SANDUSKY, Ohio — Although amusement parks have been cleared to open in Ohio starting June 19, Cedar Point “is planning on a July 9 opening” its parent company, Cedar Fair, announced early Tuesday morning. Company officials also revealed that Kings Island, which is located near Cincinnati, will open a week earlier on July 2.
But it’s not back to business as usual...
Among the changes, Cedar Point will require guests and associates to wear masks "at all times" -- including while on rides (exception made for guests while dining).
Park spokesperson Tony Clark tells 3News that rides will also have "appropriate seating for social distancing." Markers and signage designating distances of six feet are also being installed throughout the park.
Once the park opens its gates, access will first be limited to season passholders only as outlined by the following "tentative operating dates":
- July 9-10: Park open to 2020 season passholders only.
- July 11: Park open to resort guests and season passholders.
"In order to maintain limited capacity each operating day, all guests, including season passholders, will be required to make a reservation to visit the park through the Cedar Point mobile app or at CedarPoint.com," park officials announced.
Season passholders will be given an invitation to make reservations first, followed by guests who pre-purchased day tickets.
"Reservation availability for guests who have not yet purchased a park ticket will be announced at a later date. Guests who stay at a Cedar Point Resorts property will have guaranteed entry to Cedar Point for each day of their stay, beginning the day after check in, but must purchase a ticket or have a 2020 season pass."
Opening dates for the water parks at Cedar Point and Kings Island are yet to be determined, Cedar Fair said.
Once the parks are open to guests, the experience will be very different as the company enacts multiple safety restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Cedar Fair outlined some of the “key changes” as follows:
- A new online reservation system to manage capacity and facilitate appropriate social distancing.
- A health screen and temperature check before each guest, associate or vendor enters the park.
- New social distancing protocols throughout the parks.
- The requirement for guests, associates, and vendors to wear masks as directed by protocols.
- An abundance of hand sanitizer stations placed throughout the parks.
- Increased cleaning and sanitization procedures of all high-touch areas throughout the parks.
- Technology enhancements the company implemented to facilitate a safe guest experience were previously announced. Guests are being encouraged to download each location’s mobile app or visit the website to become familiar with changes they will see. You can read more about those upgrades HERE.
Cedar Fair officials say they are working closely with health and safety experts to provide a safe and fun experience, and will “review and update these changes as park openings resume.”
The company also said a video will be available on park sites to advise guests of new policies and procedures before making their visit.
Cedar Point was originally slated to open for its 2020 season on May 9. The park, however, has postponed all of their 150th anniversary season festivities and attractions until 2021. All 2020 season passes and add-ons are now valid through the 2021 season.
Cedar Fair CEO Richard Zimmerman issued the following statement as the reopening plans were announced Tuesday:
“We want our guests and associates to feel confident knowing that our parks are taking extensive measures to welcome them back to an environment where safety is the highest priority. People will experience our new health and hygiene protocols before they enter the properties for either work or play; these enhancements will be observed throughout the entire day and at departure. We are thrilled that our guests will again be able to enjoy a best day experience at Cedar Point, Kings Island, the Schlitterbahn parks and Worlds of Fun, as well as great shopping and dining again at Knott’s Berry Farm. We look forward to more openings as restrictions are lifted around the country."
Kings Island released additional information about their reopening process, too, revealing that their park will only be available to season passholders from July 2-11. Daily ticket holders will be welcome to attend starting July 12.
"Kings Island will be sending e-mails to passholders, inviting them to begin making reservations," park officials said. "Only passholders will be able to make reservations for at least the first week; daily ticket reservations will open within the next two weeks."
Other amusement parks across the country – like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando – have also outlined their reopening strategies. Disney World will start its phased reopening on July 11. Universal Orlando hit the restart button on June 5.
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