Will you need a reservation to go to Hersheypark or Knoebels? How Pa. amusement parks could handle coronavirus changes
While some businesses in several Pennsylvania counties may plan to carefully reopen under the “yellow” designation of Governor Tom Wolf’s color-coded COVID-19 recovery plan, the amusement park industry isn’t one of them.
Groups of 25 or more are still banned until reaching the “green” stage of the governor’s plan. And it’s hard to maintain a safe social distance while standing in line to ride a brand new roller coaster, for example, or sitting next to a stranger on a ride.
“The economic damage caused by this crisis on the hospitality and service industry is greater than 9/11 and the 2008/2009 recession, combined,” said Garrett Gallia of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts. “Unfortunately, the longer the necessary mitigation steps are in place to combat coronavirus, such as travel restrictions and social distancing, the deeper the impact to HE&R.”
Hersheypark, perhaps Hershey Entertainment’s most well-known destination, had big plans for 2020. This summer was to see the debut of the park’s newest roller coaster, Candymonium. The super-coaster will not only be the tallest in the Derry Township park, but tied for Kennywood’s Steel Curtain as the tallest in the state. The start of the summer season was also to be the opening of Chocolatetown, a massive expansion to the park’s entrance that would include several shops, restaurants and other attractions.