When California’s theme parks reopen after a year-long shutdown, plenty of COVID-19 changes will be present, from face masks to physical distancing to limited attendance.
But guidelines from California Attractions and Parks Association do not include a restriction on shouting.
Theme Park Tribune reported earlier that according to the Orange County Register, the recommendations from the theme park industry group state that parks can “mitigate the effects of shouting” and other activities that are known to cause increased spread of COVID-19 through the use of masks, as well as possible modifications to loading guests onto rides.
However, two days after that story was published, CAPA clarified that its guidelines should not be interpreted as requiring parks to prohibit yelling or screaming on rides.
CAPA executive director Erin Guerrero said in a statement:
“The responsible reopening plan that CAPA released in September addressed that risk criteria as follows: ‘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.’
“CAPA has never suggested or recommended limiting shouting, yelling, or screaming on an amusement park ride.”
Japan parks did make such a recommendation earlier in the pandemic, with Fuji-Q Highland asking riders to “scream inside your heart.”
CAPA is correct that activities where people raise their voice have spread COVID-19, though in unmasked environments. A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detailed one such superspreader event in Washington state in March 2020, where 52 people developed COVID-19 after attending a choir practice with someone who already had the disease. Two of the 5w would die within 15 days of showing symptoms.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg looking to fill 700 jobs
Virginians looking for part-time and seasonal work may find opportunities at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, which is looking to hire for 700 positions, including some at Water Country USA.
“Whether jobseekers are looking for their first job or considering a career in the theme park industry, our parks offer a fantastic opportunity,” park spokesperson Cindy Sarko told Williamsburg Yorktown Daily. “According to our team, the best part about working here is the fun, making new friends and providing memorable experiences for our guests.”
For a limited time, new hires will be eligible for a $100 hiring bonus.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg has been relying on limited-capacity events since reopening last August and moved the park to year-round operation for the first time in 2021. The park will be hosting its St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on select dates through March 28.
New family entertainment center debuts at Orlando’s Icon Park
Icon Park along Orlando’s International Drive has opened its new In the Game family entertainment center and arcade.
The 7,000-square-foot facility includes more than 40 games, as well as a virtual reality experience, mirror maze, and an escape room attraction. It’s being operated by the Illinois-based Family Entertainment Group.
“From family time to date night, our vast array of experiences provides something for everyone,” said Family Entertainment Group vice president Ray Smith. “We’re very excited to open our first Central Florida In The Game location at Icon Park and are confident it’ll soon become a favorite for locals and tourists alike.”
Icon Park plans to open two other additions later in 2021: a 300-foot-tall slingshot ride and a 430-foot-tall drop tower, both of which would set world records.
Correction: An earlier version of this article inaccurately reported that CAPA recommended that theme park prohibit screaming or yelling on rides upon reopening. The story has been updated, and its headline changed, after CAPA sent out a clarifying statement, saying it has “never suggested or recommended limiting shouting, yelling, or screaming on an amusement park ride.” Theme Park Tribune apologizes for the error.
More Theme Park News:
Knott’s Berry Farm plans to reopen in May
Theme parks retain COVID-19 safeguards even as some governors remove them
California governor won’t release findings of state employees’ Disney World COVID-19 trip