Social Distancing to Change the Conventional Theme Park Experience
With Mumbai city regaining control post the pandemic, Imagicaa and other themed entertainment parks are gearing up to welcome back crowds and provide the same enjoyment as before. But entertainment will now come laced with increased safety norms wherein intermingling of groups will be restricted, also known as social distancing.
Safe social distancing will indeed be a critical aspect of reopening theme parks. What this means is the traditional theme and amusement park experience is going to look and feel much different. Imagicaa being no exception has devised safe social distancing measures roadmap, outlined below for guests and staff alike.
A. ONLINE BOOKING – ROAD TO ‘EASY ACCESS’
As the first line of measure, guests will now need to reserve their visits in advance. Online ticketing will inevitably reduce the load at the ticketing counter, allowing guests to skip queue lines and fast-track their park entry. Ideal way in ascertaining social distancing is maintained and in helping to pre-determine estimated guest capacity for the day.
B. SOCIAL DISTANCING MARKERS
Easy to identify social-distancing markers designating where an individual should stand will be seen across the park and will serve as a constant reminder for guests and staff to comply with and maintain a distance of 1.5 meters between one another.
C. 50% REDUCED OPERATIONAL CAPACITY
For the initial period of reopening, Imagicaa will operate at. 40% of its original guest strength which will transcend to individual ride operations too where in alternate row seating will be in practice for physical distancing. Wave pool, lazy river and, Pirate Bay, the children’s play area will be operative with even stricter capacity rules than the overall park.
D. TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS – A TURNING STONE
Virtual queuing is a system introduced enabling guests to queue from their smartphones and will be notified ahead of their turn. This technology now will be an integral part of operational changes at Imagicaa to manage crowd thresholds in ride lines and encourage safe distancing among guests.
Following reduced capacity, only two open air dining facilities will be operational with alternate table seating arrangements for sufficient spacing between guests. Digital menus will replace physical menus while self-service buffets will make way for A La Carte menu to minimize contact
E. MODIFIED RETAIL PRACTICES
Like for dining spaces, Imagicaa’s in-park stores will work on capacity restrictions and introduce boxed floor markings for social distancing. Product touching and trial, both will be minimised while Plexiglass dividers maybe installed at points of purchase within in-park stores to encourage safe, touch-less transactions between guests and the cashiers.
F. ENCOURAGE CASHLESS TRANSACTIONS
Imagicaa will promote and offer cashless pay options (Credit/Debit Cards, Virtual Cash Wallets, QR Code scan, UPI) to reduce cash usage and limit physical touch between guest and staff across all customer touch-points involving payment counters right from ticketing to retail to restaurants.
G. SUSPENSION OF PARADE & CHARACTER ENCOUNTERS
Though characters are a huge entertainment booster, Imagicaa will be temporarily suspending the parade and character encounters to adhere to distancing norms and will constantly evaluate when it can re-initiate the same.
Ashutosh Kale, Joint CEO, Imagicaaworld Entertainment Limited said, “Even before the pandemic hit, Imagicaa upheld all safety, health and hygiene standards. It will strive to deliver even when it reopens while ensuring entertainment quotient remains same. The social distancing measures are a mere extension of the existing standard operating procedures towards delivering quality customer service. With required measures in place, we look forward to welcoming guests back with the same excitement”.
With no official reopening date announced, the park is estimated to resume operations in early August, during the third phase of unlocking.