Donald Kolwyck and his spouse, Sharon, have been subsequent in line to experience the Full Throttle curler coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain when a voice on a loudspeaker introduced that the experience was quickly offline for technical issues.
“Oh, I assume we’re again to regular, then,” Kolwyck joked, noting theme park rides’ popularity for breaking down.
Regular? Not fairly.
Greater than a yr after closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Six Flags Magic Mountain is again to working stomach-churning thrill rides and promoting high-calorie snacks, albeit with a slew of latest coronavirus security protocols that start on the entrance gates, prolong to the rides and eating places and even have an effect on the lads’s bogs.
The Valencia theme park dubbed the Thrill Capital of the World opened Thursday to annual and season passholders, the primary day allowed underneath California’s reopening pointers that cap attendance at 15% of most capability, amongst different guidelines. The park will open to most people Saturday.
Different main Southern California theme parks are nonetheless gearing up. Common Studios Hollywood is scheduled to reopen April 16. Disneyland and Disney California Journey Park in Anaheim plan to reopen April 30. Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park is anticipated to open someday in Could.
Most of Magic Mountain’s points of interest have been working Friday, aside from an indoor acrobatic present and a bumper-car attraction, each closed as a result of they violated the state’s social distancing guidelines. A number of indoor queuing areas have been shut for a similar cause. The state pointers require all queuing areas to be outside and guests from totally different households to face not less than six ft aside whereas ready.
“It’s Day 2,” park spokesperson Jerry Certonio mentioned. “We’re nonetheless figuring out the bugs.”
Most company appeared unbothered by the requirement that everybody put on masks, stay six ft aside and sit separated from strangers on rides. The rides have been additionally stopped each jiffy so staff might wipe down the seats and lap bars with disinfectant.
“We’re glad and enthusiastic about all the protection guidelines,” mentioned Cesar Romero of Cypress, who visited the park together with his daughter and two nieces.
To make sure the park retains attendance underneath 15% of capability and all parkgoers are residents of California, as required by the state, Magic Mountain requires guests to ebook reservations on-line. Pandemic restrictions in Los Angeles County are set to loosen additional subsequent week, and Certonio mentioned the park expects to have the ability to improve attendance to 25% capability.
When getting into the park, guests stroll by way of a short lived constructing the place a thermal digital camera robotically reads their physique temperature. The system alerts park staff if it detects anybody with a temperature over 100.4 levels Fahrenheit. In case that occurs, emergency medical technicians are stationed close by to take a second temperature studying with a hand-held system. Guests with temperatures over 100.4 should not allowed in.
To forestall safety screening from creating crowds and bottlenecks, Magic Mountain not stops guests on the entrance to look their purses and backpacks. As an alternative, parkgoers stroll previous a brand new touchless scanner that screens for doable hidden weapons. If the scanner identifies a suspicious object it flashes a purple gentle, and a safety officer pulls the particular person over for additional screening.
When loading the rides, park staff area parkgoers not less than one row aside. Households and teams of buddies can sit collectively however a row away from strangers.
Manny Dickerson of Simi Valley, who visited the park together with his three kids, mentioned he didn’t thoughts ready for the employees to scrub and disinfect the rides. “It feels protected,” he mentioned. “We’re glad to be again.”
Social distancing was even adopted within the bogs, the place adjoining urinals have been blocked off.
Three of the park’s eating places permit guests to order meals by way of a smartphone app to scale back the necessity to wait in line. The app notifies the customer when the meals is prepared.
The Kolwycks, who mentioned that they had their first date at Magic Mountain three a long time in the past, returned to relive reminiscences. However the modifications have been a welcome sight for Sharon Kolwyck, who works as an emergency room nurse.
“We’re OK with all the security measures,” she mentioned as she waited to board Full Throttle. “As soon as they get used to all of this, it should most likely run a bit smoother.”
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