They were waiting with baited breath to welcome new visitors. The parks, recreation, permitted to open from the 2 June, in green area, to prepare for the restart. A permission for the reopening ripped from high struggle with the government, after conflicting advice of the executive, a media coverage of the case by Philippe de Villiers and le Puy du Fou, and the resumption in hand by Emmanuel Macron in the council of defense.
"It's a good surprise !" says Arnaud Bennet, patron of the Pal (Allier), which reopens on June 6, and president of the national Union of spaces of leisure, amusement and cultural (Snelac). "It is common sense, but one is reassured. "Even relief at Parc Astérix, located in the Oise department in red a few weeks ago. "We are very happy with it, stay closed it costs us very expensive," points out its director, Nicolas Kremer. The reopening of the park gallic is scheduled for 15 June.
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Protocols strict health
At the Futuroscope (Vienne), "all the world is excited to see visitors in the aisles," says Rodolphe Bouin, chairman of the management board. For as much as two days after the closure imposed in mid-march, the park was about to inaugurate the largest investment in its history – 20 million euros – which is also his first roller coaster : "Goal March ". "It was a small frustration but it is like that. "Visitors will be able to (finally) try it out as soon as the re-opening on June 13.
This return of visitors in recreational parks and zoos comes at the cost of protocols, strict health. Most of the parks have made the choice not to impose the wearing of the mask all the time, but it will be mandatory for boarding a ride, entering a shop, and generally in sheltered areas where the virus circulates more easily than in the open air. Hand washing regular will be requested through the distribution points of hydroalcoholic gel, and the parks will be regularly disinfected.
To develop their sanitary protocols, amusement parks are inspired by their foreign competitors, such as Shanghai Disneyland, re-opened since the 11th of may. © HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP
road Markings in the queues, empty seats between the various groups in the attractions and shows... "In a general way, the distancing physical will be the rule," says Rodolphe Bouin. Some animations, which are incompatible with these hygiene measures, may however not be proposed. "We will not be able to open the playground, nor do our shows indoors and the parade gauls, not more than the fireworks and the gala this summer," explains Nicolas Kremer from the Asterix theme Park.
" The health crisis is forcing us to rethink our whole way of functioning ", leading Rodolphe Bouin. And some of the innovations put in place for the Covid-19 could well persist in the future. The Futuroscope has, for example, developed a system of virtual queue for its six largest attractions, which allows you to record with their smartphone, and not to return when it is his turn. "This is something that improves the experience a visitor and that may very well be sustained over time. "
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be A reopening cost-effective ?
To ensure the separation physical, the parks will especially need to limit the number of visitors on one day. Some, such as the Parc Astérix and Futuroscope, have, in the image of what practise their competitors already opened up to the stranger, chose to impose a mandatory reservation. A delicate exercise, because finding the balance between host enough visitors to be profitable, but not too much to avoid that the parks are crowded.
The patrons of amusement parks have also had cold sweats listening to Edward Philippe announce the 28th may last that they would be limited to 5,000 visitors per day. "It surprised everyone, even the ministry of Tourism. There has never been a question in the discussions that we have been able to have upstream ! " is strangled Arnaud Bennet in The new yorker. A limitation is untenable economically for the larger parks, Disneyland, which can, for example, accommodate up to 80 000 people in a day in his only main park of Paris. "It is below our threshold of profitability," confirms the director of Asterix Park, which, even if it does not have the same attendance level as its neighbor of Marne-the-Valley has all of the same 12 000 people per day on average. "Less than 10 000, you lose money. "
The pandemic has forced the Asterix Park to see the beginning of his season. In a two-month closure, the park gaulois has lost several tens of millions of euros. © Thibaut Déléaz / Point
Finally, the limits referred to by the Prime minister does not appear in the decree published in the weekend. "This is a big relief for us, rejoices Nicolas Kremer. Of course, we're not going to make 20 000 visitors during the first day, there will be more around 5 000 the time to nurture, but we are going to go up in power. "Impose a fixed limit, did have" no sense ", according to Arnaud Bennet, because " each park has its particularity and a surface area different."
Disneyland Paris is closed
He has not chosen to impose the mandatory reservation in the park of the Pal. "June is a short month, especially as it will not have the school groups usual, the limitation will be all alone. "He warns that he will have to wait" a few weeks to find a new attendance normal " in the leisure parks. "But it is archiprêts ! "
Only the case of the giant Disneyland Paris – 15 million visitors in 2019 – remains unresolved. Located in orange zone, Seine-et-Marne, the recreation complex has not the right to reopen prior to June 22, at least. In a message to employees and relayed by the CFDT, Euro Disney, the direction indicates that " for the moment, we do not have a re-opening date to share with you. We hope to know more sometime in June. Even at this time, Disneyland Paris continues to work towards the reopening. "Timetable for the reopening of the main parks recreation French
• Pal : 6 June
• Park of St-Paul : 6 June
• le Puy du Fou : June 11,
• Futuroscope : June 13
• Parc Astérix : 15 June
• Walibi Rhône-Alpes : 20 June
• Parc Spirou : June 20,
• Bagatelle : June 27,
• Vulcania : July 1,
• Walibi Sud-Ouest : 4 July
• Walygator : July 4,
• OK Corral : July 11
• Fraispertuis City : July 11
• Disneyland Paris : not re-opening date announced
• Nigloland : no re-opening date announced