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Coronavirus: Impact on Theme Parks

JammyH

Member
@Nicky Borrill

It’s all very well just focussing on the deaths as your only measure, but the cases are very important. Covid can cause long term health effects which we just don’t know about yet; brain damage, lung damage, permanent loss or damage to smell or taste. We just don’t know the long term health effects and that’s why in my view it’s not really “acceptable” to be letting cases rise to the level they are; even though it’s young people catching the virus, they could have long term health conditions as a result.

My aunt got the virus back in April, it’s now September and she’s still experiencing fatigue and severe relapses- I hope that puts into perspective the point I’m trying to make. Case numbers are important as when cases increase from 400 to 2000 a day that’s up to 5x more people a day getting long term health problems from this virus. It’s great that the deaths have gone down, but it shouldn’t just be acceptable that the cases are rising even if there are less hospital admissions, as people could end up with long term health problems which make them more likely to die from other conditions or viruses when they are older and therefore live a shorter life. Exactly why I am staying as vigilant as I am and not putting myself in any uncomfortable situations, for Example the lack of social distancing I’ve witnessed and seen on social media this summer.
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
@Nicky Borrill

It’s all very well just focussing on the deaths as your only measure, but the cases are very important. Covid can cause long term health effects which we just don’t know about yet; brain damage, lung damage, permanent loss or damage to smell or taste. We just don’t know the long term health effects and that’s why in my view it’s not really “acceptable” to be letting cases rise to the level they are; even though it’s young people catching the virus, they could have long term health conditions as a result.

My aunt got the virus back in April, it’s now September and she’s still experiencing fatigue and severe relapses- I hope that puts into perspective the point I’m trying to make. Case numbers are important as when cases increase from 400 to 2000 a day that’s up to 5x more people a day getting long term health problems from this virus. It’s great that the deaths have gone down, but it shouldn’t just be acceptable that the cases are rising even if there are less hospital admissions, as people could end up with long term health problems which make them more likely to die from other conditions or viruses when they are older and therefore live a shorter life. Exactly why I am staying as vigilant as I am and not putting myself in any uncomfortable situations, for Example the lack of social distancing I’ve witnessed and seen on social media this summer.
Deaths are not the only measure, however they are currently the only measure we can possibly use to compare the current situation with the situation previously, because the historic case numbers are so far out. The testing just wasn’t up to scratch unfortunately. Several of us on here, following the suggestions of several scientists, pointed out that the ‘up to 10k cases a day’ being reported was more likely in the 100s of thousands a day. The current situation in countries like Spain and France appear to be proving that point.

Of course there are long term effects, many / most deadly illnesses can leave survivors with long term effects. The thing is though, the amount of Covid currently in the country is simply not a lot, and it’s not rising quickly, not nearly as quickly as it was last time. (My ‘guess’ based off some quick fag packet maths would be currently less than 1% of the daily new cases we were seeing in March / April. And a doubling rate of over a month... Far Far from the 2 days back then)

Using very basic figures, and not taking into account risk factors, your chances of catching Covid each day in the UK are currently around 1 in 4,443, Your chances of dying of it each day are currently 1 in 9,521,428... In fact, at the current rate your chances of dying of it any time in the next year are 1 in 26,086. This is why I’m not panicking yet.

Of course we still need to stick to the guidelines, protect the vulnerable, and do all we can to stop / slow the spread. But it’s going nowhere yet, we’re going to have to learn to live with it, if everybody was too scared to get on with their lives the consequences of that would be far far more severe.

And of course if that curve gets much steeper, cases go above what they were last time (which by my calculations would be less than a tenth of the true number of cases from before) and deaths begin to rise sharply, then I will begin to be a little concerned, but until then I believe we’re in a good place, just as I believe Spain and France are nowhere near critical yet.

tl;dr In my opinion Jammy, you really should stop paying so much attention to daily cases, as you’re naturally inclined to compare them to the inaccurate numbers from before. Pay more attention to the growth rates and relative deaths if you’re going to continue to track this and try and gauge where we are in comparison to before, as they’re the only figures from the early pandemic that are even close to reliable.
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
Crikey just a couple of days after posting that, ^^^ yesterday’s growth rate is enough to be alarming... Will be watching closely this week to see if that was an anomaly or the beginning of exponential growth :/
 

Nitefly

Member
You only have to pop into your town centre on a Friday night to see why. It’s almost as if nothing is being taken into consideration by anyone... as if this had never happened.

I do understand though. Complying with all the guidelines etc is exhausting. We’re a highly social species and being isolated for prolonged periods is manifestly unhealthy.

