Saturday,  April 10, 2021  11:09 am

California theme parks are reopening, but no screaming on rides, officials say

California theme parks are reopening, but no screaming on rides, officials say
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

Shhhh! I’m trying to ride the rollercoaster.

As Southern California’s theme parks prepare for an April reopening after months of pandemic-related shutdowns, thrill seekers are being asked to “mitigate the effects of shouting" on roller coasters and rides to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Yes, you read that correctly – you can ride the rollercoaster, but please just don’t scream while you’re zipping around.

The California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA), a trade group that represents theme parks statewide, is backing the brow-raising recommendation as part of its "responsible reopening plan.”

Under the guidance, which was released in September, park officials are advised to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by enforcing masks and modifying the seating layout on rides.

This aligns with reopening guidelines for businesses in California, which is limiting activities that are known to spread the virus, such as singing and shouting.

“Face covering usage and/or modifications to seat loading patterns will be required on amusement park rides to mitigate the effects of shouting,” CAPA wrote in its reopening plan. “Additionally, on rides, guests generally face in one direction.”

California theme parks, from Disneyland to Universal Studios to Six Flags to Knott’s Berry Farm, have been given the go-ahead by state officials to resume operations on April 1 – as long as the county in which the park is located in has reached a “red tier” ranking.

Under the guidelines, theme parks will be only allowed to reopen at 15% capacity and welcome in-state visitors only.

Other state restrictions include limiting groups to no more than 10 people and from no more than three households, removing indoor dining and selling tickets online only and in advance.

Six Flags Magic Mountain has unveiled plans to reopen the Valencia theme park to members and passholders on April 1 and 2 and to the public on April 3.

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park, which has been closed for a year now, announced last week that they will reopen on April 30.

Scream with excitement, if you must, but just do it quietly, K?


Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today


Indicator...