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Coronavirus: Impact on Theme Parks

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
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Why would 2021 be impacted, out of interest? They think there might be a vaccine by 2021, so the threat of the virus itself would in theory be gone.
I think the psychological effects of avoiding places where large numbers of people gather will linger for a while. People might not want to go where infections could easily be spread. There's also the impact on the economy to consider. How many days of sick leave/quarantine leave can you take before your wages take a hit? Or your job position entirely? Would you still save up for a holiday next year?

Besides, it will take a while to get the vaccine out to everybody and to fully eradicate the disease. I'm not sure if the outbreak will be over (or, a worrying thought, even back to current levels) by this time next year. It usually takes months of clinical studies to get a vaccine approved, and that process can't be rushed without increasing the associated risks. In this case I believe the risk acceptance criteria will be quite a bit higher than usual, but I still don't think there will be a vaccine ready for the general public for quite some time still, even in developed countries.
 

JammyH

Member
In the world of festivals, Coachella has now officially been postponed from april until october. A number of other events have been cancelled too, such as other festivals and concerts worldwide.

Fantasypride due to take place at Phantasialand at the end of March will not take place this year either and will resume for 2021.

Seems quite likely we could be seeing a fair few more parks shut for part of this season outside of the Italian and asian parks.
 
A large German fun fair (Frühjahrssend) that was going to be held from Saturday onwards in Münster has been cancelled.

Surprised to see the Cheltenham Festival still going ahead. Hope that doesn't turn out to be a big mistake.
 

UP87

Member
Fantasypride due to take place at Phantasialand at the end of March will not take place this year either and will resume for 2021.
Nope. You're thinking of the Fantasypride-Gala at Phantasialand which was a first and it was delayed to 2021. Fantasypride is scheduled for the fifth of september and I assume it will take place.
 

JammyH

Member
A large German fun fair (Frühjahrssend) that was going to be held from Saturday onwards in Münster has been cancelled.

Surprised to see the Cheltenham Festival still going ahead. Hope that doesn't turn out to be a big mistake.
A first town in north Germany went into lock down yesterday, and one person infected 16 others in a night club in Berlin.

All of this happening makes the world feel like an apocalyptic war zone right now, 2020 has been an awful year from the outset and honestly can’t wait for it to be over.

Unfortunately, theme parks would be a hotspot for a coronavirus outbreak. You have people coming into close contact in the queuelines, sitting near each other on the rides and the staff have to come in very close contact to guests to do the restraints and interact with the guests etc. Also not to mention a lot of rides have metal handles on the restraints for the guests to hold and this could be a contact surface for the virus to linger and travel from person to person.

With germany cancelling it’s first funfair, I think we will see many more fairs cancelled across Germany in the coming weeks. I would also not be surprised if major parks (Europa, Phantasialand, DLP, Efteling) are forced to close in the next few weeks as the outbreak worsens throughout Europe.

I honestly wonder how much UK parks will be affected, because as a country we have not taken any drastic actions as of yet, however I have a feeling we will see a spike in cases at one point and then major action will be taken. Major fairs such as the hoppings could potentially down fall and major parks could be forced to close (BPB, merlin parks).

For those parks which stay open, attendance this year is unfortunately going to be one of the lowest attendance years in a long time!
 
A first town in north Germany went into lock down yesterday, and one person infected 16 others in a night club in Berlin.

All of this happening makes the world feel like an apocalyptic war zone right now, 2020 has been an awful year from the outset and honestly can’t wait for it to be over.

Unfortunately, theme parks would be a hotspot for a coronavirus outbreak. You have people coming into close contact in the queuelines, sitting near each other on the rides and the staff have to come in very close contact to guests to do the restraints and interact with the guests etc. Also not to mention a lot of rides have metal handles on the restraints for the guests to hold and this could be a contact surface for the virus to linger and travel from person to person.

With germany cancelling it’s first funfair, I think we will see many more fairs cancelled across Germany in the coming weeks. I would also not be surprised if major parks (Europa, Phantasialand, DLP, Efteling) are forced to close in the next few weeks as the outbreak worsens throughout Europe.

I honestly wonder how much UK parks will be affected, because as a country we have not taken any drastic actions as of yet, however I have a feeling we will see a spike in cases at one point and then major action will be taken. Major fairs such as the hoppings could potentially down fall and major parks could be forced to close (BPB, merlin parks).

For those parks which stay open, attendance this year is unfortunately going to be one of the lowest attendance years in a long time!
Article just in that states another 2 maintenance employees at Disneyland Paris have tested positive.
I could definitely see the French government ordering for Disneyland Paris to close for a few weeks if the virus has lept onto employees who have been /are in contact with park visitors.

