Cedar Point Is Reopening. Here's What Will Be Different.

The roller coaster-heavy theme park will open its doors in a limited capacity on July 9.

cedar point reopening

Theme park junkies are going to get an opportunity to visit their favorite places this summer, but it's going to be a different experience than in years past. Major attractions across the world are reopening after shutting down to slow the spread of COVID-19. Though experts warn the pandemic is far from over, plans are being announced for the reopening of The Eiffel Tower (June 25), Disney World (July 11), Universal Studios Orlando (June 5), Las Vegas casinos (varies), and a host of other tourist destinations. 

Roller coaster enthusiasts will be thrilled to find Cedar Point is planning to reopen on July 9, 2020. The theme park has announced a series of precautions as part of its reopening strategy in hopes of protecting visitors against the potential spread of COVID-19. 

"The safety of all of our guests and associates has always been, and will always be our top priority. We’re looking forward to returning to summertime fun in a safe and healthy manner," Jason McClure, Vice President and General Manager of Cedar Point, said in a statement.

"We’ve implemented new safety protocols throughout the property that align with the recommendations of health and safety experts. With that guidance, we’re ready and excited to welcome our guests and associates back to Cedar Point."

Who can go to Cedar Point?

The Ohio-based attraction reopens on July 9. The first two days will be limited to 2020 Cedar Point Season, Gold, and Platinum Passholders. From July 11 onward, anyone can visit. Additionally, Cedar Point's Hotel Breakers and Lighthouse Point RV sites will open June 12-27. However, all of those dates are listed as "tentative," and could change as officials monitor the pandemic, which hit a single-day high for new infections globally over the weekend.

The park will operate with a limited capacity. All guests, including Passholders, are required to make a reservation before visiting. Those reservations can be made through the Cedar Point mobile app or website. The first reservations will be available exclusively to Passholders through an email invitation. After that, anyone who pre-purchased a day ticket will be able to make a reservation. If you haven't purchased a ticket yet, availability "will be announced at a later date."

cedar point covid-19
Courtesy of Cedar Point

What is Cedar Point doing to protect visitors?

"Cedar Point has put stringent health, safety, and hygiene protocols in place to allow a safe opening," the company wrote in its announcement. Though, it's worth noting that it cannot guarantee a safe opening. Universal Studios Orlando was forthright about the risk in its reopening announcement. "Note that any public location where people are present provides an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19," it said, "and we cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed during your visit."

A similar statement has been issued from Worlds of Fun theme park. "An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the CDC, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable," it said.

Every guest will be required to complete a "health screening declaration" on the Cedar Point mobile app 24 hours prior to entering the park. Asked what those questions will look like, a representative told Thrillist that the details are still being prepared. 

Additionally, guests will undergo a touchless temperature check before entering the park, and they will be required to wear face masks during their visit. The park has not clarified if the mask requirement is waived in water areas, as is the case at Universal Studios Orlando. There will also be signage encouraging social distancing throughout the park.

The rest of the measures were listed in vague terms, as some details are still being put together. The other measures listed include "touchless transactions, limited guest/associate contact, enhanced cleaning procedures in high-touch areas, dining locations, hotel rooms and restrooms, capacity management through the park, and additional hand sanitization stations." A representative tells Thrillist that some of those details may be similar to what you see from Worlds of Fun, where select attractions that are not conducive to social distancing will be closed and some seats on rides are closed off to enforce social distancing. 

There are risks inherent to any tourist attraction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check with the park through its social media or other methods of communication to see if there are updates closer to the opening if you decide to visit the theme park over the summer. Changes during the pandemic come faster than the tidal wave on Snake River Falls. 

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.