UK Theme Parks Reopen Today – What You Need To Know

With COVID-19 restrictions being eased and health and safety measures being implemented the UK Theme Park industry is starting to reopen to the public from today 4 July.

UK Theme Parks

Alton Towers, Drayton Manor, Thorpe Park, LEGOLAND, Chessington World of Adventures, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and other smaller parks will be reopening from today Saturday 4th July. All parks will be operating with reduced capacity and tickets must be pre-booked.

Alton Towers

Before you arrive

  • Pre Book your tickets
  • Check The Alton Towers website for any updates
  • If you have COVID-19 Symptoms, do not travel
  • Bring suitable face mask
  • Bring payment card that has contactless payments (if possible)

When You Arrive

  • Follow Parking directions which have been set out to allow social distancing
  • Guests to have a temperature check prior to entry. Any person who is displaying a high temperature (above 37.8 degrees) associated with fever will not be permitted to enter Alton Towers Resort.
  • Follow instructions displayed on new signs for safety measures and social distancing.

Social distancing within Alton Towers

  • Please remain with your group and maintain 2m (where possible) distance from other guests
  • Individual rides and attractions will include empty rows and seats within ride vehicles
  • Some indoor experiences will not be available
  • Hygiene screens will be used at many of the kiosks and restaurants. 

Hygiene measures within Alton Towers

  • Enhanced cleaning will take place throughout the day
  • Deep cleaning measures in the event a guest presents themselves with symptoms consistent with COVID-19
  • Hand sanitiser is available for guests to use
  • Alton Towers employees will wear appropriate PPE such as masks and face shields
  • New menu offerings across many of the food outlets featuring ‘Grab & Go’ options
  • Alton Towers team participate in COVID-19 specific training programmes instructing them how to keep themselves and guests safe
  • Guests are asked to observe the highest possible hygiene standards

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Before you visit

  • Please book in advance online and use the new eTicket to enter the park
  • If you exhibit symptoms relating to COVID-19 please do not travel
  • Please follow new guidelines during your visit

What are we doing to protect you

  • We have introduced a range of new, more frequent and enhanced deep cleaning measures across our park, rides and attractions.
  • We have provided new hand sanitisation facilities. Please wash your hands with soap and water in one of our many facilities around the park and also use the hand sanitiser dispensers located around the park.
  • Our teams around the park will be equipped with a range of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). This PPE is to protect our team members and our guests.
  • Our entire Pleasure Beach team will be temperature tested each day.

What to expect on your visit

  • On arrival at the park and throughout your day please look out for our Ambassadors and follow their instructions. This team are here to help you, answer any questions you may have and ensure all of our guests have a great visit.
  • Our teams have received training in preparation for our reopening. All teams, in all departments, including customer facing and behind the scenes, are temperature tested before commencing work each day.
  • We have introduced social distancing measures in queue lines around the park. Please strictly observe these guidelines, respecting other guests and follow the advice of our team at all times.
  • A dedicated plan for each ride has been developed and implemented in order to enable social distancing between groups. This will vary according to each ride so please follow the signage guidelines and instructions from our ride operators.
  • To help us enable social distancing during your visit the direction of travel along some of our walkways has been changed. Please follow the signage.
  • Some rides may require you to wear a face covering. Please bring a suitable face covering with you (we suggest you bring two). Face coverings will be available to buy here at Pleasure Beach.
  • On some rides it may be necessary for us to leave empty seats between guests. Please follow the guidelines on each individual ride.
  • Please be prepared to make contactless payments.
  • A new online food ordering system is being developed allowing guests to order a selection of food during their visit from their mobile phone which can be collected at a designated time and location. Our restaurants, cafes and takeaway units will be open but please bear in mind many of these will operate in different ways to that which you have been used to. Additional outdoor seating has also been arranged in dedicated areas around the park.
  • Our wide range of gift and souvenir shops will be open with adaptations to ensure social distancing. Guests can also visit our online shop and have items delivered to their home address.
  • Some of our guest experiences such as photograph opportunities with our characters have been modified or suspended to ensure social distancing is maintained.
  • For the safety and well being of all our guests and staff, Blackpool Pleasure Beach has a dedicated team of security officers patrolling the park at all times.

