California theme parks are preparing to reopen after the state government modified their guidance. Now, large theme parks like Disneyland can reopen as early as April 1st with limited capacity once their county enters the Red tier. Orange County, where Disneyland is located, officially entered the Red tier this past weekend.
While Disneyland aims for a late April reopening, it may come with a shocking twist: silence!
The California Theme Parks Association, which represents the major theme parks in the state of California like Disneyland, has released their Responsible Reopening Plan, which includes a series of recommendations for a safe reopening. The Orange County Register has reported that one of the things these recommendations address under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy is how to limit activities that are known to cause increased spread of COVID-19, such as shouting.
So…could that mean no screaming will be allowed on your favorite roller coaster? No yelling? No shouting? Not a peep?! SHHH!!
The science behind limiting shouting suggests that “microscopic droplets of saliva released from riders’ mouths when they let loose a heart-stopping scream…could fly onto riders in the rear seats.”
As mind-boggling as it may seem to even fathom the thought of a silent roller coaster ride, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of this suggestion! Back when Japan began reopening their theme parks in 2020, the same “no screaming” recommendation was proposed in an effort to keep their guests safe.
At the moment, however, the California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA) guidelines do not state that guests should be advised not to scream on rides to limit activities that are known to cause the spread of COVID-19, like shouting. Instead, the CAPA recommendations suggest other things like mask requirements and modified loading patterns to “mitigate the effects of shouting.”
It’s also important to note that this is purely a recommendation from the theme park association, and individual parks are not required to implement these recommendations when they reopen.
Update: The California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA) has issued a series of clarifying statements via Twitter. Specifically, they have noted that they themselves have not recommended limiting or prohibiting yelling or screaming on rides to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. CAPA noted that the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy identified a range of risk criteria for all industries to address, including limiting activities that are known to cause increased spread of COVID-19 such as shouting.
CAPA’s reopening plan addressed this risk criteria by noting that face covering usage and/or modifications to seat loading patterns will be required to mitigate the effects of shouting. Their guidelines also specified that guests generally face in one direction, which could also address potential effects of shouting.
Disneyland is set to reopen on April 30th, so we can expect to hear a lot more in the future about their exact plans to keep Cast Members and guests safe! So far, we have heard about their mask requirements. We’ll keep an eye out for more information and share the latest updates with you.
Could YOU hold in a scream on a roller coaster? Let us know in the comments!