What's new

Coronavirus: Impact on Theme Parks

zazobo

Member
I went to Scarefest at Towers over the weekend and it was brilliant. Social distancing was handled really well, we were batched in our own household groups (ie my husband and I) which made the mazes much more intense as you felt like you were alone in there.

Attic and Skin Snatchers were indoor mazes and Toxic Junkyard was outside. None of the mazes felt compromised in experience due to the social distancing and generally we had a thoroughly good day. A few people not social distancing but I would say 95% of guests were keeping their distance and staff did really well to remind those who weren't obeying the rules that they needed to move away from the next group. We wish we had booked two days rather than one, so much to do and a really standout event.
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
Today is going to be an interesting day in the UK ‘rona saga. Now that the W.H.O has openly condemned lockdowns and has pleaded with nations to stop using them as the primary control measure, our government is about to introduce tougher measures 🙈😂

Not a mention of it in the UK press either... Wonder why that is 🥴

Could it be that whipping the public up into a frenzied panic makes them more money? Or could it be that more people at home, with more time to themselves, makes them more money.


Lockdowns aren’t needed now, nor is closing any part of the economy. This ‘second wave’ is burning itself out in other countries without tough restrictions, and it will do here too. All that is needed is common sense.

And while we’re at it, stop blaming hospitality and leisure full stop. The government’s OWN STATS show quite clearly where transmission is highest... Stop allowing the media (and government) to use these sectors as scapegoats.
388C02B3-894F-4664-BC1E-913185C12B31.jpeg

Edited to add more up to date data from the government themselves, showing even more clearly my point!

1845A3D3-7DB2-4F0F-9652-CF60452DF89C.jpeg
 
It’s a little unfair to blanket condemn if the organisers can actually execute it well...
I don't think fairness has anything to do with what is closing and what is not.
Merlin can have the best coronaproof scaremazes in the history of the universe, IF negative attention is drawn to the fact there is any type of social gathering in the press, all theme parks could be forced to close as a result.
I just think the Halloween thing is a bit dicey since we won't have any trick or treaters most likely but the parks are still advertising these type of related events.

I just don't think it was a good idea to do any type of scare maze (indoors or outdoors or batched / whatever) when even normal non seasonal things are in question.
 
Last edited:

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
I don't think fairness has anything to do with what is closing and what is not.
Merlin can have the best coronaproof scaremazes in the history of the universe, IF negative attention is drawn to the fact there is any type of social gathering in the press, all theme parks could be forced to close as a result.

I still don't think it was a good idea to do any type of scare maze (indoors or outdoors or batched / whatever).
In ‘fairness’ I completely agree with all of that. Even the last part from a ‘public opinion’ rather than a ‘H&S’ point of view. 👍
 
Maybe I'm just being overly negative but it is hard to say anything positive about what is going on.
I actually appreciate Merlin's efforts to at least try for the Halloween fans to be fair.

But it seems that the virus and those in charge rather want that everyone just gives up and not even think about having fun. The media is behaving like a vulture and clinging on anything that can be seen to be spreading this virus and my worry is that theme parks may get noticed with the Halloween stuff even if you demonstrate Nicky that theme parks haven't been the reason at all.

I also think bands / artists / theatres selling concert tickets for gigs next year (April and beyond) are perhaps being overly optimistic. I hope it all goes ahead, but still...
At this stage I am seriously doubting my USA trip will go ahead next year.

Pretty grim but there are people with worse problems for sure.
 

Nitefly

Member
From the videos, the Merlin Parks are completely smashing it out of the park, less focus on mazes and more on atmosphere and theming, with less character interaction, and what there is is distanced. Mazes that remain are outdoors, one group of 6 at a time, and actors stay distanced. Reports on the MAP facebook groups of extremely well executed social distancing amongst visitors too, which is more than can be said for summer at times. I even read that there are police on park monitoring the parks and guests.

It’s a little unfair to blanket condemn if the organisers can actually execute it well...
Yes I was a little unfair. I am actually pretty tempted by the Alton Towers offering just to get some churros and see the gardens at night. I forgot that they were doing temperature checks, which is at least something.
 

Nitefly

Member
It was a really well run event, the best Halloween event at a Merlin park that I've been to.
Cool - looks like I’m going this weekend.

What’s the deal with booking time slots for mazes? I don’t like the idea of having to book maze tickets and then having to complete 3 in 90 minutes.... which seems to be the case based on the 3 maze ‘deal’ ticket.
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
Cool - looks like I’m going this weekend.