Chessington World of Adventures

What will be open

The majority of our rides and attractions will be open, however, current Government guidance does not allow some aspects of the Theme Park to reopen including soft-play attractions Dragon’s Playhouse and Temple of Mayhem, alongside outdoor playgrounds Canopy Capers and AMAZU Treetop Adventure. We have also taken the decision not to reopen Room on the Broom – A Magical Journey for the time being.   

What aspects of the Zoo will be unavailable

In line with current Government guidance, we have taken the decision to close our Rhino Lookout, the opportunity to see our Rothschild’s giraffe from the boardwalk in Wanyama Village & Reserve, AMAZU and our monkey walk through, areas in which social distancing is prohibitive.  

There is equally no ‘zoo-per encounters’ including animal talks or feeds.

Before your adventure

  • Do not travel if you are showing any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19
  • Pre-Book online to guarantee entry due to reduced capacity.
  • Check the website for any updates
  • Use contactless payments where possible
  • Bring a suitable face mask, it is mandatory to wear a securely fitted face mask on selected rides

On arrival at the resort

  • Follow all instructions regarding parking
  • Pay attention to new Wilderness Safety Guide signs, which will tell you key hygiene and safety messages and instructions
  • As well as our staff undergoing daily, non-contact temperature checks, we will also ask you (aside from babies and toddlers) to participate in such checks as a condition of entry to the Resort.
  • Please note – anyone who displays a high temperature associated with a fever (of 37.8 °C or above), along with their household, will not be permitted entry.

Social Distancing

  • Keep a 2m gap from other adventurers
  • To minimise contact between adventurers on rides, empty rows and seats between you and others will be left
  • Interactive areas like play areas will be temporarily unavailable or modified
  • Indoor attractions will be temporarily unavailable, or the number of adventurers will be limited in indoor attractions and other indoor areas including restaurants, shops, guest help and information
  • Hygiene screens will be at many of the restaurants, shops and food stalls

Hygiene and disinfection

  • Adventurers are asked to uphold the highest possible hygiene measures
  • Hand sanitiser will be readily available across the resort. Adventurers will be asked to sanitise their hands before and after enjoying rides
  • All food options will be ‘Grab & Go’, cutlery and condiments will be provided to you with food or on request
  • Enhanced cleaning will be taking place throughout the day, while rides will be cleaned every 30 minutes
  • Deep cleaning will occur of relevant areas if anyone presents themselves with COVID-19 symptoms
  • Staff will for both their own and your protection wear appropriate PPE 

Drayton Manor Theme Park and Zoo

Drayton Manor will open in two phases. Phase 1 will be from Saturday 4 July – Friday 17 July with Thomas Land, the Zoo and selected family rides available. Phase 2 will be from Saturday 18 July – Saturday 31 October with the whole park open (excluding rides that are closed due to COVID-19).

  • Selected attractions will be closed due to government guidance.
  • Temperatures of all staff and guests will be taken before entering the site.  If a temperature is above 38 degrees centigrade unfortunately you will not be able to enter
  • All staff have undergone full training and will be wearing appropriate PPE at all times
  • We have implemented a virtual queue app for all rides and selected catering outlets to help manage queue lines
  • All outlets will have clear shields to help protect you and our staff at all times
  • Food outlets will be open as takeaways with preorders available on the Drayton Manor App.
  • Additional handsanitising units will be available on site
  • The site will undergo enhanced cleaning.  Rides and outlets may close for cleaning at periods throughout the day
  • Tickets will only be available online and wont be available on the day.  Do not visit if you havent prebooked your ticket.
  • Card payments only across the site and ATMs wont be available
  • Numbers will be restricted in outlets and a one way operation will be in place
  • Animal experiences and keeper talks have been suspended until further notice. 
  • Washrooms will be regularly cleaned and numbers will be restricted.
  • All entrances will be open to allow more space and manage guest flow into the park.

