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There has been a research project undertaken recently by Zamperla, a leading ride manufacturer, to try to discover whether amusement parks can be used as a cure for stress and anxiety in the light of the current COVID-19 global pandemic.

For any theme park fan, I doubt this will come as a surprise as let's be honest a trip to any good theme park can immerse you fully in the fun and thrills of the day, relieving you of the stresses and pressures of your daily life. 

Researchers, Dr Stefania Cerino and Gianni Chiari dive into the reasons amusement parks can be a way of relieving stress and depression that has come about as a result of COVID-19. They have looked specifically at the theme parks that have reopened with enhanced health and safety measures and have explored how these positive experiences can be used to improve our mental wellbeing during these difficult times. 

The points are summarised in the report explaining that fun can counteract negative thoughts and stress, anxiety and depression can be relieved by positive experiences. With any worry or sadness, distraction is always a great tool to aid in calmness. 

Manta, SeaWorld
Image: SeaWorld

Whilst watching the television, reading a book or doing exercise are all good ways to distract yourself, theme parks have the ability to fully immerse you through their theming and thrilling rides and experiences that they have on offer. Your mental well being is surely going to improve? I guess that in order to be able to feel relaxed enough for your wellbeing to be improved you have got to feel comfortable and happy enough to visit a theme park or amusement park in the first place. To read a review of the research paper and to read extracts from it, click here.

The Big Debate - Can Theme Parks Boost Our Mental Wellbeing In A COVID-19 World? 

Epcot pylons, Disney
Image: Disney

We all know the new health and safety measures that are currently in place and we have to adhere to them if we choose to buy a ticket and visit a theme park in the current climate. This debate is not about whether they should or shouldn't be in place, it is about whether if going to a theme park now in the COVID-19 world we are currently living in, can help to boost our mental wellbeing?

For those of you who have ventured back you will be guided by your first hand experience. Our son has severe asthma and we have therefore been shielding throughout and are only in the last month been brave enough to head back to our local play parks and zoo. We haven't tried our local theme park yet but may give it a go in October, however with COVID-19 cases on the rise again we will just have to wait and see.

The options you have to choose from for our new debate regarding the question, can theme parks boost our mental wellbeing in a COVID-19 world? are simply:

  • Yes
  • No

CLICK HERE to vote and don't forget to share it with your friends and family. We always love to hear your views so leave us a comment below or on Facebook. Please remember that everyone has their own individual views and comments which are insulting or contain swearing towards readers will be deleted. 

Universal Studios Florida
Image: Theme Park Tourist

With news that, Florida Removes Theme Park Restrictions as Part of Phase 3 Opening, hopefully more positive theme park visits are on the horizon and can help to boost mental wellbeing for us all.

If you haven't had time to vote in our last Big Debate, Which Is The Worst Disney Attraction Of This Century (So Far)?, don't worry you still have time to vote. Look out for the results articles which will be coming soon and will include a selection of your comments from both sides of these debates.

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