Futuroscope, the French theme park centred on multimedia and audio-visual techniques, is preparing to reopen once the government gives the industry the go ahead.

The park was forced to close earlier in the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.  In preparation for the reopening, some members of staff have gone back to work. According to Laure Mosseron, marketing and communication director at Futuroscope, around 50 employees of the 700 who work at the park have returned to work.

The employees working again are mostly security guards but also include technicians who have been testing the rides in rotation.

On reopening, the theme park will maintain social distancing measures throughout the site, including on the rides. Cleaning procedures will also be increased and hand sanitiser stations will be available at different points across the park.

Mosseron says that the park’s priority “remains the health of our employees and visitors.” “Everyone is waiting impatiently for the government’s directives and the conditions on how we will be able to reopen, knowing that we would like to restart for the summer season,” said Mosseron.



Shanghai Disneyland has begun to partially reopen following the enforced closure of the theme park in late January due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A number of the park’s recreational, dining and shopping experiences have reopened, with additional safety measures in place. Some dining has also been resumed at the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel.

The park’s parade is now being tested alongside the castle lights shows, suggesting the parade could also be resumed imminently. Reports reveal that Shanghai Disneyland cast members have also been testing the park’s indoor theatres with new safety precautions.

To maintain social distancing, viewers at the indoor shows are believed to be seated in every other row with seats left empty between different parties. Markings are in place at security check places to encourage social distancing.



The Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries (IAAPI) is seeking relief from the damage the ongoing pandemic has brought to the sector.

All amusement parks in India have been closed since mid-March and even when lockdown is lifted, the sector fears it is unlikely to resume normality as social distancing measures are likely to still be enforced.

The IAAPI has asked India’s prime minister Narendra Modi for assistance, including a 6-month deferment of payment of direct or indirect taxes of all statutory dues, a 12-month moratorium on payments to financial institutions, a reduction in effective rate of interest in loans and a 12-month complete holiday from paying goods and services tax.

In a press statement, IAAPI secretary general Anil Padwal said: “We earn over 40 per cent of revenues in the March-June season. After the summer vacations, there are rains and a six-month long lull every year.”

The IAAPI has written two letters to the Indian prime minister, the first dated March 23 and a follow up letter on April 3, stipulating the industry’s demands.



Europa-Park in Rust, Germany, has announced its 2020 season is to be postponed indefinitely amid the coronavirus crisis.

The popular theme park was due to open on April 15. However, the government in Germany has banned all major events until August 31. The measure may include the operation of major attraction sites, but this has not yet been confirmed.

The opening of Europa-Park is not yet known, but officials say they remained confident the theme park will open at some point this year.



Cedar Fair Entertainment Company has announced it is to make a series of cost-cutting measures in response to the coronavirus crisis.

In March 2020, Cedar Fair closed all its parks. In a drive the cut costs, the company eliminated nearly all seasonal and part-time labour costs.

Part of the cost-cutting measures included the suspension of all advertising and marketing expenses. Cedar Fair also reduced its CEO’s salary by 40 per cent. Other company executives have also received 25 per cent cuts to their basic salary. All full-time members of staff at Cedar Point parks have also had their hours reduced by 25 per cent.

Capital spending of the parks has been delayed by at least $75 million on non-essential projects as part of the company’s bid to make savings to costs during these challenging and unprecedented times.

In a press statement, Richard Zimmerman, president and CEO of Cedar Fair, commented: “As we work to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees, guests and business partners from the effects of COVID-19, it’s important we also embrace measures that will ensure our financial flexibility through this difficult period.

“After social distancing recommendations by the authorities are lifted, we look forward to opening our parks as soon as reasonably possible. The actions we are announcing today help put us in a better position to do so as we navigate the unknown environment ahead,” Zimmerman added.



The Toverland theme park in Sevenum, Netherlands, has announced a series of safety measures the park is planning for when it reopens following closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Toverland’s director, Jean Gelissen, the park is considering limiting its visitor numbers. “We are thinking about working with time slots. We will have to spread. People who don’t know each other will probably no longer be able to coexist,” said Gelissen.

Bellewaerde theme park in Belgium is planning to put similar measures in place when it reopens, including capping the number of visitors to the park initially to 4,000. With fewer guests, people will be able to spread out more and keep a safer distance from each other.

Bellewaerde is also going to place distance markers around the park where people form queues, bring in additional cleaning routines and ensure staff where masks, to help maintain the social distancing implementing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.



Universal Beijing Resort remains on target to open in 2021 despite the attractions industry to be temporarily put on hold due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

Tom Mehrmann, Universal Beijing Resort’s general manager, believes there will be a positive outcome on the horizon.

In January 2020, Universal Beijing Resort announced that construction was about halfway completed and would finish in 2020. Despite taking the recommended preventative measures to protect the health and safety of employees, the site is still on track for a grand opening in 2021.

Talking to the Global Association for the Attractions Industry (IAAPA), Menrmann said: “We have full confidence in global tourism markets and the theme park industry. We firmly believe that only through close-knit cooperation can the whole industry fight through the hard time and emerge stronger as a result.

“Construction of Universal Beijing Resort has resumed and is progressing smoothly, undergoing guidance from related government authorities and with their support. Our rides, shows, attractions, and other facilities are now under installation and testing, Merhmann added.



Blackpool Pleasure Beach is offering immersive video experiences of its popular rollercoaster, ICON.

Rollercoaster fans can enjoy the thrill of the 1.4km ride from their own home at specific virtual showings of the coaster.

On Saturday April 4, fans can take a virtual ride on the ICON, which was the first double launch rollercoaster in the UK.

The virtual experience will be the first of a series of immersive videos to be offered by the theme park in coming weeks as the Pleasure Beach remains shut due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Each Saturday, Blackpool Pleasure Beach will be showing exclusive footage of its most iconic and popular rides on its social media channels.

As well as experiencing virtual rides, Pleasure Beach fans can take part in fun activities and exercises that the theme park is sharing on social media. There will also be videos with Team Nick, alongside art and craft sessions.

Amanda Thompson OBE, managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, commented: “We understand that theme parks are an escape for people and rollercoasters are an amazing, feel-good journey. During these times, if we can bring some of that joy home for people, that would just be wonderful.”



Arts Council England has launched a £160m emergency package to help entertainment and leisure facilities that are suffering amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The vital funds’ package is designed to help theatres, galleries, museums, entertainment venues, artists and freelancers in the industry, at a time when attraction sites have had to close across the UK.

The support package includes £90 million for National Portfolio Organisations, £20 million for individuals and £50 million for other organisations to in the National Portfolio.

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England, commented: “COVID-19 is having an impact globally, far beyond the cultural sector – but our responsibility is to sustain our sector as best we can, so that artists and organisations can continue to nourish the imagination of people across the country, both during the crisis and in the period of recovery.”

“None of us can hope to weather this storm alone, but by working together in partnership, I believe we can emerge the stronger, with ideas shared, new ways of working, and new relationships forged at the local, national and even international level,” Serota added.



Six Flags is shutting down its parks throughout the United States due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

In a statement, the park said it was to close its gates temporarily, suspending operation until the end of March when the situation will be reassessed.

Mike Spanos, president and CEO of Six Flags said: “Our goal is to support our team members and our communities by never compromising the safety of guests or employees.

“Since the onset of COVID-19, we have followed the guidance of federal, state and local authorities. As of today, many states have declared a state of emergency and are recommending that all non-essential gatherings of large groups be postponed or cancelled,” Spanos added.