Image: Dollywood

On May 16th, Tennessee’s governor lifted restrictions on large public gatherings. This decision freed Dollywood officials to plan their reopening.

A Dollywood spokesperson didn’t offer a specific timeline. His only quote was, "It is exciting!" However, the prevailing belief in the area is that Dollywood will be one of the first amusement parks to reopen.

In fact, Dollywood had planned to open in mid-March before Coronavirus issues became impossible to ignore.

The Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce provided an update in late April with a projected reopening date. Here's the relevant part:

The Pigeon Forge Chamber posted a video on its Facebook page saying they'd heard Dollywood would reopen on June 1st, but that information is not confirmed.”

I'm dubious about a June 1st reopening, as the company should have rehired employees by now to meet that deadline. However, it's the most recent available information.


Image: Europa-Park

A Chinese theme park company, Fantawild, reopened only a few weeks after the pandemic began. Ignoring that group, Europa-Park will become the first major park to reopen.

Current plans call for a May 29th return. On May 18th, the hotel dining venues will return. So, this park will operate fully for most of the summer months, albeit with capacity limitations.

Interestingly, the water park will remain closed. Some American water parks have reopened, but none of the majors have yet.

Six Flags

Image: Six Flags

You’re likely to have a Six Flags relatively close to you. After all, this company operates 26 theme parks in North America. Reopening all of them simultaneously isn’t feasible.

Instead, Six Flags will first reopen in states with more lax pandemic policies. For example, Six Flags Great Adventure will return soon, albeit in a limited capacity. The drive-thru safari will reopen once the company has finalized safety measures.

Then, the parks will come back as government officials allow. Some states have relaxed their pandemic measures. Others like California have stringent anti-gathering policies in place. So, Six Flags will pick and choose where and when its parks reopen.


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