With regards to UK parks it may well affect opening season but I'd imagine by summer things will be back to normal mostly unless we see a crazy high death rate such as in Italy.
 

JammyH

Member
Just to provide a small update, if anyone was planning on visiting any events at Europa Park this season:

-All of the night beat angels clubbing events are now cancelled.
-The radio regenbogen award is cancelled.

All of the smaller events are going ahead and any large events from may onwards (the first being "immer wieder sonntags") are still currently going ahead as scheduled.
 
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DelPiero

Well-Known Member
I think we are in for a rough couple of months personally. I wouldn't be surprised if the UK and other countries get locked down and all mass events are cancelled, just watch the premier league get shut down in the next week or so.
Give it a couple of months and the situation stabilizes then maybe things will return to relative normality but I for one won't be heading to any parks right now, can't take the risk when we have people around us who would be at high risk of complications if they did catch the virus.
 

JoshC.

Active Member
I have a trip booked to Heide and Hansa Park at the start of April and, honestly, I'm expecting the trip to be cancelled at this point. If the flights are still going ahead and the parks are open, I'll go of course. But at this moment, I'd be genuinely surprised if that happens.

As for the general state of the industry, it's obvious it's going to hit everywhere hard. I guess because it's going to hit everywhere hard, it might make things easier to accept and for the parks and companies to justify the losses and recovery methods. It'll probably affect parks with big investments due to open this year the worst. But I guess the bigger issue is what the public attitude will be to visiting parks / large spaces after we get through the worst of it. That could cause bigger issues.

Find it interesting that Italian parks haven't really provided updates on the immediate future. According to Gardaland, for example, they're just going to be open from the final weekend of March, despite the lockdown until the start of April. I guess there's more important things to focus on than just updating a website and social media, but still find it curious.
 

Yunho Kim

Member
Here
Everland: low attendance rate/ T Express: low than 20 min wait EVERY DAY
Gyeongju World(Home park, you can see my recent TRs) CLOSED for Feb 24 to Mar 14. Luckily I went there 10 days before coronavirus closing
E World in Daegu (Having 4000+ coronavirus patients) closed until further notice
Lotte World still has a low attendance rate. 2 low-capacity coasters are walk-on.
In Feb. 14th's my TR, the park was super empty although it's Friday. Draken: 2~3 cycle wait. Other flats - NO wait at all.

Here in South Korea, parks are closing, and people tend to stay home.
20191005_094107.jpg
This is a normal weekend of my home park. (Before the outbreak)-20 minutes before opening

20200214_093759.jpg
Same time, after the virus. 10 minutes before opening.
 

JammyH

Member
I have a trip booked to Heide and Hansa Park at the start of April and, honestly, I'm expecting the trip to be cancelled at this point. If the flights are still going ahead and the parks are open, I'll go of course. But at this moment, I'd be genuinely surprised if that happens.
I'm supposed to be flying out to cologne next week for Fantissima at Phantasialand, and even looking at a week in advance I'm unsure whether we will be able to go, and if we can, whether we want to go given the circumstances. I am then supposed to be going back to Phantasialand for season start and then flying out to work at Europa Park on the ESP end of April.

I am just struggling to see any of it happening now, which is devastating as I was looking forward to all of it so much :(
 

JammyH

Member
Sorry to double post, but another depressing update.

The following funfairs in Germany have now been cancelled, including the Stuttgart Frühlingsfest ( Canstatter Wasen)- Stuttgart spring festival which is one of the biggest spring festivals in Germany and attracts millions of visitors. Across the country events with more than 1000 participants have now been banned.

  • Augsburger Plärrer
  • Bassum - Frühlingsvolksfest
  • Berliner Frühlingsfest
  • Dülmen Frühlingsmarkt
  • Erfurt Altstadtfrühling
  • Frühlingsfest Bayreuth
  • Gerner Dult Eggenfelden
  • Gertrudiskirmes Bochum Wattenscheid
  • Göggingner Frühlingsfest
  • Heide (Kreis Dithmarschen, Schleswig-Holstein Frühlingsfest
  • Kassel Frühlingsfest (delayed)
  • Mainz Mainzer Rhein-Frühling
  • Mannheim Mathaisemarkt (cancelled)
  • Münster Frühjahrssend
  • Neuenrade Gertrüdchen
  • Nida Frühlingsmarkt
  • Pfarrkirchen Rottaler Volksfest
  • Puchheim Volksfest
  • Recklinghausen Palmkirmes
  • Stuttgart Canstatter Wasen
  • Würzburg Frühlingsfest
 

Coaster_Bug

New Member
I just received an email from six Flags re corona virus precautions so it’s being taken very seriously, quite rightly.
I also received the email, and am glad that Six Flags is taking this seriously in an attempt to bring in more attendance. It's reassuring to know that they plan to open parks as normal for the 2020 season.
 

