- California’s amusement parks and attractions want to be a part of the solution as California faces the unprecedented hurdles presented by COVID-19.
- After the Governor rolled out the Resilience Roadmap, California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA) crafted a comprehensive plan with health and safety protocols for parks to reopen. Our parks have been busy planning and preparing to implement their own site-specific plans for reopening in manner that promotes the safety of both guests & employees.
- California’s parks employ over 135,000 people throughout the state at every socio-economic level and we want to help these people get back to work.
- Economic recovery will be slow-going. It will take time for consumer confidence to return and for struggling families to plan a trip to an amusement park.According to data collected from Visit California, the Tourism industry is suffering immense losses, with travel-related spending not expected to recoveruntil 2024.
- The CAPA plan details how amusement parks and attractions can begin to reopen in limited capacity with the proper modifications so we can be consistent with the Governor’s Resilience Roadmap and now the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
- Our parks are ready to reopen in a responsible manner and yet they have not been authorized to do so.
Why Amusement Parks?
We take the health & safety of both our guests and employees seriously.
We cannot operate without a healthy workforce or without consumer confidence.
Physical Distancing to Minimize Spread
- Amusement parks are in the business of moving people and can do so in a way that monitors physical distancing.
- Exposure time is limited at amusements parks because guests generally are kept in motion, unlike other entertainment venues where attendees congregate in close proximity to each other for extended periods of time.
- Amusement parks are able to adjust their capacity to allow for appropriate distancing throughout their parks. All parks’ plans include significant capacity limits to meet these goals.
- When visiting an amusement park, guests come and go at different intervals – they don’t all arrive and leave at the same time and capacity is fluid throughout the day.
- The Administration has stressed the need to move indoor activities outdoors. Amusement parks and attractions consist primarily of outdoor activities and they can modify their indoor operations.
- Parks can provide a safer environment for families and individuals to spend leisure time than many other places that are operating without the same degree of crowd control, physical distancing and safety protocols.
- Cleanliness and guest safety have always been hallmarks of California's amusement parks. Their plans include thorough sanitization and disinfection protocols throughout their facilities.
- Many other sectors have looked to amusement parks for best practices – most recently Ohio election officials are seeking advice from a theme park on safely handling long lines on election day.
Data & Science, and Risk-Level
- Amusement parks in other parts of the country and across the globe have reopened and currently there are no known outbreaks being traced back to parks.
- Forty-three out of the forty-eight state with amusement parks have allowed them to reopen – the data simply does not point to parks as areas with high transmission rates.
- Public health officials throughout the nation have confirmed that they are seeing outbreaks coming from congregate settings, from large family and friend gatherings, from bars and nightclubs, and even at state parks and beaches. However, the data does not support that amusement parks represent a significant risk of increased transmissions.
- Amusement parks bear many of the same traits that have allowed their friends at zoos, museums, aquariums and Family Entertainment Centers to reopen. They are typically openspace facilities that do not encourage congregations, where families go for entertainment and primarily stay within their own household group.
Meeting the Blueprint's Criteria for Determining Risk
Amusement parks check all the boxes of the Blueprint’s defined list for determining risk and ought to be allowed to responsibly reopen.
- BLUEPRINT CRITERIAAMUSEMENT PARK ACTION
Ability to accommodate face covering wearing at all times (e.g.: eating and
drinking would require removal of face covering).
Amusement parks will have designated eating and drinking areas and face
coverings will be required while guest walk through the park.
Ability to physically distance between individuals from different households.
Many amusement parks have ample square footage to accommodate physical
distancing and are all committed to implementing a variety of control measures
to promote physical distancing between households.
Limit Number of
Ability to limit the number of people per square foot.
All amusement parks include capacity reductions in their site-specific plans.
Limit Duration of
Ability to limit duration of exposure.
CDPH defines exposure to be 15 minutes or longer within 6ft of a person who
has tested positive. Amusement parks generally keep people moving and can
monitor guest distancing and duration of exposure.
Ability to limit amount of mixing people from differing households and
Physical distancing requirements are aimed at keeping different households
separated. Attraction and ride seating will group families/household units
together and not mix with other guests.
Ability to limit amount of physical interactions of visitors/patrons.
Ample signage, staff controls, recorded instructions and appropriate barriers are
examples of how amusements parks can limit these interactions.
Ability to optimize ventilation (e.g.: indoor vs. outdoor, air exchange and
Vast majority of amusement park operations are outdoors; parks have tools to
minimize the duration of guest time indoors. Parks utilize sophisticated air
filtration systems & are often able to open doors to enhance air flow indoors.
Ability to limit activities that are known to cause increased spread (e.g.: singing,
shouting, heavy breathing; loud environments will cause people to raise voice)
Face covering usage and/or modifications to seat loading patterns will be
required on amusement park rides to mitigate the effects of shouting.
Additionally, on rides, guests generally face in one direction.