How NJ Amusement Parks Plan To Open

[NOTE: Before you read this please Tweet this out to New Jersey Gov Murphy and share it on your Facebook page. We need to support our New Jersey Amusement companies]

How NJ Amusement Parks Plan To Open

How NJ Amusement Parks Plan To Open

We have been getting a ton of questions about New Jersey amusement parks. The questions rage from “when will they open for the season” to “how will they open safely.” In the state of New Jersey all amusement parks, including waterparks are still closed due to COVID-19 restrictions that are in place by order of the New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy.

Over this past week through, the amusements parks of New Jersey came together to put forward a plan to Murphy on how they can open safely during these times. The plan titled “New Jersey’s Safe Play,” is a 14 page PDF that breakdown every part of an amusement park operation and what they can do to make it safe for the public.

The information in the PDF was gathered by IAAPA, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, from attractions operators around the world and in consultation with an epidemiologist. What that means for us is that what they are suggesting are things that parks around the world are doing in their parks. It’s almost like every park in the world coming together to help each other out.

Now let’s get to what is actually in the “New Jersey’s Safe Play,” plan

Ive gone ahead and broke down the plan below into many sections including; amusements, waterparks, games, general..etc

[NOTE FOR EDITOR] – You can tell after seeing the PDF this is something Morey’s Piers put together so anything you see here is how Morey’s Piers will address it at it’s own park)

FOR AMUSEMENT PARKS

  • ALTERNATE QUEUING
    • Conduct height safety checks according to existing protocol to ensure they are accurate. Consider centralized height check location to limit employee and guest contact.
  • HEIGHT SAFETY CHECKS
    • Cleaning and sanitizing protocols are particularly important for rides and attractions. Several approaches include:• Sanitize ride surfaces guests frequently touch, including handrails, arm rests, restraints, lap bars, grips, seatbelts, over-the-shoulder harnesses, etc. The frequency and approach to sanitizing should be based on the guidelines provided on the cleaning chemicals which should be determined based on the surface being cleaned. Make sure kill times/drying times are considered prior to opening the attraction or loading guests for the next cycle. • Attractions may also consider doing some combination of sanitizing guests’ hands and sanitizing the ride surfaces.
  • CLEANING PROTOCOLS
    • Follow manufacturer guidelines/standard operating protocols to ensure restraints are locked, seatbelts are fastened, and riders are properly secured.
  • STANDARD OPERATING PROTOCOLS
    • Follow manufacturer guidelines/standard operating protocols to ensure restraints are locked, seatbelts are fastened, and riders are properly secured.
  • ADJUST ATTRACTIONS
    • Adjust queue, waiting areas, and pre-show to allow for proper social distancing. Mark the floor, utilize audio announcements and/or add signs to denote the appropriate 6 feet of social distance space between parties of immediate family members (caretakers, household members, and romantic partners).
  • SIDE TO SIDE DISTANCE
    • To maintain side to side distance some switchback queue lanes may need to be closed to maintain appropriate social distance. If queue involves steps, consider guidelines to specify some steps should remain empty between guests.
  • GROUP HOUSEHOLDS
    • Board immediate family members, caretakers, household members, and romantic partners in the same vehicle when possible.
  • SEATING
    • Adjust seating to comply with social distancing requirement. Examples would include: seating every other ride vehicle, limiting capacity on a ride to allow for space between groups, etc.
  • AVOID CONTACT
    • Employees should avoid physically assisting/lifting guests. If a guest needs assistance, ask another member of their party to help.
  • STORAGE AREAS
    • Ride storage areas used for guests’ personal belongings must be sanitized frequently.
  • SINGLE RIDER LINES
    • Attractions should consider eliminating sider-rider lines as they are typically designed to fill open seats with members from different parties.
  • CUSTOMIZATION
    • Determine distancing and sanitizing on a ride by ride basis. It may not be possible to open some attractions if social distancing/sanitation can’t be implemented or upheld (i.e. soft play, interactive mazes, touch pools, props-based experiences, etc.

