Legoland Malaysia Resort announced that it’s currently in preparations to reopen at the end of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
Following this announcement, it shared its safety measures that span pre-arrival, on arrival, social distancing, and hygiene and disinfection procedures for protecting theme park-goers and employees alike.
One of the biggest sacrifices Legoland will be making is the reduction of its daily ticketed capacity to reduce the number of theme park-goers per day, as admission tickets make up the bulk of a theme park’s revenue.
Globally, Legoland theme parks enjoyed a total of 15.7 million visitors in 2019, a number which had been steadily growing since 2011.
As I went through Legoland Malaysia Resort’s safety measures, I found myself pretty satisfied with the rules it had laid out, but one thing remained on my mind.
Would these actually be enough to bring back the throngs of visitors the park enjoyed prior to the pandemic?
I believe not, due to a variety of reasons that are not the fault of the theme park itself.
1. Families With Younger Children Will Not Want To Risk Infection
I’ve read the same articles as you that say children are not as vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 the way adults and the elderly are, but the fact is that they are not immune to getting infected.
With the potential to get infected comes the potential to spread the disease to others, so it would be logical that any educated parent would want to avoid this risk completely.
Responsible parents also won’t want their children to experience even the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms, and the easiest way to avoid infection is to stay away from high-traffic public spaces.
Even with all of Legoland’s safety measures, these parents won’t be bringing their children to theme parks anytime soon after the CMCO is lifted, and would rather wait out the pandemic’s end before doing so.
2. People Will Be Hesitant To Spend On Non-Essential Expenditures
Prior to the MCO, Malaysia’s unemployment rate was at 3.3%. In March, it jumped up to 3.9%.
People are losing their jobs left and right, or facing pay cuts. Many of us are being more careful with our spending, choosing to invest only in essential items when necessary.
These would be the basics like food, hygiene products, monthly utility bills, and medical bills. Anything outside of these would be considered non-essential.
Being a leisure activity (or even luxury for some families), theme parks would be low on the priority list for parents who are already tightening their belts.
3. Theme Parks Won’t Bring The Same Amount Of Fun
Some of the things you’ll have to do at Legoland when it reopens after the CMCO include wearing a mask and going through rigid checks and procedures.
All in the name of safety and caution, of course, and it’s good that these will be implemented when the theme park reopens.
In my experiences of having to wear a mask for extended amounts of time, it gets stuffy and uncomfortable (especially if you wear glasses and are moving around a lot).
I can’t imagine enjoying myself as I wear a mask and queue for an extended duration thanks to the safety measures, especially not in our hot weather.
At least we haven’t been requested to avoid screaming on rollercoaster rides, I guess. That would really take the fun away.
4. Potential Interruptions Of Rides Throughout The Day For Disinfection
Following increased hygiene practices, disinfection would be carried out more frequently.
Ideally, it should be carried out between every ride cycle in order to maintain the highest hygiene standards possible, but this would also mean ride interruptions throughout the day.
These interruptions will add up into longer overall waiting times, and could discourage parents with young, demanding and impatient children from even visiting the park in the first place.
According to Legoland, some experiences and facilities such as costume character ‘meets and greets’ and play areas will also be either modified or suspended.
Parents might see this as not being able to get their money’s worth, and could also be a downer for children looking forward to the full theme park experience.
If people are going to spend, they’d most likely want the full package and will wait until they can get it.
As mentioned earlier, why I think theme parks like Legoland with all its safety measures in place won’t be able to draw in crowds anytime soon has nothing to do with the theme park itself.
What it’s doing is responsible and necessary, and any visitors it’ll get when it reopens will be placing an immense amount of trust in its hands.
Legoland will have to live up to its statements in order to fully instill confidence in visitors and slowly bring back the crowds for revenue.
For the moment, selling its annual passes that come with free hotel stays may be its safest bet yet.
As someone who has actually bought theme park “passports” or annual passes before, they’re attractive offers that give people more purchasing confidence for something non-essential like this.
You can read more about what we’ve written on COVID-19 here.
Featured Image Credit: Legoland Resort Malaysia