What should we realistically expect from 2021 where theme parks and attractions are concerned?
Ok, let’s be real here for a second! 2020 was by far the hardest possible year for all of us all round, however when you hit rock bottom the only sure way is up right?
From tight restrictions on our daily lives to full on lockdowns we were hit time and time again with new and ingenious ways of stopping us all from doing that which we love most – getting out and exploring the world of theme parks and attractions.
We were also limited to who we could meet up with, where and how as our government sought to try and control a nation and stop of the spread of an unseen enemy which let’s face it didn’t really work did it?
That being said, we’re now in a brand new year and with so much hope on the horizon where vaccines etc. are concerned we have to ask – what SHOULD we be expecting from 2021 and beyond?
Moving forwards, not backwards!
The one thing that’s abundantly clear is that the only way we should now be moving in an ideal world is forwards and not backwards!
With that in mind and with the ever increasing roll out of the vaccine what does this year offer in the way of being able to get out and explore the parks?
In truth, it offers hope and the chance to reconnect with our passion in a more and more normal way the further through the year we move.
We shouldn’t get too relaxed just yet however as it’s clear that social distancing and restrictions on capacity will be going nowhere this year at least and probably won’t be fully lifted until at least mid 2022 at the earliest (we hope)!
That doesn’t however mean that we can’t look forward to freer travel, a more open society and the chance to reconnect with friends and loved ones for the first time in nearly half a year.
When will the parks reopen?!
Ah, that infamous and all too familiar question! When will we finally get back to riding roller coasters and visiting the parks?!
In truth, it’s still very hard to pin point an exact point in time during the year when this will finally happen, however what is clear is that the further progress we make, the sooner this will be allowed to take place.
Our current estimations surrounding this topic are firmly placed at mid April – early May at the very earliest, however we really hope we’re wrong and we are allowed to do so sooner!
One thing to bare in mind though for when the parks do finally reopen is this – demand is going to be at the highest it’s ever been, therefore if there’s one park in particular currently top of your list to visit upon reopening, book your tickets as soon as physically possible to avoid missing out.
We do predict however that comes Summer (July/August) we should be much closer to having a more normal visiting schedule where the parks and attractions are concerned.
This in itself is definitely worth holding onto.
How will your experience differ from that of 2020?
In reality, the short answer is it won’t, or at least not just yet anyway.
Demand for tickets will still be extremely high, rides will still require regular cleaning and social distance as well as mask wearing will still be mandatory (for this year at least).
The one thing to bare in mind however is that with the parks and attractions suffering as much downtime as they have, they are going to need our support in order to help secure their future.
We therefore advise getting out and exploring the parks as much as physically possible once they reopen.
If you’re worried about catching the virus however, don’t be.
Each and every park and attraction will have to comply with extremely strict and very stringent hygiene and safety standards in order to be permitted to allow guests to visit.
This means that at no point should you concern yourself with catching virus as long as you’re following what is being asked of you and doing everything you can do to stay safe.
When will things become more normal again?
As always, you can never really predict this with any amount of certainty as if we’re honest, we expected more progress by now than we have actually gotten over the last year and look at where we are?
In truth, we would hope that come the end of this year normality should be well and truly within our grasp and that by early 2022 our way of life should have become more recognisable from the life we all had pre pandemic.
One thing baring in mind here however is that as long as you drill rules practice into people, you are always going to get those who carry on doing as they are now even after it no longer becomes a necessity.
Come Spring of next year however we would hope that we get a much more normal UK season and a better year for visiting parks here in the UK and beyond all round.
So what can we look forward to this year?
Once the parks finally open and we are allowed back out into the big wide world, things will only get better and better as time goes by!
Meeting friends, indulging in your passion and exploring outside of your immediate area are all aspects of life we can more than likely look forward to being permitted come late Spring.
With so much darkness and despair experienced by all it’s clear now more than it has ever been before that we all need hope and something to aim towards.
We would therefore advise planning out in your mind a list of parks and attractions you want to prioritise, then hold onto visiting those as and when you can.
For us, we can’t wait to finally get back to Alton Towers and see all of our friends again, it’s going to be epic to say the least!