FOR WATERPARKS

  • SOCIAL DISTANCING
    • Social distancing is critical and can be effectively managed in a water park
  • HIGH TOUCH-SURFACES
    • High touch surfaces (handrails, ladders, arm rests, etc.) on lifeguard stands are to be sanitized between lifeguard rotations.
  • MASKS
    • The owner/operator is to determine specific positions where masks are necessary while lifeguards are on duty (in accordance with NJ Executive Order No. 122 and OSHA mandates).
  • SIGNAGE
    • Install signs regarding social distancing and/or consider audio reminders.
  • PROVIDING CARE
    • Social distance guidelines should be followed except for times when lifeguards are providing first responder care (water rescue, emergency treatment, etc.) In these circumstances, lifeguards will use appropriate PPE for the situation (ex: masks, buffs, gloves) and will follow best practices for first responders.
  • SHAREDEQUIPMENT
    • Shared equipment including, but not limited to: rescue tubes, bull horns, pool hooks, etc. are to be sanitized between uses.
  • TRAINING
    • Virtual learning encouraged when and where possible.• Manikins should be used when and where possible
  • WATER TREATMENT
    • Properly treated swimming pool water at 1 part per million (ppm) free chlorine and pH of less than 7.5 kills viruses in seconds. Therefore, if a surface is covered in chlorinated pool water, that surface does not require additional sanitation. If a high-touch surface is not covered in chlorinated pool water, it should be sanitized frequently. • Chemical readings for water should continue as per normal protocols/frequency and in compliance with local regulations/health codes
  • RIDE VEHICLES
    • All ride vehicles (tubes, mats, etc.), as well as lifejackets should be sanitized frequently.
  • MULTI PERSONRIDES
    • Immediate family members, caretakers, household members, and romantic partners may ride together. All others should be dispatched using acceptable social distancing
  • WADING POOLS
    • Social Distancing must be maintained in all wading pools including but not limited to: Hot Tubs, Lazy Rivers, Wave Pools, etc. • This can be accomplished through a variety of methods, including but not limited to: audio reminders, signage, capacity limits, visual cues, etc.
  • PLAY STRUCTURES
    • Features/elements which are immersed in treated pool water do not need additional sanitization. Features/elements which are not immersed should be sanitized frequently, put out of service, or sectioned off from guest access.
  • CHAIRS & LOUNGERS
    • Chairs and Loungers should be sanitized daily and placed in a manner which allows social distancing between parties.
  • CABANAS
    • Cabanas should be sanitized after each renal

GAMES, ARCADES &MINIATURE GOLF

  • HAND SANITIZER
    • Hand sanitizing/hand washing stations should be easily accessible in games and arcades areas
  • SANITIZE
    • All games, props, counters, seats, and playing fields will be properly sanitized and cleaned throughout the day. • Game components must also be cleaned regularly (balls, rings, buttons, darts, water race guns, pucks, bean bags, etc.)
  • PLAYER SPACES
    • Players will be spaced to allow for proper social distancing. Immediate family members, caretakers, household members, and romantic partners need only follow Social Distancing requirements from other guests.
  • PHYSICAL BARRIERS
    • Attractions should consider adding physical barriers between players and between players and employees where practical.
  • MACHINE PLACEMENT
    • Machines should be placed to allow for 6 ft of social distancing. Where necessary some machines can be turned off or otherwise deactivated to keep guests from using machines which can’t easily be relocated
  • MINI GOLF SPECIFIC
    • For miniature golf courses, implement methods to reduce the number of surfaces guests touch frequently. Consider modifications to holes, flag sticks, obstacles, etc. as needed. Sanitize balls, putters, and pencils after each use.

GENERAL INFO

  • GENERAL HEALTH & SAFETY
    • Proactively communicate guidelines and expectations for health and hygiene procedures and precautions in the front-of-house areas for guests and in the behind-the-scenes areas for employees.
  • REDUCE CAPACITY
    • Reduce attraction capacity to allow for appropriate social distancing.
  • FREQUENT HANDWASHING
    • Frequent hand-washing is essential and is the responsibility of all employees and guests. Facilities should remind everyone of the importance of frequently washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • HAND SANITIZER
    • Provide additional hand washing or hand sanitizing hygiene stations throughout the attraction, in public areas as well as employee areas.
  • PLEXIGLASS BARRIERS
    • Place acrylic/plexiglass or other types of barriers/hygiene screens to maintain social distance and reduce direct contact between guest and staff wherever practical. Clean the barriers/hygiene screens at least daily with disinfectant.
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING
    • Clearly indicate through signage the social distancing parameters. This can be done in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, marking social distancing spaces/guidelines with floor markings, seat markings, or signs to make it easy for the guests to understand how to safely social distance themselves from others.
  • FIRST AID STATIONS
    • First Aid protocols should address how to manage guests or employees who experience COVID-19 symptoms while onsite. If First Aid is staffed internally, provide appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).• Deep clean and sanitize locations visited by a guest or employee with COVID-19 symptoms.

For now this is our guide for visiting parks in the future. It seems that New Jersey Amusements have a safe plan to open. Tune back later for more info.

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About The Author

My name is Joey Contino. I am a big lover of anything Wildwood. I have lived and worked in Wildwood my whole life. I worked jobs from working on the beach renting umbrellas and chairs to being a supervisor at Morey's Piers. Wildwood is my life and my home!

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