If spending your summers at Six Flags Over Texas or Hurricane Harbor in Arlington is a pastime of yours, you’ll still have the chance to do that in 2020, despite the pandemic.
However, there are many safety measures in place that you will need to follow in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to park officials.
“When we shut down, we were right in the middle of our spring break. So that was kind of a precursor to the rest of the season. And then we shut down just like everyone else in the state of Texas, and had to kind of regroup,” said Sharon Parker, communications manager for Six Flags Over Texas. “Here we are three months later, opening to our guests once again and we could not be more thrilled.”
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Six Flags had a soft reopening on Friday with limited capacity allowed in the park for members and season pass holders only. Hurricane Harbor did the same on Thursday. Both parks are now open to the general public on Monday, June 22.
However, because the parks are operating at less than 50% capacity, you have to book a reservation in order to visit this summer.
Click here for more information on reserving a time at both Six Flags and Hurricane Harbor.
“We understand this is different for all of us so our team members will be on hand and they will guide you through the process," said Parker. “There’s a benefit to making this reservation both for you and our team members. We are able to manage the attendance in real time. That helps us with the social distancing that’s going to be strictly enforced, allows us to make sure there’s plenty of room for that to happen but also to make sure that the guests feel comfortable with the setting.“
Once you arrive at the gates, you will walk through a temperature check involving a thermal scanner and a COVID-19 screening.
Once inside, everyone will be required to wear face coverings with the exception of kids under 2 years old age and those with breathing problems. Exceptions apply in the waterpark.
Parker specified there are areas designated as 'mask-free zones' where people and team members will be able to remove their mask to take a break from the heat. Once they re-enter areas with more people and groups other than their own party, visitors are expected to put the masks back on. Signage will indicated where these zones are.
A special clean team has also been designated to clean the entire park throughout the day.
"Their focus is those high touch point areas. The queue line railings, any of the door knobs that you come across, the benches you sit on," said Parker.
At the restaurants and other eateries inside the parks, you'll have to order your food through a mobile app to prevent contact. It's a concept that was in development even before the pandemic. Park officials are asking patrons to download the Six Flags mobile app.
“When we reopened, we realized the benefit of having mobile dining available," said Parker. “Everything will be prepackaged and our team members will slide those packages to you."
Parker said social distancing will be strictly enforced across the entire park.
“That is also going to be applied on our rides. So if you’re enjoying a ride, our attendants are going to make sure that you get to enjoy it with those that you came with," said Parker.
Finally, pack your patience. The seats on rides are supposed to be sanitized between each rider, so wait times for certain amenities might take longer.
Six Flags posted an extensive safety guide on its website, click here to learn more.