Scary...but not in a good way.
It is of no surprise to anyone that COVID-19 has stifled Theme Park attendance this year (and for the foreseeable few). It is almost an alien concept to me not to have visited a theme park for the better part of a year but, with the advent of Halloween and my penchant for spooks and such, I endeavored to hit the local and see what the immediate future holds.
Well, spolier-alert, It doesn't look good.
I visited a local Theme Park with a former colleague and whilst being overly critical is in our nature, you didn't need to step far beyond our judgemental frame to see just how desperate things really are.
The Park looked extremely tired, operations were strained, guests were as deplorable as the entertainment and yet the worst offender was that, despite counting no less than three closed attractions, tickets were full price and the only horror mazes were an upcharge of £20 per person.
A lot of what we experienced could be forgiven due to the pandemic - needing to recoup lost income, shorter planning period, etc - but honestly, queueing in a polyurethane tunnel full of maskless oiks only to be met with a lackluster trundle along a 'spooky' train line wasn't value for money - let alone the fact that everything effectively closed their gates a full 90mins before official Park closing to ensure everyone is out by the curfew.
Maybe I'm being too cynical, maybe I'm too spoilt by better and more premium experiences, but I wouldn't be recommending this to friends and family...and that's a terrible shame when the industry is in such a fragile state.
I commend Theme Parks for remaining open and providing guests some much-needed respite from this pandemic...but at what point does it become too detrimental to the lasting experience?
If anyone reading this would like to share their thoughts on this year or this season, in particular, I'd love to have a conversation with you, so please reach out!