Under California’s revised rules for opening theme parks, as of 1. April amusement parks located in a district classified as red or below may only operate at 15% of their capacity. In addition, indoor attractions must remain closed and only state residents may enter the parks.
But how will Disneyland, Universal, The Hub, Six Flags and other California theme parks enforce the exit ban?
The current California Department of Public Health urges tourists from other states to quarantine themselves for 10 days upon arrival. Even in the Golden State, the council is urging residents to limit their travel to a 120-mile radius around their homes.
The East Bay Times reported that Mark Galey, California Secretary of Health, and Dee Dee Myers, California Director of Economic and Business Development, briefed the media earlier this month on the details of recent updates to Governor Gavin Newsom’s Safer Economy Plan and how they will affect the reopening of the theme parks.
Ghali and Myers said state officials will work directly with the theme parks to establish new guidelines to limit access to California residents.
With the ticket restrictions, we can really focus on who can buy tickets, Ghali said. We will hear from operators in these sectors who will submit plans on exactly how some of these restrictions and mitigating factors will be implemented.
Like currently in Florida, where major theme parks have been open for months and require advance reservations to keep guests within capacity limits on any given day, California’s parks will also use online reservation systems for ticket sales.
These reservation systems track geocoding and GPS data to determine where potential visitors are located. Because they have to make reservations online, they can see where people are coming from, Myers says. This will be an important tool for operators. The same technology also allows for contact tracing if new cases of COVID-19 are associated with a particular park.
If we can find a way to make sure facilities collect people’s information, then at some point there will be a way for people to go buy a ticket where it’s appropriate and where there’s an opportunity, Myers said.
Moreover, limiting visitors based on their geographical location is not entirely new territory for theme parks. For example, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have had special offers for Southern California residents for years, with zip code determining eligibility. To receive the discount, guests must present proof of residency and a valid government-issued photo ID when purchasing tickets.
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