GURNEE, Ill. (CBS) — Call it another step toward normalcy.
Starting Saturday, you can ride a roller coaster for the first time in over a year at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee. CBS 2’s Steven Graves reports the changes made over COVID-19.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Illinois: Average Infection Rate Falls To Lowest Point Since Late March; Vaccinations Still Lagging From April Peak
White tents with touchless thermal temperature scanning greet people at the entrance of Six Flags Great America.
“They’ll notice the social distancing stickers right here.”
Sanitation stations will be there as well. The goal: balancing safety and fun in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Workers expecting a lot of anticipation over the reopening. Parkgoers will need to reserve tickets before arriving. The first weekend is already booked.
“The thrills haven’t been open since 2019. And we’re so excited,” said Caitlin Kepple of Six Flags Great America.
Thrill seekers will get to ride the newest Maxx Force coaster and the iconic carousel. But indoor attractions like the Dark Knight ride and Observation Tower are temporarily closed.READ MORE: Illinois Launches 'Time For Me To Drive' Tourism Campaign As State Prepares To Fully Reopen Next Month
One of the first things you’ll notice: a lot fewer people. State of Illinois guidelines only allow for 25%t capacity. And even though a theme park is outdoors, you still have to wear a mask.
You can order and pay for concessions on your phone. Signs with all safety messages are just about everywhere in the park.
Guests will also see park employees cleaning and sanitizing between rides. And more work means a strong workforce. The park is still trying to fill its 4,000 seasonal jobs.
“On our food and beverage team, we’re looking for lifeguards and water attendants. Seasonal maintenance team members,” said Kepple.
The park is even offering incentives for people who apply from now until May 2. Right now, workers who are here are just waiting for people to fill the park.
In a fun, but cautious step toward returning to normal.
Right now, the park is only open weekends That changes after Memorial Day.MORE NEWS: Chicago Bears Single-Game Tickets Go On Sale Wednesday Night
You are not required to have the COVID vaccine to come to the park.