Monday, July 27, 2020

Reduced Hours + Operating Days, Closures, No More Reservations + Halloween Events Paused

The industry is still trying to find its footing in this summer of uncertainty, and it appears as though a big part of that is scaling back operations to better fit with what has turned out to be a small demand for the amusement industry right now. 

We've seen a number of parks stop requiring reservations to visit the parks.  Dollywood stopped requiring day ticket visitors to have a reservation, though season pass holders still need them for the theme park.  A while back Worlds of Fun axed the reservation requirement, then Kings Island, Kennywood and Cedar Point followed soon after.  Dorney Park removed the reservation requirement for season pass holders, only asking single day ticket visitors to have one.  One can only assume that crowd levels are small enough that there is no need to monitor attendance with reservations.

Scaling back park hours is also becoming common.  Kings Island released their updated hours for August which will have the park closed Wednesday and Thursday, then to weekends only by the end of the month.  Closing times on Saturdays did get extended until 10 pm however.  Cedar Point will stay open daily until mid-August, then switch to Friday-Sunday operations only and right now are closed all of September aside from Labor day weekend.  Kennywood has also decided to stay closed Mondays and Tuesday in August, then go weekends only in September - and has also made it clear there will be no Phantom Fright Nights this year.  Idlewild is going even further, opening only on Friday - Sunday starting August 1st.

This is not a full list of changes, there are more out there as well.

© Raging Waters
We're also starting to see some Southern California properties throw in the towel on the year - that is just what Raging Waters Los Angeles did today.  They do note that they are excited to reopen in 2021.  The rest of the California theme park crew, and there's a lot of them, are still waiting on the ability to open.  As we discussed some parks are finding other ways to operate, such as Knott's super popular food festival Taste of Calico which actually got extended two more weeks and is selling out fast.

© Universal
It is almost to the point where parks are having to make tough decisions regarding their popular Halloween seasons.  Just recently we saw both Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood officially cancel their events for this year, with Halloween Horror Nights not taking place at either park.  Disney World has also called off Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and the Disneyland Resort cancelled the Oogie Boogie Bash even though no opening date is in sight for its parks.

No news yet from other park operators on Halloween, but with these big parks setting the standard it might not look to good.

Things may be a bit more quiet around this blog for the foreseeable future, as park seasons are shortened and events are cancelled - there simply isn't much to cover.  We will look forward to 2021 though!