Alton Towers, Chessington and Thorpe Park opening dates: When are the theme parks reopening?

24 June 2020, 12:37 | Updated: 25 June 2020, 09:45

Most theme parks are reopening very soon
Most theme parks are reopening very soon. Picture: Alton Towers, Chessington and Thorpe Park

Many are looking forward to the parks reopening this summer in time for the holidays.

The government has recently announced that English theme parks will be allowed to reopen on July 4th, following the easing of their lockdown restrictions.

New guidelines were announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a speech that revealed the hospitality industry (pubs, hotels and restaurants) will be allowed to reopen, as well as theme parks.

Alton Towers
Alton Towers. Picture: Alton Towers

Many attractions such as safari parks are already open but some of the UK's biggest theme parks are preparing to reopen soon.

Here's the information you need on Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, Thorpe Park, Drayton Manor and Legoland.

Alton Towers

Opening on July 4th, Alton Towers explains on their website: "In line with the latest Government guidance, we are delighted to confirm that Alton Towers Resort will reopen on the 4th July 2020. We can’t wait to welcome you back!"

This follows the successful opening of the Alton Towers Gardens earlier this month, and is in line with the UK Government guidance on the reopening of open-air attractions. 

They said: "From 4th July, the rest of the theme park will reopen, including the majority of our rides and outdoor attractions, although some indoor facilities must remain closed for now. 

"We will reopen with significantly reduced numbers and a range of hygiene and safety measures to protect you and our employees."

There will be limited capacity per day, with only prebooked tickets and cashless payments within the park allowed.

Temperature and hygiene screenings will be present at the park and rides will leave at least one row empty between each family, while indoor rides will be adapted or suspended for now.

Tickets, starting from £34 for a day pass, have already sold out for July 4 and July 5.

Thorpe Park
Thorpe Park. Picture: Thorpe Park

Thorpe Park

In a statement on the website, Thorpe Park explains: "In line with current Government guidance, we are hoping to be able to reopen the Resort on the 4th July 2020.

"The health and safety of our guests and staff is always our number one priority and to keep everyone safe, we’ll be introducing a number of additional hygiene and safety measures which you’ll see in place when the Resort reopens."

Pre-booked tickets online, social distanced queues, temperature screenings and contactless payment is expected to be rolled out across the parks.

Hygiene screens and cleaning points will be across the park, with takeaway food options being offered instead of eating in at their restaurants.

Some indoor attractions might also be unable to open if social distancing measures cannot be followed, but while they haven't revealed what these may be, popular indoor attractions which could be affected include Angry Birds 4D Cinema and The Walking Dead: The Ride at Thorpe Park.

Tickets start from £39 per adult for a day pass.

Chessington World of Adventures
Chessington World of Adventures. Picture: Chessington Word of Adventures

Chessington World of Adventures

Chessington hasn't released an official statement but has tweeted following the government announcement: "Following the Government announcement, we can confirm that we will reopen our Theme Park and Resort Hotels on July 4."

They are owned by the same company as Thorpe Park - Merlin Entertainment - so it's expected that similar safety measures will be followed.

Prebooked tickets, limited daily guests contactless payment, restricted indoor rides and performances are just some of the new rules being introduced.

Tickets start from £29.50 for a day pass but aren't currently available on the website.

Legoland
Legoland. Picture: Legoland

Legoland

Legoland will be re-opening on July 4, similar to all other theme parks.

The park's Operations Director, Karen Glassey explained on the website: "In line with the latest Government guidance, we are excited to confirm that we will be reopening LEGOLAND Windsor on Saturday 4th July – we can’t wait to welcome you back!

"Your safety and our team’s safety continues to be our top priority and this is the first step of a phased reopening.

"To ensure a safe, brilliant day out with us, we are reopening the Park with a limited capacity and to help us manage this, it is really important that you pre-book your tickets online in advance."

Also a Merlin Entertainment theme park, new rules include mandatory pre-booking, contactless payment, gate temperature checks and limited capacity in the park and on rides.

Day tickets, which start from £29, can be booked online for July 4 already.

Drayton Manor
Drayton Manor. Picture: Drayton Manor

Drayton Manor Park

Drayton Manor Park will also reopen on Saturday 4 July. 

The family attraction has revealed comprehensive plans for reopening safely, including safe social distancing measures, hand sanitiser stations, and regular routine cleaning of rides.

The attraction has also introduced an innovative virtual queuing system in certain areas of the park, which will allow guests to queue digitally via the Drayton Manor Park day planner app.

Once they have joined a queue, riders will be able to see how long they have left until their allocated ride time and will receive a notification and QR code, which can be scanned before boarding the attraction when it’s their turn to ride.

Certain catering outlets within the park will also be available for a pre-book takeaway service, via a dedicated app, or website, with a select number of food and drink options available to browse and order.

Guests will be required to select a collection time, and pre-pay, and will receive a notification when their order is ready for collection.

PPE, including face masks and shields, will be required for any team members working in a guest-facing environment, and acrylic screens have been installed at customer serving points throughout the park, including guest services, retail and catering outlets. 

Guests over the age of three will also be asked to wear face masks in all areas, except outdoor common areas.

All guests, including season and ultimate pass holders, will be required to book tickets for the day they wish to attend, in advance of entry, and only contactless payments will be available throughout the park.