Amusement parks begin to open as the state enters the red tier of the reopening plan

Theme parks in California are open but under new conditions for fun and safe enjoyment

The nearest amusement park to American River College that will open soon is Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, located in Vallejo, California. (Photo via Six Flags website)

The nearest amusement park to American River College that will open soon is Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, located in Vallejo, California. (Photo via Six Flags website)

Cynsere Kelly, Staff Writer

California theme parks received approval to reopen starting this month under the California Department of Public Health’s updated guidelines. 

Following year-long pandemic closures that cost amusement parks and other outdoor activity services billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, California theme parks can finally reopen. 

“The new California theme park guidelines and opening date are a part of a refresh of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s four-tier blueprint for a safer economy according to Newsom’s website.

On April 1, California theme parks received approval to reopen at 15% capacity in the red substantial tier. The capacity will go up to 25% in the orange substantial tier and 35% in the yellow substantial tier. 

“Theme park attendance will be limited to California residents and will have guidelines and alternative queuing methods wherever possible to manage capacity and facilitate physical distancing,” according to the Covid19.gov site. 

California theme parks set to reopen include Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Knotts Berry Farm, Legoland, Seaworld, Universal Studios, Disneyland, and its nearby park California Adventure, according to the information posted on each park’s website.

For Six Flags parks, the first two days of operation will only be open to season pass holders as a benefit the holders receive, according to the Six Flags’ website. 

Guidelines for individual theme parks vary based on the establishment.  

“Groups must have bought tickets or made reservations ahead of time, groups must not be bigger than the size of three households equaling to 10 people, and all people in the park age 2 and up must wear a mask in places that do not mask break zones and also only card and mobile payments will be permitted in the park,” according to the Six Flags website. 

Joint parks Disneyland and California Adventure will open on April 30 to California residents. According to Disneyland’s website, “People aged 3 and up must wear masks at all times. Hotels will remain closed and are set open on April 30,” as well according to Disneyland’s website.

 Another amusement park that is opening with guidelines is Hollywood’s Universal Studios.

Universal Studios Hollywood reopens on April 16, with similar guidelines to most other parks: mandatory masks, three household maximum in the park, and reservations beforehand are essential in the parks reopening according to the Universal Studios Hollywood website. 

 Theme parks terms and conditions can change in time if the state moves further towards reopening fully. 

“People [should] keep a lookout for more procedures and information regarding theme parks in time as things are scheduled to be more flexible in due time as the tiers can move forward in the next few months, according to the California Department of Public Health’s website.