Saturday, May 30, 2020

Cedar Fair Shares More Info on Park Operations Once They Reopen

© Cedar Fair
We only know so far that Cedar Fair's two Schlitterbahn parks in Texas plan to reopen in mid-June, and the rest of the company's parks are still waiting on local governments to give them the go ahead to open.  While those details are worked out, Cedar Fair has sent out more detailed news on how they plan to operate their parks in the 'new normal' pandemic world.

Most of the changes they detailed are related to the use of new technology and the parks' existing mobile apps to "enable a safe and efficient park reopening experience for its guests and associates."  The changes will affect how visitors plan and prepare for their trips, when they arrive at the park and throughout their stay.

Before arrival guests will make required reservations online or through the park's app, picking a specific arrival time on the day of their choice.  This will allow parks to limit attendance to keep in line with state and local health guidelines.  Once booked, guests will get a "time-bound entry voucher" that will show in the park's app.  The apps themselves will be beefed up to inform guests of changes at the parks due to the pandemic.  Additionally, season passes will be able to be processed in the app instead of in person at the park.

Arriving at the park will require an "initial health check," and guests with the park's app can complete most of the health questionnaire prior to visiting.  No details on the rest of the process, such as a possible temperature screening, were revealed.  Additionally, face mask rules were not covered here the news was mostly related to technological changes.

While in the park a focus will be placed on cashless payment methods to limit interaction, "reduce touchpoints and expenses, as well as improve efficiency and throughput."  Mobile food ordering via the app is being started at 4 parks in 2020, though which parks was not stated.

The app will also be used to "monitor potential overcrowding in various areas of the park throughout the day; this will help determine where to deploy crowd control measures and enable appropriate social distancing.  These modules will also direct guests to the closest hand sanitizing stations."  I have to wonder if a certain part of a park gets too crowded, if the app will alert guests to move on to another area?

Cedar Fair CEO Richard Zimmerman said, “The safety of our guests and associates has always been, and will always be, our highest priority.  I’m pleased that our internal health and safety experts, as well as state and local government officials, have informed the development and implementation of these technology enhancements which, when combined with our other in-park safety procedures being implemented, should help renew the public’s confidence when visiting our parks.  Our more robust suite of mobile technologies not only strengthens the safety measures recommended by health officials, but also offers exciting, guest-friendly alternatives that could very well enhance the overall guest experience for the long term,” said Zimmerman.

Hopefully the coming week will reveal which of the chain's amusement parks will be the first to reopen under these guidelines!