Thomas Land Rides & Attractions

Rides & Attractions that are Open

    • Thomas Land with 17 rides and attractions.  Click here for details.
    • Carousel
    • Jolly Buccaneer
    • Accelerator
    • Flying Dutchman  
    • 15 acre Zoo (Reptile House 11-2pm) 

Rides closed until further notice due to restrictions in place

    • Dodgems 
    • The Haunting 
    • Drunken Barrels
    • Emily’s Adventure Play 
    • 4D Cinema 
    • Bryan’s Museum 
    • Thomas Exhibition 
    • Meerkat Manor
    • Stormforce 10
    • Terence’s Driving School 
    • Tiny Tots Play Farm
    • Zoo Experiences
    • Meerkat House

Whole Park Rides & Attractions

Rides & Attractions open from 18th July

    • Thomas Land with 17 rides and attractions.  Click here for details.
    • Carousel
    • Jolly Buccaneer
    • Accelerator
    • Flying Dutchman  
    • 15 acre Zoo
    • The Bounty Pirate Ship
    • Maelstrom 
    • Air Race 
    • Shockwave
    • Polperro Express
    • Buffalo Coaster
    • Pandemonium
    • Apocalypse
    • Drunken Barrels 
    • Sheriff’s Showdown 

Rides closed until further notice due to restrictions in place

    • Dodgems 
    • The Haunting 
    • Emily’s Adventure Play 
    • 4D Cinema 
    • Bryan’s Museum 
    • Thomas Exhibition 
    • Meerkat Manor
    • Stormforce 10
    • Terence’s Driving School 
    • Zoo Experience


In line with the latest Government guidance, LEGOLAND confirm that they will be reopening LEGOLAND Windsor on Saturday 4th July with reduced capacity.

Before you arrive

  • All guests are required to pre-book online
  • Check website for any updates
  • Please be ready to use contactless payment cards or Apple Pay rather than cash
  • Guests aged 6 and over will be required to wear face masks in order to go on a number of rides. Guests should bring suitable face masks with them
  • Do not visit if you show any symptoms associated with COVID-19

When you arrive

  • If arriving by car please follow all instructions regarding parking
  • Pay attention to new signs around the resort
  • Non-invasive temperature checks will be a condition of entry and guests displaying a high temperature associated with a fever will not be permitted into the resort or hotels

Within the Resort – Social distancing

  • You will see clear markers and signs within queues to allow for social distancing
  • You will experience empty rows and seats on rides to adhere to social distancing
  • Dining areas will be rearranged to ensure there is a safe distance between tables
  • during live shows and other entertainment, guests will be seperated from performers and each other
  • Capacity will be reduced for indoor experiences and services
  • Hygiene screens will be at many of the service counters and food stalls
  • Some experiences and facilities may be temporarily unavailable or modified

Within the Resort – Hygiene and cleaning

  • Enhanced cleaning will take place throughout the day
  • Hygiene stations and hand sanitiser dispensers will be readily available around the park and hotels
  • Deep cleaning measures are in place in the event that a guest reports symptoms consistent with COVID-19
  • Staff members will be wearing appropriate PPE
  • Many Food outlets will have new menus with a focus on ‘Grab & Go’ options with cutlery being provided on request. Self service buffets and salad bars will be closed or reconfigured
  • Guests will be asked to uphold the highest possible hygiene standards
  • Employees will have completed COVID-19 specific training programmes instructing them how to keep themselves and guests safe

Thorpe Park

In line with the latest Government guidance, Thorpe Park will reopen on the 4th July 2020 under limited capacity with pre-booked tickets only.

Thorpe Park resort hotel will also reopen but will be taking limited number of bookings in line with attraction capacity numbers.

How many rides or experiences will be open

  • The vast majority of our outdoor rides and attractions open, including firm favourites Stealth, The Swarm, Nemesis Inferno, SAW – The Ride, Colossus and Detonator.  Some rides and indoor attractions may remain closed in line with Government guidance. 
  • We are taking a careful and cautious approach to reopening, so guests visiting in the first two weeks after opening will see significantly reduced guest numbers and may experience reduced ride offering.  
  • Please visit our website in advance of your visit or use the Thorpe Park App to check which rides are due to be available on the day of your visit.

