New York's Indoor, Outdoor Theme Parks to Reopen Just in Time for Spring

Amusement parks and indoor entertainment centers in New York will be allowed to reopen in the coming months, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday.

Indoor amusement parks and entertainment venues will be able to open on March 26 with 25% capacity limits in place. That will be followed by outdoor amusement parks on April 9 with 33% capacity restrictions.


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“In New York, we base our decisions on the science and data and adjust as the virus adjusts,” Cuomo said in a statement. “With continued decreases in the infection and hospitalization rates, we have been able to take steps toward beginning our post-COVID recovery and we are excited to now be in a place where we can bring back our recreational industries with safety protocols in place.”

In order to open, facilities will have to submit reopening plans with detailed health protocols to local health departments. Cuomo said venues will have to collect guest’s contact information for potential contact tracing and regularly disinfect high-touch areas and rides throughout the day.

Mask-wearing will be required in all venues and customers will have to undergo a health screening and temperature checks before entering.

Additionally, indoor venues will have to “meet enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards.”

Stephanie Johnson, the divisional director of LEGOLAND New York Resort, hailed the news, adding the park will make health and safety its “first priority,” in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure. The resort — one of several exciting theme parks set to open in 2021 — is expected to debut later this year in Goshen, NY, about 60 miles northwest of New York City. It will be the largest Legoland ever built.

“This means LEGOLAND® New York Resort will be able to celebrate its grand opening this season as planned and we look forward to sharing more details soon,” Johnson told T+L.

New York isn’t the first state to reopen theme parks — Florida, for example, allowed parks like Disney World and Universal Orlando to start welcoming guests over the summer. But other states, like California, have held off.

The decision to open these venues comes just days after Cuomo said arenas, stadiums, and large music venues could reopen in the state. All attendees at those venues will have to undergo a mandatory COVID-19 PCR test to enter.

It also follows the reopening of indoor dining in New York City, which is allowed at 25% capacity.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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