Six Flags Magic Mountain reopens: COVID-19 safety measures change even the bathrooms

Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

To ensure the park keeps attendance under 15% of capacity and all parkgoers are residents of California, as required by the state, Magic Mountain requires visitors to book reservations online. Pandemic restrictions in Los Angeles County are set to loosen further next week, and Certonio said the park expects to be able to increase attendance to 25% capacity.

When entering the park, visitors walk through a temporary building where a thermal camera automatically reads their body temperature. The system alerts park workers if it detects anyone with a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. In case that happens, emergency medical technicians are stationed nearby to take a second temperature reading with a hand-held device. Visitors with temperatures over 100.4 are not allowed in.

To prevent security screening from creating crowds and bottlenecks, Magic Mountain no longer stops visitors at the entrance to search their purses and backpacks. Instead, parkgoers stroll past a new touchless scanner that screens for possible hidden weapons. If the scanner identifies a suspicious object it flashes a red light, and a security officer pulls the person over for further screening.

When loading the rides, park employees space parkgoers at least one row apart. Families and groups of friends can sit together but a row away from strangers.

Manny Dickerson of Simi Valley, who visited the park with his three children, said he didn’t mind waiting for the workers to clean and disinfect the rides. “It feels safe,” he said. “We are happy to be back.”


Social distancing was even adopted in the bathrooms, where adjacent urinals were blocked off.

Three of the park’s restaurants allow visitors to order food through a smartphone app to reduce the need to wait in line. The app notifies the visitor when the food is ready.

The Kolwycks, who said they had their first date at Magic Mountain three decades ago, returned to relive memories. But the changes were a welcome sight for Sharon Kolwyck, who works as an emergency room nurse.

“We are OK with all of the safety measures,” she said as she waited to board Full Throttle. “Once they get used to all of this, it will probably run a little smoother.”

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