September 11, 2020 – Six Flags parks in upstate New York will not open this year due to COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainty over when they could be eased. Great Escape made the announcement in an email to season pass holders and members and Six Flags Darien Lake, who rejoined the amusement park chain a couple of years ago, also set up a page to announce that they will not operate in 2020.
As of early September, amusement parks were still classified by the state as “high-risk” entertainment, with no indication of when they could reopen. Park officials developed a safety plan months ago, in hopes of opening at the start of Phase 4, only to learn just days before it began that amusement parks were not included.
Since then, New York state has slowly allowed gyms, bowling alleys, dance studios, malls and other businesses deemed “risky” to reopen with restrictions to make them safer. But there has been no word on when or how amusement parks could open.
In recent weeks, Six Flags has sent out a series of surveys to passholders, asking them about Christmas and Halloween celebrations at the parks. The emails proposed several ways of offering activities to reduce the chance of spreading coronavirus, and asked passholders to rate them based on whether the passholder would attend. Ideas included timed entry to rides to eliminate crowded lines, outdoor-only dining, no up-close visits with Santa and holding Fright Fest during the day. We’re guessing replies to the surveys help the parks make the decision to postpone any holiday events and wait until 2021 to reopen the parks.
See what our members are saying about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the theme park industry in our Forum discussion.