Six Flags


Makayla Joffe

During the CoronaVirus, many people around the world lost jobs and their life savings. They were told to stay home, quarantine, and not go anywhere without a mask. Ever since March, Americans have been under COVID-19 protocols. As the summer season approached, many people were itching to get out of their homes. Experience everything they always did during the summer months. Including amusement parks.  For a while those who love the thrill of a roller coaster were not sure if Six Flags Great Adventure would even open.  How would a person social distance on a roller coaster, or even waiting in those long summer lines? Fortunately for us, Six Flags opened, they figured out a way for people to be safe  and their yearly visitors came back. 

Six Flags announced their reopening for July 4th, Independence Day. Since then, visitors have purchased season passes, memberships, and tickets to experience the parks. You might be thinking, how does Six Flags operate during a global pandemic?

Well, there are many things the people at Six Flags have done to keep everyone safe. Such as enforcing mask usage, temperature checks at the gate, sanitizing, limiting the number of daily guests and encouraging social distancing. Unfortunately, it is hard to stay 6 ft apart when there are hundreds of guests in the parks. Here are some things Six Flags has done wrong and and the things they have done right.

Wearing a mask can help prevent people from spreading the virus. The mask should cover your nose and mouth, while still giving you the ability to breathe. While walking around the park, everyone is wearing a mask. Although, some people are not wearing it correctly, people are still wearing a mask. Your mask must stay on during the rides, or else the ride operator will specifically call you out to put it back on or even stop the ride. If one person is not wearing a mask, the entire ride may stop, ruining it for everyone. You are allowed to take off your mask while eating, as long as you stay away from other people who are not in your party. All of the ride operators and Six Flags employees are wearing their masks at all times.  

Six Flags has a limited number of “reservations” for the day. Before you decide to go to the park you do have to pick an available time slot and go during that time. This helps reduce congestion during peak hours and also the number of patrons in the park for the day. Many times during their very busy Fright Fest the park was sold out as the number of slots had been reserved. This has never happened before COVID, there was not a limit of daily guests.  Also before entering the park you do walk through a thermal body scanner that checks your temperature. 

Throughout the park, many sanitize stations are set up at every entrance and exit of rides and food facilities. You are encouraged to use them, as they are there to prevent the virus from spreading. When getting off the ride, most guests are observed using the sanitizer on their hands, making sure there’s no bacteria being carried. 

One of the main conditions for COVID-19 procedures is to remain 6ft apart at all times. You might think for such a large area, social distancing should be easy right? Wrong. With all the people in the park going to the same areas, it can get a little close, especially waiting in line. Ride waiting queues have stickers on the ground marking where you should stand to maintain social distance. However, you can’t control what people do and no one really adheres to it. This is really the only thing I found that Six Flags could try to make some improvements in.

While Six Flags Great Adventure has changed many of their policies to help guests stay safe and adhere to State of New Jersey requirements; ultimately it is the person’s responsibility to ensure their own well being, mask wearing and hand washing to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.