Darien Lake set to open May 21

Daily News file photoUnlike those in this pre-COVID photo at Six Flags Darien Lake, visitors to the park will need to wear masks this year, among other health and safety guidelines.

DARIEN CENTER — Six Flags Darien Lake said today it plans to open May 21 with a cap on attendance that is well-below its capacity.

Outdoor amusement parks can open with a 33-percent capacity limit beginning April 9, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week. All facilities must submit reopening plans with health protocols to the local health department. Face coverings and social distancing will be required for all customers and staff, and customers will be required to have a health screening with temperature checks prior to entry.

“We gave a reservation system in place where people need to reserve ahead of time. You have to go online, make your reservation and that’s how we stay within those guidelines,” Dan Stokes, Darien Lake marketing and public relations manager, said Friday. “Once you’re there, you can stay for the whole day.

“We’re still working with the Department of Health and entities like that to make sure we’re staying within all the regulations that we need to be staying within,” Stokes said.

All Darien Lake members, Season Pass holders and all guests with a single-day or group ticket will need to make a reservation at www.sixflags.com/reserve. Guests who need single-day tickets will be able to reserve during the purchase.

Guests will complete the following steps:

• enter their online order number, ticket number or Membership/Season Pass number;

• select the day and the approximate time they want to visit;

• acknowledge their understanding of the company’s health policy;

• order pre-paid parking if they do not already have a parking pass; and

• watch a brief video describing new social distancing and sanitization procedures.

Guests will be contacted electronically (either by email, text or both) the day before their scheduled visit to confirm their intent to visit and their continued healthy status. They may cancel their reservation without penalty any time before 8 a.m. (local time) on the day of their scheduled visit. Members and Season Pass Holders will receive booking priority over single-day and group ticket buyers.

Darien Lake listed its COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, including:

Health screenings for guests and team members

• contactless IR thermal imaging will be used to screen temperatures of guests and employees prior to entry, and people will be asked if they are healthy and will be required to acknowledge the company’s health policies;

• all guests over the age of 2 and all team members will be required to wear face masks covering the nose and mouth throughout their visit/work day;

• any guest without a mask will be able to purchase one at the front gate;

Strictly enforced social distancing

• easy-to-identify distance markers will be added in all park entry, ride, restroom, retail locations, and dining queue lines;

• dining areas will be adjusted to allow ample space between seated parties;

• guests will be separated by empty rows and/or seats on all roller coasters, rides, and attractions;

• 6-foot viewing areas will be marked for guests to observe game play; arcade games will be reconfigured or deactivated to comply with social distancing requirements;

• advanced security screenings will enable touchless bag checks;

• capacity at indoor venues will be reduced to meet social distancing requirements; and

• guests viewing outdoor entertainment will be separated by at least six feet.

Stokes said Darien Lake was excited to hear outdoor parks will be allowed to reopen. He said Six Flags has had a number of parks in other states told they’re allowed to open. The practices that those parks have in place are within the guidelines that Darien Lake was told it will have to follow, he said.

“We will be ready to open on May 21. We had to get a lot of that (protocol) ready when we are opened our campground last summer. We know what to expect,” he said.

Cuomo said indoor family entertainment centers and places of amusement may open with a 25-percent capacity limit beginning March 26.

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