Blooloop: Tokyo Disney Resort and Universal Studios Japan have been closed since late February. However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has now lifted a nationwide state of emergency after a sharp decrease in the number of coronavirus cases in Japan.
The East Japan and West Japan Theme Park Associations have prepared a document entitled ‘Guidelines to Prevent the Spread of Infection of the Novel Coronavirus’.
Visitors should also buy tickets in advance, and admission should be denied to people with fevers. Staff, including those in costume, should refrain from hugging and other physical contact with guests.
However, for ‘roller coasters and other conveyance-style attractions’, the advice is as follows: “Have guests wear masks, and urge them to refrain from shouting/screaming."
And it’s not just roller coasters that this protocol applies to. It’s also recommended that visitors ‘refrain from shouting/screaming’ at indoor attractions and character shows.
According to the Straits Times, even the ghosts and scary figures of haunted houses should maintain a healthy distance from visitors.
The evidence of us living in some sort of dystopian simulation continues to pile up. The idea of people being forced into silence as they go through the loops and drops of a roller coaster at extreme speeds is an incredibly funny visual. Perhaps even weirder than the roller coaster visual is the haunted houses. Just a silent haunted house. Almost sounds like an SNL skit.
You also have to wonder how exactly this is going to be policed. Does the ride stop the second a scream is let out? Do you get thrown out of the park? Kind of hard to physically remove someone when you're supposed to maintain six feet of social distancing.
I'm hoping that theme parks and cruises are re-opening just as a test. The people around the world who are absolutely dying to get to a theme park or cruise once all this is over have got to be considered the bottom feeders of society. The people thinking, "Man I know there's a deadly virus circulating the world right now, but I just have to ride Space Mountain." Round them all up on the day of reopening and ship them off to some remote island filled with theme parks and cruise ships.
Personal side note: I don't scream on roller coasters. Given my general disposition you might think I'm more of a spinning tea cups person than a roller coaster rider, but I do enjoy a good roller coaster. Not to brag, but I've been on Kingda Ka front row multiple times. Never scream. It's a gift. I think screaming on roller coasters is actually a little forced and people do it just to do it.