Six Flags, the world’s largest regional theme park company and the largest operator of waterparks in North America, has announced plans to reopen its parks throughout the United States amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement issued on May 13, the company said it will now require guests planning to visit the park to make reservations and payment in advance in an effort to avoid overcrowding and ensure social distancing measures are maintained.
“The health and safety of our guests and team members is always our highest priority and in the current environment, we certainly want to take extra precautions to create a safe experience for everyone,” Six Flags President and CEO Mike Spanos said.
“We are excited about reopening our parks and getting back to the business of fun; however, we want to do so in the safest possible manner. By having guests pre-register before they visit, we can plan ahead with proper staffing and sanitization measures, including ensuring that guests and team members maintain safe social distancing throughout the day.”
Every guest visiting the park with a single-day ticket, group ticket, membership, or season pass will be required to go online and select both the date and time they want to arrive at the park, and will only be allowed to attend during the time period they selected.
In its statement, Six Flags said the new online reservation process will take “about 5-7 minutes,” and after selecting the date and time they wish to visit, guests must also watch a brief video which details new social distancing and sanitization procedures, and acknowledge their understanding of the company’s health policy. Parking must also be paid for in advance if visitors do not already have a pass, they added.
Those guests who cannot make a reservation for the specific date they want will have the option to join a waitlist and the company will contact them by text message or email automatically if this date becomes available.
Any guests who fail to book a reservation in advance will not be allowed to enter the park, the company said, noting that the process of booking online is “quick, simple, and will ensure a safer and exciting experience for guests of all ages.”
While the amusement park is not currently taking online reservations, it will begin doing so once specific park reopening dates for resuming operations are confirmed. During the initial reopening phase, only members and season pass holders will be granted access to the system, the company added.
Six Flags initially announced in March that it would be shutting down its parks until mid-May in line with federal and local restrictions in place to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. The company also said it would reduce the salaries of all its executive officers and team members to “enhance the company’s financial flexibility” amid the pandemic.
The company is headquartered in Grand Prairie, Texas, and operates 26 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada, bringing in $1.5 billion in revenue.