What’s the deal with booking time slots for mazes? I don’t like the idea of having to book maze tickets and then having to complete 3 in 90 minutes.... which seems to be the case based on the 3 maze ‘deal’ ticket.
They’re normally very relaxed about timings, we have always booked early, done the indoor mazes then saved the outdoor until after dark. However this year ‘rona has gate crashed the party, so I imagine they’ll have to be stricter maybe?
 

Nitefly

Member
They’re normally very relaxed about timings, we have always booked early, done the indoor mazes then saved the outdoor until after dark. However this year ‘rona has gate crashed the party, so I imagine they’ll have to be stricter maybe?
Sounds quite strict. It does seem a bit silly that you have to force yourself around the scare mazes in such a limited 90 minute window. Not sure if that will even be possible if there is a say 20 minute queue for each one?
 
Quite a few stricter rules introduced in The Netherlands today as cases are growing a lot.
A bit unclear if these rules affect theme parks but I don't think they do in any strict way. Masks only recommended indoors.

Walibi Holland is closing after October 25th this year.

I think for many parks it's perhaps a blessing in disguise that the closed season is fast approaching.
 
So the rumours in the UK tonight are of a strict 2-3 week lockdown to coincide with half term after the Labour party making it political, but perhaps it was an agreed tactic.
My bet is on the theme parks and zoos etc having to close again shortly.
Even if total lockdown doesn't happen many regions will probably move to Tier 3 if cases continue to rise which in effect is the same thing anyway. Which definitely means no theme parks.

What a carry on. It is all so depressing. I think millions around the world will be suffering with serious depression and mental health due to all this.
 
Last edited:

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
So the rumours in the UK tonight are of a strict 2-3 week lockdown to coincide with half term after the Labour party making it political, but perhaps it was an agreed tactic.
My bet is on the theme parks and zoos etc having to close again shortly.
Even if total lockdown doesn't happen many regions will probably move to Tier 3 if cases continue to rise which in effect is the same thing anyway. Which definitely means no theme parks.

What a carry on. It is all so depressing. I think millions around the world will be suffering with serious depression and mental health due to all this.
😬😬😬

If it’s gonna happen soon, it makes sense to tie it in with the holidays. But that will be one huge slice of humble pie for Boris after all the ‘we will not go into another lockdown’ talk on Monday.

Edited to add: Tier 3 or Very High doesn’t actually restrict theme parks, or any outdoor activities as far as I’m aware. Even restaurants can still open indoors and sell alcohol to customers who are dining. It’s not really a ‘lockdown’ at all, just tighter restrictions.
 
Last edited:
😬😬😬

If it’s gonna happen soon, it makes sense to tie it in with the holidays. But that will be one huge slice of humble pie for Boris after all the ‘we will not go into another lockdown’ talk on Monday.

Edited to add: Tier 3 or Very High doesn’t actually restrict theme parks, or any outdoor activities as far as I’m aware. Even restaurants can still open indoors and sell alcohol to customers who are dining. It’s not really a ‘lockdown’ at all, just tighter restrictions.
You're correct about Tier 3 not specifically stating that but some in the media are interpreting Tier 3 to perhaps mean closing leisure centres.
Since overnight stays are advised again and unnecessary travel is also to be avoided I personally thought it would be quite close to the original lockdown.
I guess we will have to wait and see what it means in practice.
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
You're correct about Tier 3 not specifically stating that but some in the media are interpreting Tier 3 to perhaps mean closing leisure centres.
Since overnight stays are advised again and unnecessary travel is also to be avoided I personally thought it would be quite close to the original lockdown.
I guess we will have to wait and see what it means in practice.
Well tier 3 does have the ‘advisory’ to avoid travelling in and out of areas. As well as the ability for local councils to ‘bolt on’ custom restrictions. Would Staffordshire for example consider Alton Towers too risky, or would they feel closing it would be too much of a hit to their local economy, that will be the question.
 
Well tier 3 does have the ‘advisory’ to avoid travelling in and out of areas. As well as the ability for local councils to ‘bolt on’ custom restrictions. Would Staffordshire for example consider Alton Towers too risky, or would they feel closing it would be too much of a hit to their local economy, that will be the question.
Its neighbours would probably use it as an opportunity to lower the building height restriction for the park to average desk height and no more.
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
Its neighbours would probably use it as an opportunity to lower the building height restriction for the park to average desk height and no more.
Hope the ropers don’t catch ‘rona off AT’s filthy visitors 🙈😳😉

The way things are playing out at the minute, with the government trying to get local gov support before applying tier 3, and local gov in the worst hit areas pulling against them... I can see the tiering thing being either abandoned in favour of the circuit breaker, or forced on to some areas.
 
Top