The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated amusement parks around the world as crowded places are no-go zones.
Most hard hit in Japan are Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea, as well as Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan, that have been closed since late February.
Revenues from attendance have fallen to nil, despite Japan’s Golden Week Spring vacation period from March to April.
But Japan is planning on getting life restarted again.
Infection numbers due to the coronavirus have been decreasing, and amusement parks are laying out plans and putting precautions in place.
Guidelines for theme park attendance
The East Japan and West Japan Theme Park Associations have prepared a document, “Guidelines to Prevent the Spread of Infection of the Novel Coronavirus”.
Oriental Land Japan and USJ, the companies that manage Tokyo Disneyland/ Disney Sea and Universal Studios Japan, respectively, are in on it as well.
The document was posted to the website by Mie Prefecture’s Nagashima Resort hot spring facility.
A number of suggested policies in a Covid-19 world were proposed, most of which are commonsensical, such as capping admission to parks, or checking guests’ temperatures at park entrances, and denying admission to those with fevers, as well as asking all guests to wear masks while inside the park.
Smaller details such as keeping windows and doors to indoor attractions open for better ventilation were also mooted.
But the funny parts of the guidelines pertain to how to manage the attractions and rides.
One part of the document read:
“Roller coasters and other conveyance-style attractions
Have guests wear masks, and urge them to refrain from shouting/ screaming.”
This need for guests to exercise silent screams while on thrill rides is almost unimaginable.
No screaming in excitement, in general
And it’s not only thrill rides that guests are supposed to remain quiet while enjoying.
Guests are also advised to "refrain from shouting/ screaming" in the sections for indoor attractions and costumed character shows.
This would cover Japanese amusement parks’ haunted houses and meet-and-greet with mascots.
Staff, such as those in costume, will be instructed by park managers to refrain from hugging or engaging in any sort of physical contact with guests.
As staff are wearing masks, they are instructed to develop gestures that can communicate friendliness now that their smiles will be hidden.
At the moment, the guidelines are not meant to be enforced, so there is no indication violators will be thrown out of Disneyland for showing signs of having fun.
Top photo via Unsplash