Legoland reopening April 1 after yearlong closure
Legoland California, which was forced to shut down a year ago because of the pandemic, will reopen April 1 under new statewide rules that sharply limit capacity, it announced Friday.
The Carlsbad park’s strategy is to start with a more limited reopening that it has dubbed Park Preview Days, which will include access to select rides and attractions for a priority group of Legoland hotel guests, annual pass holders and existing ticket holders who were impacted when the park closed last year.
A wider reopening for the general public is planned for April 15, when the park will also open up its Sea Life aquarium and Chima Water Park. Rides that will be open on April 1 include Driving School, Lego Technic Coaster, Fairy Tale Brook, and Coastersaurus. Other features include socially distanced character meet-and-greets, live entertainment and Miniland U.S.A.
“It’s been a long and challenging year for all of us and we are extremely excited to be able to start reopening our resort not only to our guests so they can build family memories, but for our staff who have been patiently waiting to return to work, “ said Legoland California Resort President Kurt Stocks.
Under new guidelines announced this month by Gov. Gavin Newsom and state public health officials, theme parks are limited to 15% capacity in counties that are in the red tier, which San Diego officially entered Wednesday. Only in-state visitors will be allowed, indoor dining will be prohibited, and visitors will have to buy their tickets online. Workers will be tested for COVID-19 weekly.
Since the announcement, Southern California parks have begun preparing for their comeback, which includes hiring workers and putting in place safety protocols. Not all parks will be resuming operations April 1. Disneyland just announced it will reopen April 30.
In advance of its reopening, Legoland is hiring for multiple positions in attractions, the water park, food and beverage, retail and the park hotels. Those interested in applying for a job can visit www.legolandjobs.com.
Among Legoland safety measures are cashless payments, social distancing practices and required face coverings for all guests age 2 and up and all staff members. Temperatures will be taken upon check-in.
Legoland said its park reservation system will be made available soon.
While the state previously provided a checklist for how theme parks can safely operate, it was only recently that it decided to move up the time when parks can reopen. As a result, it notes on its COVID-19 industry guidance website that guidelines are still being updated.
The California Attractions and Parks Assn. also has previously crafted guidance of its own designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The trade group this week released a statement denying published reports that it would recommend limits on shouting or screaming on rides.
“When the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy was released in August, it identified a range of risk criteria for all industries to address, including: ‘Ability to limit activities that are known to cause increased spread (e.g. singing, shouting, heavy breathing; loud environs will cause people to raise voice),’” said CAPA Executive Director Erin Guerrero.
“The responsible reopening plan that CAPA released in September addressed that risk criteria as follows: ‘Face covering usage and/or modifications to seat loading patterns will be required on amusement park rides to mitigate the effects of shouting. Additionally, on rides, guests generally face in one direction.’ CAPA has never suggested or recommended limiting shouting, yelling, or screaming on an amusement park ride.”
While next month will mark the first time in a year that Legoland will open up its entire park, it has had various promotions and events that allowed a limited number of people to enjoy a small portion of the park. Most recently, it debuted its Build ‘N Play Days where children have access to play structures within the park. Also featured is a scavenger hunt in Miniland U.S.A., as well as live entertainment and opportunities to meet costumed characters.
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