Before you arrive

  • Please make sure you have made your booking online. Only Pre-booked tickets will be accepted.
  • Before leaving home, please check our website and social media pages for the latest information.
  • Please be ready to make on-site payments using a ‘contactless’ bank card, rather than cash, where possible.
  • Guests will be required to wear a face mask in order to go on a number of rides and rollercoasters at Thorpe Park Resort. All guests will therefore need to bring a suitable mask with them when they visit our attraction. Face masks will also be available for purchase at our attraction should you require one. Only securely fitted face masks should be worn on rides for safety reasons and we would recommend removing face masks on water rides in case they get wet. Face masks are not required for children under the age of 6 or for people with certain health conditions and/or disabilities.
  • We politely request that you refrain from visiting our attraction should you start displaying any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19. Please contact Guest Services should you need to amend your booking

When You Arrive

  • We have significantly reduced the daily ticketed capacity of our attractions to allow for social distancing and the best possible guest experience.
  • If arriving by car, we request that you follow all instructions regarding parking arrangements.
  • Guests will notice new information signage informing them of key safety messages and instructions.
  • To support the health and safety of guests and staff during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic Merlin Entertainments will be using non-contact thermometers to screen the temperature of each guest and employee before they enter Thorpe Park Resort. Guests who do not wish to undergo the temperature screening or who have a raised temperature of [37.8°C or above], along with their household group, will not be permitted entry but will be offered a full refund of the admission price of their ticket. No record of the temperature will be retained and the data will not be used for any other purpose.

Within the Resort – Social Distancing

  • We will be introducing clear markers and new signs to allow for social distancing within queues. This includes at the park entrance, when queuing for rides, in toilets, in dining areas and more to help guests keep a safe distance from one another. Our employees will monitor the queues to ensure that social distancing is being maintained.
  • We will be rearranging our dining areas to allow for social distancing. Tables and chairs will be reconfigured to ensure enough distance between seated parties. In areas where different parties are usually seated together, seats will be removed or blocked to ensure there is a suitable gap between guests.
  • We have developed new plans for social distancing on our rides and attractions in order to minimise contact between parties. This includes leaving empty seats between guests in ride vehicles.
  • When enjoying our live shows or theatrical scenes, guests will be separated from the performers and each other in accordance with social distancing requirements.
  • We will be reducing the capacity limits for our indoor experiences and facilities (for example: shops, restaurants, theatres and guest service buildings). These restrictions will help ensure there is plenty of room for social distancing.
  • We will be adapting or suspending some experiences and facilities to ensure that social distancing is suitably maintained. This may include some games, interactive play areas and indoor rides and attractions.
  • We are installing new hygiene screens at many of our service counters and food stalls to help keep a safe distance between guests and employees.
  • We will be modifying some of our standard operating protocols to reduce the proximity of our employees to guests. For example, the way in which we will conduct security searches at Admissions, how we perform height checks for our rides, or how we undertake guest service activities.

Within the Resort – Hygiene and cleaning

  • We will be introducing Enhanced Cleaning measures, throughout the day, which seek to disinfect high-frequency touch points, such as tables and chairs, service counters, toilet flush handles and buttons, ride restraints, door handles / plates and taps.
  • We are installing a large number of hygiene stations and hand sanitiser dispensers around the Resort for guests to use.
  • We will be introducing new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements for a range of activities that employees routinely perform. These include face masks, disposable gloves, eye protection and hand sanitiser. The use of such equipment and clothing by our employees is both to protect them and our guests.
  • We will be introducing new menu offerings across many of our food outlets to place a greater emphasis on ‘Grab & Go’ options. Self-service buffets and salad bars have also been reconfigured or closed to reduce the number of high-frequency touch points. Cutlery and condiments will now be given to guests with their meal, or on request, rather than left in open areas.
  • As with our employees, we politely request that all our guests uphold the highest possible hygiene standards – whether it be when sneezing or coughing, through regular hand washing or the frequent application of hand sanitiser.
  • Our employees will complete COVID-19 specific training programmes instructing them how to stay safe as well as how to keep our guests safe.

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