CHICAGO (CBS) — After shutting down its rides and attractions last year due to the pandemic, Six Flags Great America is reopening on Saturday, with limited capacity and reservations required for all guests.
“Six Flags Great America is a beloved summer tradition for many, and we are excited to open our park and get our world-class collection of thrills running again”, Six Flags Great America Park President Hank Salemi said in a statement. “Our team is eager to welcome back our guests in a safe environment, providing the much-needed fun we have all missed this past year.”READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Lead Detective In Investigation Explains On Witness Stand How Smollett Went From Victim To Suspect
The theme park was closed all of last year due to the pandemic, although Six Flags opened in late November for its Holiday In The Park Light Show, featuring 2.5 million lights and other holiday displays, but no rides.
When Great America reopens on Saturday, it will operate with reduced attendance levels, and guests will be required to make reservations online, in order to allow for staggered arrival times and social distancing. All Six Flags members, Season Pass holders, and guests with single-day or group tickets must make reservations at sixflags.com/reserve. Tickets can be purchased at sixflags.com/greatamerica/store/tickets.
For now, the park will be open only on weekends, but will phase in weekday openings next month, and be open seven days a week by June.
Detailed reopening plans include:READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Slight Chance For Rain Wednesday Morning, Warmer During Day
Health Screenings for Guests and Team Members
- Contactless IR thermal imaging will be used to screen temperatures of guests and employees will be screened utilizing touchless systems;
- Individuals will be required to acknowledge and abide by the company’s health policies, which includes not entering the park if guests have recently been exposed to or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19;
- Following CDC guidelines, all guests over the age of two 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 purchase at the front gate for any guest without one; and
- Masks will be required while experiencing a ride or attraction.
Strictly Enforced Social Distancing
- Easy to identify distance markers will be added to all park entry, ride, restroom, retail locations, and dining queue lines;
- Dining areas will be adjusted to allow ample space between seated parties;
- Advanced security screenings will enable touchless bag checks;
- Capacity at indoor venues and on some attractions will be reduced to meet social distancing requirements; and
- Guests viewing outdoor entertainment will be separated by at least six feet.
Extensive Sanitization and Disinfecting Protocols
- Trained and dedicated cleaning teams have been put in place;
- Rides, restraints, and handrails will be cleaned throughout the day in accordance with state guidelines;
- Team members will frequently sanitize and disinfect high-touch points, including the following:
o Public Seating
o Trash Cans
- Restroom staff will be stationed to disinfect each stall and sink 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
- Modified menus and implementation of mobile food ordering will help 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.
Commercial-Grade Cleaning Equipment and Supplies
- All employees will be issued Team Member Action Packs which will include the following items: a safety face mask, safety glasses, and disposable gloves;
- Low pressure backpack sprayers will be utilized for disinfecting large areas;
- Abundant supplies of sanitizers and disinfectants will be available;
- Microfiber cloths will be used to sanitize surfaces; and
- Queue line supplies, fencing, and tents will be in place to promote safe social distancing.
Multi-Layered Guest and Team Member Communication
- Frontline team members will go through extensive COVID-19 training;
- Safety messaging and reminders will be displayed on Six Flags’ website, and in newsletters;
- Distance markers and physical distance indicators will be in place; and
- Informational safety signage will be posted throughout the park.