I’m somewhat torn as to what the best course of action is.
 

witchfinder

Member
You only have to pop into your town centre on a Friday night to see why. It’s almost as if nothing is being taken into consideration by anyone... as if this had never happened.
I've only started to venture out to more public places with larger groups of people over the last couple of weeks (one zoo and one wildlife park) but it's clear that most people seem to have given up on social distancing and masks already. Large groups of people clearly from different households socialising closely together, one-way systems being completely ignored, just a complete lack of awareness and common sense from most people, regardless of what measures the organisations have put in place. It's really quite annoying for the minority of people that are trying to follow the rules. :(

Planning my first theme park visit since March next week (Legoland) but I'm not expecting to see anything more encouraging than I've already seen.
 
We’re a highly social species....
That's an understatement. The reason we are here is because humans evolved in family circles.

Looking at the graphs, it could be that the UK will follow France and we will soon possibly have far more daily cases than during lockdown if that happens.
Deaths are way down which surely is a far more important measure. I think we are losing perspective. And "protecting the NHS" turned into outrunning the virus which I'm not sure can happen unless everyone stays home completely for a month maybe. Even then, it took only 1 guy to start all this we shouldn't forget.

I worry about the number of people missing diagnosis for far more deadly diseases, missing dental checkups and becoming suicidal.

As long as every theme park closes and every coaster right down to the last remaining caterpillar shuts its queue line we should be good, no?

On a serious note, more quarantine restrictions imposed on people travelling (back) from Crete from Wednesday.
It is just chaos to be honest and a massive deterrent to consider travelling abroad. I really think massive damage is being done to tourism and leisure in general.
Changes in people's attitudes (hardly anyone going to the cinema etc) may mean some things are forever lost.

People can dream all about that next big Intamin and B&M in the UK, I'm really not so sure that is going to happen at this rate.
 
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3000 cases today. Last time we had that in the UK was May 22nd as far as I can see. So if we have to go by only that we are back at square one.
Time to roll out the daily government covid updates? Kids back off school? Furlough to infinity and beyond? People staying home? Theme parks closing?

If not, then surely these figures held and/or hold no weight.
 

KristofWB

Member
It seems Walibi Belgium has scrapped Halloween from their calender. Bellewaerde Park and Plopsa have already announced they cancel their Halloween event for 2020. So I think Walibi Belgium will follow pretty soon. Bobbejaanland on the other hand recently revealed their Halloween program for Halloween 2020.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Changes in people's attitudes (hardly anyone going to the cinema etc) may mean some things are forever lost.

People can dream all about that next big Intamin and B&M in the UK, I'm really not so sure that is going to happen at this rate.
But from what we’ve seen so far, parks in Britain have seemingly had very good attendance since reopening, probably better than expected.

If the parks’ reopening had failed and no one was going, then we would see far lower queue times, far less busy paths, parks would be slashing hours and cutting days and events from their calendars. But we have seen the exact opposite; crowds and queue times at the parks are almost akin to those of a regular day, and the likes of Merlin have been extending hours loads and adding events (their damage limitation strategy when they’re struggling is usually to do the exact opposite; look at the 8pm closes at Thorpe last year, for example. The first few were incredibly quiet, so they slashed the remainder of them back to 6pm.). At Alton Towers, for example, most would have expected cuts to hours, and all of the events to be cancelled, but we’ve seen no midweek closes for the first time since 2015, the first 7pm closes in summer since at least 2012, and the first time in years where events have been held other than Scarefest and Fireworks, and Thorpe Park is seemingly pretty similar. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t give off the impression of a struggling park to me. Even many of the country’s smaller parks have reported very promising crowd levels since reopening; I know there are reports of Lightwater Valley having been packed, and I seem to remember Paultons Park saying that they were pleased with the amount of tickets being sold and the amount of passholders visiting, as well as similar reports from Paultons visitors of healthy attendance levels.

I said from the very start that I felt pent-up demand for leisure activities would considerably outweigh fear of the virus once things reopened, and while I wouldn’t like to guess what the future holds, I’ve personally been very pleased by what I’ve seen so far since 4th July.
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
That's an understatement. The reason we are here is because humans evolved in family circles.

Looking at the graphs, it could be that the UK will follow France and we will soon possibly have far more daily cases than during lockdown if that happens.
Deaths are way down which surely is a far more important measure. I think we are losing perspective. And "protecting the NHS" turned into outrunning the virus which I'm not sure can happen unless everyone stays home completely for a month maybe. Even then, it took only 1 guy to start all this we shouldn't forget.

I worry about the number of people missing diagnosis for far more deadly diseases, missing dental checkups and becoming suicidal.

As long as every theme park closes and every coaster right down to the last remaining caterpillar shuts its queue line we should be good, no?

On a serious note, more quarantine restrictions imposed on people travelling (back) from Crete from Wednesday.
It is just chaos to be honest and a massive deterrent to consider travelling abroad. I really think massive damage is being done to tourism and leisure in general.
Changes in people's attitudes (hardly anyone going to the cinema etc) may mean some things are forever lost.

