Legoland Malaysia Resort announced that preparations are currently underway to reopen the CMCO (Conditional Movement Control Order).
Following this announcement, she shared her security measures, which include advance arrival, arrival, social distancing, and hygiene and disinfection procedures to protect theme park visitors and employees.
One of the biggest sacrifices Legoland will make is reducing its daily ticket capacity to reduce the number of visitors to theme parks per day, as tickets make up the majority of a theme park's revenue.
Worldwide, Legoland theme parks had a total of 15.7 million visitors in 2019, a number that has grown steadily since 2011.
When I went through the security measures at Legoland Malaysia Resort, I was pretty happy with the rules it set up, but one thing stayed in my mind.
Would these actually be enough to bring back the number of visitors to the park before the pandemic?
I don't think for a variety of reasons that are not the fault of the theme park itself.
1. Families with younger children do not want to risk infection
I've read the same articles as you that said children aren't as susceptible to the effects of COVID-19 as adults and the elderly, but the fact is they're not immune to infections.
Infection potential has the potential to spread the disease to others. It would therefore be logical that every educated parent wants to avoid this risk entirely.
(Photo before MCO) Families with young children are the main visitors to Legoland / Photo credit: Legoland
Responsible parents also don't want their children to have the slightest symptoms of COVID-19. The easiest way to avoid infection is to stay away from busy public spaces.
Despite all of Legoland's security measures, these parents will not take their children to theme parks soon after the CMCO is lifted and would rather wait for the pandemic to end before doing so.
2nd People will hesitate to spend on non-essential expenses
Before the MCO, the unemployment rate in Malaysia was 3.3%. In March it rose to 3.9%.
People lose their jobs left and right or face wage cuts. Many of us are more careful with our spending and only invest in important things when necessary.
This would be the basics like food, hygiene products, monthly electricity bills and medical bills. Anything outside of it would be considered immaterial.
As a pastime (or even a luxury for some families), theme parks for parents who are already tightening their belts are at the bottom of the priority list.
3rd Theme parks are not the same fun
Things to do in Legoland when it reopens after the CMCO include wearing a mask and rigorous controls and procedures.
All in the name of safety and caution, of course, and it's good that these are implemented when the theme park reopens.
In my experience of wearing a mask for a long period of time, it becomes stuffy and uncomfortable (especially if you wear glasses and exercise a lot).
I can't imagine having fun wearing a mask and queue for a long time thanks to the security measures, especially not in our hot weather.
At least we weren't asked to avoid screaming on roller coaster rides, I think. That would really take away the fun.
4th Possible disruptions to trips during the day for disinfection
Disinfection would be carried out more frequently after increased hygiene practices.
Ideally, it should be done between each driving cycle to maintain the highest possible hygiene standards. However, this would also mean breaks in driving throughout the day.
These interruptions lead to longer waiting times and can prevent parents with young, demanding and impatient children from visiting the park at all.
(Photo in front of MCO) A lively activity that we won't see anytime soon / Photo credit: Legoland
According to Legoland, some experiences and facilities such as costume characters "meet and greets" and play areas will either be changed or suspended.
Parents might consider this unable to get their money's worth, and could also be a downer for kids looking forward to the full experience of a theme park.
When people spend money, they most likely want the full package and wait until they can get it.
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As already mentioned, it has nothing to do with the theme park itself, why in my opinion theme parks like Legoland with all its security measures will not be able to attract crowds in the foreseeable future.
What it does is responsible and necessary, and all the visitors it gets when it reopens will put an immense amount of trust in its hands.
Legoland has to live up to its statements in order to strengthen the trust of the visitors and slowly bring back the masses for income.
At the moment, selling annual passes with free hotel stays may be the safest choice so far.
As someone who has already bought theme passes or annual passes for theme parks, these are attractive offers that give people more buying confidence for something unimportant like this.
- More information about COVID-19 can be found here.
Selected image source: Legoland Resort Malaysia