While the summer season has unofficially begun following Memorial Day, the ongoing threat of the coronavirus is set to change the landscape of what summer typically looks like in the DMV. Many people are avoiding beaches, despite some local sites opening up this past weekend, outdoor seating at restaurants is just starting to become a potential norm again and amusement parks that tend to be full of fun-seeking families on hot days remain closed.
As the DC metro area approaches fully reopening, some parks are considering welcoming thrill seekers sooner than later, but not until various precautions are first put in place. Find more details on how Kings Dominion, Hershey Park, Six Flags America, Fun Land of Fredericksburg and Busch Gardens are planning to manage their 2020 summer seasons, below.
Virginia’s premier amusement park, Kings Dominion, is still uncertain if it will reopen its gates for the 2020 summer season. On May 8, park representatives released an update stating that they are continuing to work with health and safety experts, as well as increase safety measures and operational changes on the grounds as the coronavirus continues to spread. While an exact date for reopening hasn’t been chosen yet, according to the statement, the park has plans to continue enhancing certain areas of the park, including the newly updated Soak City space, and has moved its Run & Ride event to a virtual setting. The park has also postponed its summer parade, Grand Carnivale, until 2021. In addition, Kings Dominion has extended the validity of all 2020 season passes and season pass add-on products through the 2021 season. Even while at home, you can still stay involved in the fun with virtual rides and engaging activities, thanks to Kings Dominion’s virtual features. // 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell
Pennsylvania-based Hershey Park has plans in the works to open to the public in early June, as the county it is located in is set to move forward with its reopening plan, according to the amusement park’s website. In preparation for opening, park staff has been in constant communication with state and federal agencies and is continuing to implement more rigorous cleaning procedures. When the park does reopen, there will be new safety measures in place, including a possible park and ride reservation system, to mitigate risk of spreading the coronavirus. For those who have spring or summer season passes, those tickets are now valid through June 30, 2021, and season pass holders will be permitted a “Bring a Friend” ticket this summer upon reopening. As of now, payment plans are paused while the park remains closed. // 100 Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania
While Bowie, Maryland-based Six Flags was scheduled to open for its 2020 summer season on March 28, the ongoing effects of the coronavirus suspended operation until further notice at all United States locations. According to the amusement park’s website, Six Flags America “will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.” While no reopening date is set at the Prince George’s County-based park, officials have announced that soon-to-be riders will see extensive new safety measures in place, including temperature checks via new machines, touchless bag checks and face mask requirements. Plus, guests will be required to reserve their spot online with a specific arrival time for each party, and maintain social-distancing guidelines at all times. // 13710 Central Ave., Bowie, Maryland
As of May 20, local kid-friendly staple Fun Land of Fredericksburg has yet to announce a reopening date, even with the surrounding region moving into phase one of reopening. According to the park’s website, updates can be found on its social media pages, as well as its website. The park is currently not accepting deposits for future reservations. // 1351 Central Park Blvd., Fredericksburg
Busch Gardens Williamsburg, owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Operations, has not released an updated announcement on its plans to reopen since March 27, when the organization decided to close all of its theme parks temporarily. The area of Williamsburg is currently in phase one of reopening; however, due to the size and garnered attraction of Busch Gardens in the summertime, the organization has still yet to make a decision on reopening for the summer 2020 season. According to a recent Instagram post, Busch Gardens will be automatically extending all active membership and annual pass products for “a period at least as long as the temporary closure.” Plus, the site will be granting complementary membership tier upgrades for all active members for the remainder of 2020. // 1 Busch Gardens Blvd., Williamsburg
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