Guests had their temperatures checked before entering.

By Alison Fox
July 07, 2020
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Mask-wearing thrill-seekers streamed into Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey this holiday weekend when the park reopened for the first time in months as the state has continued to tamp down new coronavirus cases.

Those who came to the park — which opened first on Friday for members and season pass holders and then on Saturday for the general public — lined up to have their temperatures checked before being let inside, the Asbury Park Press reported. By the afternoon on Friday, the paper noted the line of cars waiting to get to the parking lot spilled all the way to the interchange for the interstate.

“This ’new normal’ will be different in some ways, but we believe these additional measures are appropriate in the current environment," President and CEO of Six Flags Entertainment Corp., Mike Spanos, told the paper.

At Six Flags, the park said social distancing measures were implemented on rides, leaving some seats empty, and park capacity was limited. The park would focus on cleaning high-touch areas like tables and benches as well as sanitize and disinfect rides and require online reservations to enter.

While masks were mandatory, outdoor “mask-free” zones were set up for people who needed a break from wearing one while practicing social distancing, the Asbury Park Press noted, and park-goers could order food online for pickup if they didn’t want to stand in a queue.

As customers streamed inside over the weekend, staff held signs thanking people for wearing their masks.

But the first few days weren’t without a snafu or two. On Monday, a temporary loss of power resulted in some guests being stuck on rides for 15 to 25 minutes, the Asbury Park Press also reported. No injuries were reported.

On July 2, New Jersey allowed outdoor amusement parks to reopen along with outdoor waterparks, and casinos. That same day, several casinos reopened in Atlantic City with masks mandatory there as well.

New Jersey has recorded more than 173,600 confirmed cases of the virus, according to the state’s COVID-19 Information Hub, but the number of new cases has significantly decreased in recent weeks.

Six Flags isn’t the only amusement park in the country to reopen with COVID-19 in mind. Last month, Universal Orlando reopened its theme parks in Florida with temperature checks, mandatory masks, and hand sanitizer aplenty. Similarly, Disney plans to reopen several of its parks starting July 11.