

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Amusement Park Safety

Amusement parks post-Covid-19 will be very different places to visit. Along with the safety measures we needed prior to the pandemic, there are now an entirely new set of rules to follow post-pandemic.

Will the amusement parks we have come to know and love be as crowded and well-visited now that there are so many rules to follow?

Amusement Park Safety Before Covid-19

What child doesn’t want to vacation at a theme park? There are rides, good food, characters to meet, souvenirs to buy and time to spend with the family. Because such parks are teeming with people there are some inherent dangers as well as fun. Amusement parks do a great job of securing the safety of their guests. There are also some very basic things you can do that will protect you from not only strangers and accidents but the elements as well.

First, stay with your group. If you have people of different ages they may want to go in different directions. Make sure everyone has someone to go with and stress the importance of staying together. Staying with someone will lessen the chance of getting lost and will insure that even if someone gets separated from the main group, they always have another person to help them find their way back.

Second, educate your children. Make sure your kids know what a “safe” person looks like. It would be nice to think that anyone would help them, and maybe that is true, but pointing out designated places for lost children to go along with what employees look like can not only insure they get help but will lessen their anxiety should they become separated from the group.

Third, safeguard your valuables. Carry any valuables in front of you. Fanny packs are a great way to safeguard these items as long as they are carried in front. Money and keys often come up missing. Remember that things often fall out of pockets, pickpockets are really good and you can never safeguard things too much.

Fourth, obey all rules of the park. Every year stories are told of the person who took their seatbelt off in the middle of a ride and was subsequently hurt. When the person running the ride says, “Keep your arms and legs inside and have fun” they are literally warning you of things that can go wrong. There are also rules that many people ignore or don’t read in the first place.

Photo by: MARK EADES

At the beginning of every ride there is a sign that states what type of ride it is and under what circumstances you should not ride. For example, someone who has a seizure disorder should be very careful about participating in a ride that has strobe lighting as part of the effects. These limitations are posted for the safety of everyone who will be participating and should be followed.

Finally, there are dangers inherent in our world which you should prepare for. The sun is probably the most prominent. Many people think about sunscreen with so many cancer cases in our country but how many people think about the effects of the heat?

Heat stroke and dehydration can be more dangerous and more immediate than the damage to your skin. You should never spend a day at any amusement park without sunscreen, a hat or umbrella for shade, and plenty of water (or money to buy water).

Amusement parks provide entertainment to families all over the world. It would be a shame to have a mishap spoil the fun. Watching a child’s eyes light up at the sight of Mickey is worth all the prep work that has to be done.

Educate your children, assign buddies, obey the rules and always protect yourself from the sun. That way in years to come when you pull out that photo album the only memories you will have are positive ones.

Amusement Park Safety After Covid-19

Will amusement parks ever be the same? Only time will tell.

Since so many closed for extended periods of time during the Covid-19 pandemic, they are reopening with many safety precautions in place regarding the health of their guests.

The theme parks in Orlando have instituted some of the following:

(Olga Thompson, photographer)

Walt Disney World has implemented updates based on guidance from health authorities and government agencies. The measures are designed to promote:

  • Cleanliness
  • Physical distancing
  • Reduced contact

The parks will reopen with some important updates to promote physical distancing, including:

  • Park Reservations: Initially, park attendance will be managed through a new park reservation system. To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date are required.
  • New Ticket Sales: At this time, new ticket sales are temporarily paused. Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases before new tickets are sold. Additional details will be shared with these Guests soon. New ticket sales will resume after that period of time.
  • New Disney Resort Hotel Reservations: At this time, new reservations at Disney Resort hotels are temporarily paused so we can focus on Guests with existing reservations (Disney Vacation Club Members can still make new reservations). Reservations will resume after that period of time.

Upon reopening, theme parks, Disney Resort hotels, restaurants, attractions, experiences and other offerings may be modified and will be limited in capacity and subject to limited availability or closure, based on direction from health experts and government officials to promote physical distancing.

Here are the top things to know as you prepare to visit:

  • To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date are required
  • Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members; temperature screenings are required in some locations
  • Some experiences—including theme parks—may be modified or unavailable to allow for physical distancing and limited contact
  • Helpful technology and the My Disney Experience app will help you make the most of the magic

At Universal Orlando they have implemented new operational guidelines for the safety of guests. Universal Orlando will be following what they are calling the three Ss. That’s screening, meaning taking everybody’s temperature before they enter; sanitization, constantly sanitizing areas and high-touch surfaces in the parks; and spacing, providing markings and reminders throughout the resort so guests can socially distance themselves from other parties.

Universal Orlando has implemented the following guidelines:

All of the major theme parks (SeaWorld, LegoLand, 6 Flags, etc.) have instituted similar post-pandemic guidelines.

Amusement park safety in general: With all of the extra precautions that are being put in place, how likely are you to be visiting a major theme park this year? I personally think many of the guidelines will continue into 2021 which will have many opting to wait until things go back to the “old normal.”