Canada’s Wonderland ‘disappointed’ it can’t open until at least all of Ontario is in Stage 3

Thrill seekers take note.

Canada’s Wonderland will remain closed at least until the entire province enters Stage 3 — along with the amusement park portions of other attractions — because of the risks of spreading the novel coronavirus, Tourism Minister Lisa MacLeod says.

“The chief medical officer of health has advised our government, and we have accepted his science, that theme parks and water parks of those nature still pose a significant threat as a result of COVID-19 and therefore will not be able to open at this time,” she said Wednesday at a news conference with Premier Doug Ford.

“We recognize the seasonal nature. That is why when all of Ontario does move into Stage 3 we will continually reassess this … we are doing the same type of work with our meeting and convention centres.”

Canada’s Wonderland said it is “disappointed” in the decision because it has put in place a number of precautions, such as requiring advance bookings to control the number of guests in the park, implementing contactless payment and requiring face masks for guests over age 2.

“On several occasions, our park has submitted to the Ontario government a comprehensive reopening plan, featuring physical distancing, capacity controls and stringent health, safety and hygiene protocols that meet or exceed all requirements set forth by the Ontario government for businesses to open,” the park said in a statement to the Star.

“Due to this recent delay from the government, we will be unable to open our water park for this season due to the timeline restraints with our summer calendar. We will continue to work with the Ontario government and hope to welcome guests back soon to a fun and safe environment.”

The massive park, just east of Highway 400 in Vaughan, last year opened its Yukon Striker “dive coaster,” with hair-raising features that include a 90-degree drop for three seconds and four inversions at speeds approaching 130 km/h.

MacLeod said the government understands that parks like Wonderland and Santa’s Village in Bracebridge have limited seasons but added “at this time, we are not confident given the circulation of people coming from different parts of Ontario and different parts of Canada at this point in time to open those theme parks.”

“We’ve had many conversations with Wonderland,” the minister added, noting discussions are also taking place about what to do about the Ontario Hockey League season.

Santa’s Village and its campground are open but the larger rides remain off-limits. Daily attendance is limited and face masks are required, with screening for all visitors. In Niagara, Marineland is open but rides are closed and feeding and touching of animals is prohibited.

Windsor-Essex is the only region of Ontario still in Stage 2.

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