People can dream all about that next big Intamin and B&M in the UK, I'm really not so sure that is going to happen at this rate.
I agree with almost all of that, except the last part... Theme parks in the UK are undeniably raking it in right now, they’re busier than I’ve ever seen them outside fireworks night... And consistently too!!! Alton Towers is booked out for every weekend in Sept to MAP’s... So whilst you are probably right r.e investment, I don’t think they can blame Covid... Will be interesting to see if we get a profit split between parks and midways for Merlin for this year, as I’m sure the parks will have done MUCH better.

Also, what I’m about to put below applies too

3000 cases today. Last time we had that in the UK was May 22nd as far as I can see. So if we have to go by only that we are back at square one.
Time to roll out the daily government covid updates? Kids back off school? Furlough to infinity and beyond? People staying home? Theme parks closing?

If not, then surely these figures held and/or hold no weight.
As I said to Jammy earlier in the thread guys, case comparisons with the earlier stages of the pandemic are pointless, useless, inaccurate, and a waste of time. Hence the death rates. We have to be very careful not to cause undue panic. The media will be doing enough of that. (Although maybe a little bit of sensationalism will remind folk there is still a danger 🙈)

I know you are poking fun at that very fact, but I just wanted to highlight it :) The apparent 5k case per day we were hitting before is an absolute joke of a number... 1 in 5 people dying my @rs3!!!!
 

Dar

Member
I wonder if a lower capacity might have had a positive effect on the balance sheet after all? With the lower capacity, and pre-bookings, they're going to have a much better idea of what the day's going to look like with food and merch sales. It's going to take a lot of the guesswork out of things, there's no point defrosting enough doughnuts for a 10,000 people day if only 5,000 are allowed on park!
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
I wonder if a lower capacity might have had a positive effect on the balance sheet after all? With the lower capacity, and pre-bookings, they're going to have a much better idea of what the day's going to look like with food and merch sales. It's going to take a lot of the guesswork out of things, there's no point defrosting enough doughnuts for a 10,000 people day if only 5,000 are allowed on park!
Dunno about that, defrosted food items are kept in refrigerators for up to 3 days 🙈 Knowing where you stand helps with staffing and other things though.

What will have helped them the most is a strange phenomenon (I’m sure it will have a name, but I don’t know it) that leads people to want what they can’t have, or at least they perceive will be difficult to obtain... It’s one of the reasons people are happy to book months ahead for popular restaurants, or pool resources to secure concert / festival tickets.

I’m gonna use Alton Towers as the example.

Because people were told it was a limited capacity, they decided tickets would be hard to get. Nobody stopped to ask what the theoretical capacity was going to be, and how often AT normally top that. It’s a HUGE park, and a reduced capacity there, whatever the actual number is still a LOT of people! More than they’d usually hit mid week at ANY time. However that clamber to get tickets snowballs, and coupled with the pent up demand, led to them often being fully booked, even mid week! Fully booked with a capacity seemingly greater than their usual midweek attendance (and by a long way is my guess,) and then add to this the fact that most guests were full (online) price paying guests, no vouchers, limited annual passes (who also paid £1.)

That is why I think they’ve done so well out of this.

The big question is, will it be enough to make up for the lost months?

My guess again would be that it may just be enough. Those first 3 months are an enthusiasts wet dream, walk on rides almost every day (outside half term and school trip weeks) They can’t be very profitable. They may even be a loss leader, like a pub that opens its doors midweek to sit empty, but gets busy at the weekend. Remember they were allowed to open 4th July. That’s around the usual ‘school trip’ time, when things start to pick up. But they were packed, not with £15 school / group trips, with full paying guests!

I think they’ve done well... But I could be way off the mark, what do I know 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

bethartist

New Member
Hi All, I'm an artist making a new film work about coaster and theme park fans and would love to chat to some of you about how COVID has affected your plans for visiting parks. And a bit about your hopes (and fears) for theme parks and the new normal. Any Qs about the project please let me know! Thanks, Beth
 

JammyH

Member
Hi All, I'm an artist making a new film work about coaster and theme park fans and would love to chat to some of you about how COVID has affected your plans for visiting parks. And a bit about your hopes (and fears) for theme parks and the new normal. Any Qs about the project please let me know! Thanks, Beth
Hi Beth, feel free to send a private message. Would be happy to take part.
 

sarahsmile

New Member
Hi All, I'm an artist making a new film work about coaster and theme park fans and would love to chat to some of you about how COVID has affected your plans for visiting parks. And a bit about your hopes (and fears) for theme parks and the new normal. Any Qs about the project please let me know! Thanks, Beth
hey beth! if you need some help / have questions, i’ve been to 16 theme parks since florida quarantine laws have lifted. so i have a lot of insight :)
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
Hi All, I'm an artist making a new film work about coaster and theme park fans and would love to chat to some of you about how COVID has affected your plans for visiting parks. And a bit about your hopes (and fears) for theme parks and the new normal. Any Qs about the project please let me know! Thanks, Beth
Happy to help if you want a traveller’s perspective, have been to parks in several different countries :)

Unless it involves video... In which case forget it, I’ve a face for radio only 🙈😭
 
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