Six Flags Great Adventure Set To Reopen, With Changes, Limits

JACKSON, NJ — Six Flags Great Adventure will be reopening beginning July 3, now that Gov. Phil Murphy has allowed the state’s amusement parks to reopen, Six Flags officials announced Wednesday.

Murphy on Tuesday announced that amusement parks and water parks, along with playgrounds, could reopen as of July 2, with provisions that include a limit of 50 percent of capacity in attendance and other requirements.

The reopening of Great Adventure and Hurricane Harbor will be gradual, with reduced attendance levels that are increased slowly, and extensive new safety measures.

“We have developed a comprehensive reopening safety plan that includes protocols designed by theme park and water park industry experts, along with best practices from top destination parks from around the world, which will allow guests to experience our parks in the safest way possible,” said Mike Spanos, president and CEO of Six Flags. “This ‘new normal’ will be different in some ways, but we believe these additional measures are appropriate in the current environment.”

The park will be open to members and season pass holders exclusively July 3. The general public will gain access beginning July 4, and Six Flags will gradually increase attendance levels throughout the month.

The opening dates apply only to Great Adventure, park officials said. An opening date for Hurricane Harbor has not yet been set.

“Six Flags Great Adventure and Hurricane Harbor are beloved outdoor destinations for so many in the Northeast, and we look forward to welcoming families back to our parks,” said John Winkler, president of Six Flags Great Adventure and Hurricane Harbor. “The safety of our guests and team members remains our No. 1 priority, and the new safety guidelines we have put in place are designed to create a safe environment for everyone.”

Guests will have to make reservations to come to Great Adventure through the new online reservation system that is used to manage attendance and to stagger arrival times to minimize proximity exposure. Other new technologies include:

Guests also will have to wear masks, including on rides, park spokesperson Kristin Fitzgerald said.

“They were extensively tested before our first Six Flags parks opened, and they do stay on,” Fitzgerald said. “Several of our parks have been open and operating with the same policy, and it’s going smoothly.”

There will be “mask break areas” throughout the park where people can remove their masks temporarily in a socially distant space, she said.

The parks’ reopening plan was developed in consultation with epidemiologists, park officials said.

Reopening procedures include:

Park Reservations System

Six Flags will have caps on attendance that will be well below the park’s theoretical capacity in order to allow for proper social distancing. All members, season pass holders and all guests with a single-day or group ticket will need to make a reservation at Guests buying single-day tickets will be able to reserve during the purchase process. The process will take 5-7 minutes, and guests will complete the following steps:

  • Enter their online order number, ticket number or Membership/Season Pass number;

  • Select the day and the approximate time they want to visit;

  • Acknowledge their understanding of the company’s health policy;

  • Order pre-paid parking, if they do not already have a parking pass; and

  • Watch a brief video describing new social distancing and sanitization procedures.

Guests will be contacted electronically (either by email, text or both) the day before their scheduled visit to confirm their intent to visit. All members and season pass holders will receive booking priority over single-day and group ticket buyers.

Six Flags Great Adventure has been using this reservation system for the Wild Safari Drive-Through Adventure that has been operating since May 30. Plans had been for the safari to revert to its previous guided tour, but park officials said it will continue to operate for now, due to its popularity and the ability for guests to social distance in their own vehicles.

“The theme park aims to reintroduce its Safari Off Road Adventure guided truck tours soon,” officials said.

In addition to the reservation system, Six Flags has instituted the following procedures:

Health Screenings for Guests and Team Members

  • Contactless infrared thermal imaging will be used to screen temperatures of guests and employees prior to entry;

  • Individuals will be required to acknowledge and abide by the company’s health policies, which prohibit park entry if guests have recently been exposed to or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19;

  • Following CDC guidelines, all guests over the age of 2 and all team members will be required to wear face masks covering the nose and mouth throughout their visit/work day.

  • Masks will be available for sale at the front gate for any guest without one.

Masks will not be required on waterslides, water attractions, or in pools.

Strictly Enforced Social Distancing

  • Distance markers will be added in all park entry, ride, restroom, retail locations, and dining queue lines;

  • Dining areas will be adjusted to allow ample space between seated parties;

  • Guests will be separated by empty rows and/or seats on all roller coasters, rides, and attractions;

  • Guests viewing outdoor entertainment will be separated by at least six feet;

  • Capacity at indoor venues and on some attractions, including the Wave Pool and Lazy River, will be reduced to meet social distancing requirements;

  • Guests will be allowed to ride on a tube with family/group members, but will not be allowed to share a tube with those not in their immediate party; and

  • A limited number of complimentary lifejackets will be available upon request; however, families are encouraged to provide their own Coast Guard-approved lifejackets for children under 42 inches, or those who are not strong swimmers. All Hurricane Harbor lifejackets will be sanitized after every guest use.

Extensive Sanitization and Disinfecting Protocols

  • Trained teams dedicated to cleaning have been put in place;

  • Rides, restraints, and handrails will be cleaned throughout the day;

  • Team members will frequently sanitize and disinfect high-touch points, including the following:

  • Public Seating

  • Tabletops

  • Counters

  • Doors

  • Trash cans

  • Deck Chairs

  • Life Jackets

  • Tubes and Rafts

  • Restroom staff will be stationed to disinfect each stall, sink, and shower area on a frequent basis;

  • Multiple hand-washing and alcohol-based hand-sanitizer stations will be located throughout the parks; and

  • All team member work areas will be regularly sanitized and disinfected.

Sanitized Food Preparation and Service

  • Menus have been modified and mobile food ordering is available to facilitate touchless transactions;

  • Self-service buffets and salad bars will be reconfigured to eliminate guest contact with food;

  • Condiments, self-serve cutlery, and napkins will be provided to guests with their meals as required; and

  • Beverages will be served by attendants; any drink bottle refills will be served in a paper cup each time guests refill.

See more stories about New Jersey’s coronavirus recovery.

Note: This article has been updated with clarification on mask requirements at Six Flags Great Adventure.

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This article originally appeared on the Brick Patch

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