London theme parks are welcoming visitors again after the lengthy lockdown, but with the COVID-19 pandemic showing little sign of slowing globally, people are understandably hesitant to rush back to the rides.
While we can’t dish out any expert opinions on the risks involved in a trip to a theme park, we can tell you a bit about two that are taking quite a few precautions—Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures.
A short trip out from London, Thorpe Park has more than 30 rides, attractions and live events to keep folks entertained. On the thrills list, you’ll find the UK’s fastest rollercoaster (Stealth), as well as its only winged rollercoaster (the aptly named Swarm). You’ll also find a bunch of other coasters, plus water rides to bring you back to your senses.
You can buy discounted entry tickets to Thorpe Park online.
Chessington World of Adventures
Also just outside London, Chessington is a theme park as well as a zoo and Sea Life centre. There are more than 1,000 beasties lurking about the premises. Although it may raise some animal loving eyebrows, Chessington does make a point of supporting conservation efforts, which you can read about here.
The theme park side of things has upwards of 40 rides and attractions, including rollercoasters for those who enjoy palpitations.
You can buy discounted entry tickets to Chessington online.
Both part of the Merlin Entertainments group, Thorpe Park and Chessington have adopted a similar set of measures to keep folks safe. The gist of it is:
- Masks are compulsory on rides, in shops and arcades, and when queuing indoors (note that kids under 11 aren’t required to wear masks)
- Social distancing is a thing that you have to do, including at park restaurants (where there are now more Grab & Go meal options), and on rides
- Park and ride capacity is limited to avoid crowding, so tickets must be booked in advance
- Some rides and facilities will be closed for the time being
- Rides are cleaned “at all high-frequency touchpoints”
- If you or a member of your party is feeling unwell, you’re asked to stay home
- Temperature checks will be done upon entry
- Hand sanitiser stations are available around the parks
- Staff will be wearing masks and PPE
- Bonus points for using contactless payment methods
If you forget your mask or lose it, you can buy another one at the theme parks.
Check before you go
Since the virus situation changes daily, it’s wise to check the official website and social media channels of the theme park before setting off. If it’s closed, you’ll be able to arrange a refund or rescheduling of your tickets.
Ways to further minimise the risks
- Drive rather than rely on public transport
- Go out in small groups only, and maintain social distance with friends
- Avoid the 3Cs: Crowded places, close-contact settings, and confined and enclosed spaces
- Scream in your heart
Two more adventure options
Though we don’t have the lowdown on the exact safety measures they’re taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Legoland and the ArcelorMittal Orbit are two other fun spots that pop up on lists of ideas for what to do with the kids in summer and other holiday periods.
While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. This post was created in collaboration with Klook, and contains affiliate links.