Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Announces July 2 Reopening Date
Theme Park Will Reopen with a Return to Animals and Extensive New Safety Measures
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, the Thrill Capital of Northern California, today announced plans to reopen the theme park on July 2, 2020, one of the first to do so in the state. The opening date for Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord will be announced at a later time. In accordance with CDC, state, and local reopening guidelines, the park will reopen initially offering exclusively animal experiences, with no rides. During this reduced capacity period, the park is implementing extensive new safety measures and hygiene protocols, including several new advanced technology systems to protect guests and employees. These procedures will be adjusted on an as-needed basis to ensure compliance with state and local recommendations.
For a limited time, the clock is being rolled back to 1986, when the park first opened its gates in Vallejo as a premier zoological park and aquarium. Nostalgia makes its return as The Marine World Experience, a celebration of the park’s 34-year legacy of both educational and thrilling wildlife adventures. This is ahead of the eventual return of the world-class rides at a later date.
Guests can explore their wild side by visiting the park’s current famous resident, Cain and the rest of the lion cub pride with daily educational sessions. Other unique offerings will include new scheduled talks with the animal care specialists throughout the day along with various animal demonstrations in outdoor venues that are sanitized and marked for social distancing.
“We are very excited to be able to open and welcome our guests back to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom as The Marine World Experience,” said Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Park President Don McCoy. “The health and safety of our guests and team members remains our number one priority. All of these new safety measures are designed to create an environment where our guests can have fun with family and friends and feel safe while doing so. We appreciate the state and local officials, including the county health department, for their support of our efforts to reopen. We also thank our valued Members and Season Pass Holders for their loyalty. We are ready to get the summer started.”
The park will employ an online reservation system to manage attendance, schedule guests for entry by day, and to stagger arrival times to minimize proximity exposure. Other new technologies include:
- State-of-the-art thermal imaging for temperature checks;
- Advanced security screening technology for touchless bag checks; and
- Expanded mobile food ordering.
The park’s reopening plan, which the company developed in consultation with epidemiologists, meets or exceeds federal, state, and local guidelines for sanitization, hygiene, and social distancing protocols.
“We have developed a comprehensive reopening safety plan that includes protocols designed by theme park and waterpark industry experts, along with best practices from top destination parks from around the world, which will allow guests to experience our parks in the safest way possible. This ’new normal’ will be different in some ways, but we believe these additional measures are appropriate in the current environment,” said Six Flags President and CEO Mike Spanos.
Reopening procedures include:
Health Screenings for Guests and Team Members
- Contact-less IR thermal imaging will be used to screen temperatures of guests and employees prior to entry;
- Individuals will be required to acknowledge and abide by the company’s health policies, which prohibits park entry if guests have recently been exposed to or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19;
- Following CDC guidelines, all guests over the age of two and all team members will be required to wear face masks covering the nose and mouth throughout their visit/work day; and
- Masks will be available at the front gate for any guest without one.
Strictly Enforced Social Distancing
- Easy to identify distance markers will be added in all park entry, restroom, retail locations, and dining queue lines;
- Pedestrian directional markers to promote one-way foot-traffic;
- Dining areas will be adjusted to allow ample space between seated parties;
- Six-foot viewing areas will be marked for guests to observe game play; arcade games will be reconfigured or deactivated to comply with social distancing requirements;
- Six-foot viewing areas will be marked for guests to observe animal exhibits as well as game play; arcade games will be reconfigured or deactivated to comply with social distancing requirements;
- Advanced security screenings will enable touchless bag checks;
- Capacity at indoor venues will be reduced to meet social distancing requirements; and
- Guests viewing outdoor entertainment will be separated by at least six feet.
Extensive Sanitization and Disinfecting Protocols
- Trained and dedicated cleaning teams have been put in place;
- Increased sanitization and disinfecting of high touch points including all public seating, tabletops, counters, handrails, doors, and trash cans will occur frequently;
- Restroom staff will be stationed to disinfect each stall and sink area on a frequent basis;
- Multiple hand-washing and alcohol-based hand-sanitizer stations will be located throughout the park; and
- All team member work areas will be regularly sanitized and disinfected.
Sanitized Food Preparation and Service
- Modified menus and implementation of mobile food ordering will help facilitate touchless transactions;
- Self-service buffets and salad bars will be reconfigured to eliminate guest contact with food;
- Condiments, self-serve cutlery, and napkins will be provided to guests with their meals as required; and
- Beverages will be served by attendants, and guests will receive any drink bottle refills in a paper cup each time they refill.
Commercial-Grade Cleaning Equipment and Supplies
- All employees will be issued Team Member Action Packs which will include: a safety face mask, safety glasses, and disposable gloves;
- Low pressure backpack sprayers will be utilized for disinfecting large areas;
- Abundant supplies of sanitizers and disinfectants will be available;
- Microfiber cloths will be used to sanitize surfaces; and
- Queue line supplies, fencing, and tents will be in place to promote safe social distancing.
Multi-Layered Guest and Team Member Communication
- Frontline team members will go through extensive COVID-19 training;
- Safety messaging and reminders on Six Flags’ website, newsletters, in-park announcements, and recorded phone messages will occur frequently;
- Distance markers and physical distance indicators will be in place; and
- Informational safety signage is posted throughout the park.
Park Reservations System to Manage Attendance
Six Flags will establish attendance caps that will be well below the park’s theoretical capacity in order to allow for proper social distancing. All Members, Season Pass holders and all guests with a single-day or group ticket will need to make a reservation at www.sixflags.com/reserve. Guests who need single day tickets will be able to reserve during the purchase process. The process will take 5-7 minutes, and guests will complete the following steps:
- Enter their online order number, ticket number or Membership/Season Pass number;
- Select the day and the approximate time they want to visit;
- Acknowledge their understanding of the company’s health policy;
- Order pre-paid parking, if they do not already have a parking pass; and
- Watch a brief video describing new social distancing and sanitization procedures.
Guests may begin making reservations as follows:
- Diamond and Diamond Elite Members beginning at 10:00 AM on June 25;
- All Members beginning at 1:30 PM on June 25;
- Season Pass holders beginning at 5:00 PM on June 25; and
- The general public beginning at 9:00 AM on June 26.
Guests will be contacted electronically (either by email, text or both) the day before their scheduled visit to confirm their intent to visit. All Members and Season Pass Holders will receive booking priority over single-day and group ticket buyers.