SAN ANTONIO - As some San Antonio water parks reopen this weekend, things will look a little different because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We've worked with other theme parks and water parks and we've formulated these guidelines to help give to the Governor so it could help give him a peace of mind to allow us to open up so this has all been a team effort,” said Vice President of Splashtown San Antonio James Kinney.
Kinney said Thursday and Friday they had a soft reopening to test out their new guidelines and are excited to welcome people back in the park.
"It's been difficult, we're almost two months after when we would normally open,” said Kinney.
Several families said they are excited to be back and get outside of the house and feel Splashtown has taken every concern about the virus seriously.
Enjoying a summer day at the waterpark is nothing new for people in San Antonio but this year there are some changes throughout the area to enjoy a day in the sun.
"The signage, our sanitation stations, our table placements, our seat placements. As you can see behind us here we try to put all the loungers in family units of four and then separate those by six feet at a time. All of our front workers all have their facemasks,” said Kinney.
The COVID-19 signage and guidelines are also on their website, which Kinney said they recently revamped to ensure the information is easily accessible.
Kinney said they have bins throughout the park to collect life jackets after people are done using them. They will each be disinfected and their chlorine is in compliance with what the CDC said will help tubes to stay disinfected.
There are also red X’s throughout the check-in stations to keep everyone six feet apart.
Splashtown and Schlitterbahn are both officially reopening Saturday, the latter just for season pass holders at the moment.
Seaworld Aquatica reopened last weekend but all are working during the COVID-19 pandemic to make sure their new policies are followed for guests’ safety.
"They wipe down all the chairs and the seats and the beach chairs, everything,” said Samantha Ortiz.
"It's been a long, awaited opening,” said Kinney.
He said when they were given the green light to re-open they wanted to make sure they could do it safely especially because staying closed has had a major financial impact.
"Like all local family-owned businesses they're struggling and it's hard when we ended our season in September to go all the way up until now without any income, any guests, any customers."
Splashtown is operating at half capacity right now as well as adjusted hours and said if you would like a guaranteed spot to buy tickets online.
"We're excited to try and get back out and just be part of the community again,” said Kinney.
SeaWorld Aquatica has a new online reservation system to help manage capacity, includes temperature checks, hand sanitation stations and face covering protocols.
Schlitterbahn will have the following new protocols:
- A new online reservation system; each guest is required to have a reservation prior to their visit to enable capacity management;
- A requirement to complete a pre-visit health screening declaration 24 hours prior to admission;
- A touchless temperature screening prior to entering the facility for both guests and associates;
- Requirements for all guests, associates and vendors to wear masks as directed by the protocols;
- Social distancing markers throughout the park, including ride queue lines;
- Limited guest/associate contact;
- Enhanced cleaning procedures, including additional deep cleaning and sanitization of restrooms, dining facilities and other busy areas;
- Additional hand sanitization stations; and
- Capacity management throughout the park.
- Amanda Henderson for News 4 San Antonio | June 12, 2020