COVID-19: Theme parks set to close again

The Big One, Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Theme parks will be forced to close from Thursday after the British government announced a second COVID-19 lockdown in England.

The announcement means that the closing weekends at Alton Towers and Legoland Windsor will now be unable to take place.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which had extended its season to 13 December, will now be forced to close until at least 2 December under the new restrictions.

Following the government’s announcement, Pleasure Beach managing director Amanda Thompson said that park would end its season on Sunday, and re-open in February next year.

Chessington World of Adventures’ extended season will now also be unable to take place.

Pass-holder-only events planned at Alton Towers and Thorpe Park next weekend will also be cancelled.

The new lockdown is subject to a vote in the UK parliament next week, but is unlikely to be blocked by members.

‘Very sad’

Mrs Thompson said that this year had marked the first time that Blackpool Pleasure Beach had been forced to close in its history.

“It is very sad to have to suddenly close our doors for a second time in one year,” she told RideRater.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach
The Pleasure Beach had previously extended its season to 13 December following the first lockdown

“Blackpool Pleasure Beach has been here for a long time. It appears that only in my time as MD I have been forced to close.

“We will open Pleasure Beach on the first Saturday in February 2021. This will be the start of our 125 years of this wonderful family company.

“Until then I would like to ask every one to stay safe and remain well so we can face the new days bolder and braver.”

‘Will kill off businesses’

Philip Miller, owner of Adventure Island in Southend, said the latest measures would “kill off” many businesses.

“This will kill off so many more businesses creating even more havoc for innocent people’s lives,” he told RideRater.

“It’s lucky we have a half-decent Chancellor who no doubt will have to find a way out of this self-inflicted mess.”

Mr Miller also challenged the advice of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), which tends to lead to measures being put in place.

“There are enough experts saying the complete opposite of SAGE,” he said.

“The evidence is all there at home and abroad to actually restore things to normal.”