DelPiero

Well-Known Member
Email from Hershey;

3/11/2020

To Our Valued Guests:

I am writing on behalf of the entire Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R) family to assure you that the health and safety of our team members, guests and community remains HE&R’s top priority. As the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is having a greater impact in the United States, our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by the virus. Because this is a rapidly-evolving situation, we feel it is important to reach out to you about the steps we are taking across our company and properties to help keep you, our team members and our communities safe and healthy.

As part of our commitment to your health and well-being, we are carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation with regular updates and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, as well as additional government agencies and health care providers. We are also working closely with our partners throughout the amusement park, entertainment and lodging industries.

Our teams across all of our properties conduct rigorous cleaning of all guest and meeting rooms and all public and back-of-house spaces several times throughout the day. Further, we follow exhaustive cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection protocols that meet or exceed extensive industry guidelines. These protocols, which assist with illness prevention, include:

  • Regular sanitation training and reinforcement for our team members.
  • Clearly established cleaning and disinfection cycles for all areas.
  • Prominent placement of hand washing facilities and hand sanitizers.
  • Fast response to off-cycle cleaning issues.
  • Frequent cleaning and wash down of outdoor and high touch locations, including walkways, rides and queue lines.
Given the current concerns related to COVID-19, we are increasing our cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection frequency above our already high standards.

HE&R will more than double the number of hand sanitation machines available throughout our properties, and we are reinforcing with our team members the recommended precautionary steps from the CDC to prevent the spread of germs. These guidelines include:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover a cough or sneeze – preferably with a disposable tissue.
  • Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects.
  • Stay home if you have flu-like symptoms.
We are taking the necessary steps to be prepared should this issue become a more significant concern for our area. HE&R will continue to implement preventive measures in line with the recommendations of the CDC and other health agencies.

Based on the guidance we've received and our general state of preparedness, we are confident our operations continue to be safe and ready to serve our guests. We will deepen our collaboration with health and government officials, so we are prepared to take whatever steps may be necessary to ensure the safety of our guests and team members.

We value each guest that honors us with a visit to our destination, and we look forward to serving you upon your next visit to Hershey.



John Lawn
President & Chief Executive Officer
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts


Personally, I don't think any amount of cleaning and sanitation is going to stop someone who has the virus but isn't clearly struggling with symptoms to cough or sneeze into their hands whilst at the park and touch a railing, a ride, bench etc and for it to spread unwittingly. If major gatherings and/or sporting events get cancelled then you can bet SF, CF, Hershey etc will be forced to close.
 
By the way does anyone know how building is being impacted? I know guests and general staff are kept away at parks but is construction halted too? I was wondering if any parks would take the opportunity to do some maintenance - especially Disney whose rides are usually scheduled to be down for weeks at a time, for the Asian parks, they could get in deal with all the rides in this closed spell (I know theres probably budgetary reasons maintenance schedules are spread out too though).

or is it a case of no activity whatsoever in the parks (which are closed)
 
Disneyland Paris is closing all single rider queues.

Loopings.nl explains this is because with single riders, families will then often sit next to an individual they do not know etc.

I think it is probably more of a gesture to be showing to be doing something rather than nothing. Doubt it will actually have much effect to stop the spread of the virus if a visitor with it enters the park.

Billy Bob's Wild West Show is apparently postponed too. It is an excellent fun show btw.
 
All flights from Europe to the USA suspended from Friday midnight for 30 days. Does not apply to the UK or American citizens who have been screened according to the BBC. Unclear whether European-non British citizens can still travel from the UK to the USA. Seems a bit of a loophole if that is possible.

At this stage I would be surprised if opening season for UK and European theme parks (that haven't opened yet) will all go as planned.

....
(Expect shares to plummet again in the morning as I think the scale of the problem is becoming more evident.)

I would have thought the UK government will now finally take some form of action above just throwing money at the NHS.
 

davidm

Well-Known Member
Booked a hotel* just near Hersheypark (for early June) at lunchtime yesterday. Optimistic me? 🤪

( * picked the cancellable-rate though**, since everyone's travel insurance is now invalid due to the WHO declaring it a pandemic :cool: )

(** not all hotels on the trip are on cancellable-rates though, might be down a not-insigificant-amount if it all goes pear-shaped*** :oops: )

(*** I will be annoyed, but not surprised, if the parks all shut-up-shop, hmmmmm)
 
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