Carowinds, Kings Dominion, Valleyfair, California’s Great America to Remain Closed for 2020 & More Cedar Fair Updates
As the “traditional” 2020 theme park calendar winds to a close, unfortunately, due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, several Cedar Fair parks will not open this season, and to COVID-19 as an entity, we have one thing to say:
In a letter to park guests on their respective websites, Carowinds, Kings Dominion, California’s Great America and Valleyfair all announced that the parks would not open for the 2020 season.
The letters from the park General Managers all echo essentially the same sentiments: a dwindling 2020 calendar, ongoing challenges with COVID-19, the announcement of season passes and benefits being extended to next season, and all new-for-2020 attractions are becoming “new-for-2021” attractions.
Today, Carowinds announced that it would remain closed for the rest of 2020 due to the ongoing challenges related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The safety of our guests and associates is always our top priority. Although we have done our due diligence in developing a comprehensive safety plan in accordance with industry and public health standards, the continued uncertainty in our region surrounding COVID-19 as well as the diminishing number of calendar days left in the 2020 operating season, has brought us to the difficult decision to keep the park closed for the rest of the year.
As you know, we previously extended 2020 Season Passes and add-on products to be valid through 2021. To further show our commitment and appreciation, all 2020 Season Passholders will now also receive a Pass Perks™ Loyalty Reward valid for purchases within the park next season. Day tickets sold for the 2020 season will be valid through September 6, 2021. Finally, any Pre-K Passes that were registered for the 2020 season will also be valid through 2021. Affected guests will receive an email with relevant details. Season Passes for 2021 will go on sale beginning September 8, 2020.
As we look forward to brighter days ahead, Carowinds will continue to work with public health authorities to ensure that our guests and associates can return to fun in a safe environment next season. We are planning a great 2021 with rides, attractions, and entertainment for the whole family, including:
- Boogie Board Racer, the longest mat racing slide in the Southeast, opening next summer at Carolina Harbor waterpark;
- And, the debut of Grand Carnivale, a nighttime international festival and street party celebrating global culture in grand scale.
We thank our guests and associates for their continued loyalty and support during this challenging time, and we look forward to seeing you at the park in 2021.
Update: In a tweet, Carowinds noted that Platinum Passholders whose home park did not open this year would receive a $50-value reward.
Hello. We value our Platinum Passholders, and we will provide a reward for Platinum Passholders whose home park did not open in 2020. The value will be $50. We invite them to use their 2020 Pass at any of our open parks. The reward can be used only at the passholder's home park.
— Carowinds (@Carowinds) August 4, 2020
While this is certain to be a bummer for theme park fans, our hearts go out to these parks and their associates. Not to editorialize, but in talking to multiple people who work at various Cedar Fair parks, they wanted to get the parks open as much as we wanted them to open. If you work at a park and are reading this, please know we’re thinking about you during this difficult time.
Another Cedar Fair park that hasn’t opened this season, Knott’s Berry Farm, did not close the door on 2020 entirely, but did cancel their Halloween event, Knott’s Scary Farm, for the season. The Taste of Knott’s festival, an extension of the park’s Taste of Calico event that they’ve recently been holding, starts later this month. The Knott’s hotel will open when Taste of Knott’s starts on August 21.
We have been so grateful for the opportunity to welcome guests back to Knott’s Berry Farm to enjoy our recently introduced Knott’s Taste of Calico event as well as the unique experiences in our California Marketplace, despite the challenges that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank our guests and associates for making Knott’s a safe place to visit during this challenging time. We appreciate everyone’s support and cooperation with the park’s new health and safety measures – we are getting through this together.
Although we continue to work with government officials as well as health and safety experts on developing guidance to re-opening the full theme park, we are unfortunately still unable to announce an opening date. However, we remain optimistic for the remainder of 2020 and want to share a few important park updates:
- Starting August 21, guests can enjoy an all-new outdoor dining and retail experience in a way that only Knott’s Berry Farm could offer, with the all-new Taste of Knott’s. Expanding upon the Taste of Calico experience, Taste of Knott’s will celebrate 100 years of classic flavors from around the park with unique food, drink and merchandise offerings. Guests may enjoy Taste of Knott’s throughout Ghost Town, Fiesta Village and the Boardwalk area on weekends through September 13. We look forward to offering more of these unique dining and retail experiences until we are able to reopen the theme park fully.
- Also, on August 21, the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel will reopen for lodging. Guests may learn more about special Taste of Knott’s hotel packages at Knotts.com.
- In the meantime, guests may continue to enjoy select offerings from the California Marketplace including alfresco dining on Grand Avenue from Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, Knott’s Chicken-to-Go Restaurant, the Farm Bakery and Berry Market as well as items from our specialty retail stores.
- Regrettably, due to continued operating restrictions related to the pandemic, we have had to make the very difficult decision to cancel our highly anticipated 2020 Knott’s Scary Farm event. The unique features of Scary Farm will not allow us to operate within the constraints recommended by the CDC and public health experts. We know that this news is disappointing, but we look forward with great enthusiasm to making 2021 Knott’s Scary Farm our best year ever.
- When we can fully reopen the park, we look forward to introducing Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair, our all-new 4D interactive dark ride that celebrates a beloved classic attraction with a reimagined gaming twist. Guests will climb aboard themed vehicles equipped with “jelly blasters” to try to recover stolen boysenberry pies as they travel through whimsical environments such as the Boysenberry Pie Factory, Frog Forest, Fortune Teller Camp and Weird Woods. The ride culminates in a celebration at the County Fair.
Please keep in mind that all 2020 Season Passes and add-on products have been extended through 2021. Our entire team is hard at work getting ready for what will be a fantastic year ahead, including our rescheduled Knott’s 100th Anniversary celebration!
We all look forward to having fun safely for the rest of this season and beyond. There’s still plenty of summer fun to enjoy this year with the new Taste of Knott’s outdoor event, plus Knott’s California Marketplace retail and dining venues.
Again, I want to thank you for your continued support. I hope to see you on the Farm very soon!
As for Cedar Fair parks that have officially opened their doors in 2020, there are a few operational updates to announce.
Worlds of Fun:
- Worlds of Fun will close for the season following Labor Day Weekend. Our final day of operation this year will be Monday, September 7. Halloween Haunt & Winterfest will not take place this year.
- Oceans of Fun waterpark will unfortunately remain closed for the remainder of the season. Riptide Raceway will debute in 2021.
- Dorney Park’s last operating day of the 2020 season is expected to be Monday, September 7, 2020. Halloween Haunt will not take place.
- Dorney Park’s water park, Wildwater Kingdom, will remain closed through 2020. Seaside Splashworks will debut in 2021.
- A new “Tricks and Treats Fall Fest” will be introduced starting September 12. This event will take the place of HalloWeekends for 2020 only, and has been designed with unique entertainment, food and activities for all ages. This event will enable better social distancing and capacity management. You’ll hear more exciting details in the coming weeks.
- Post Labor Day, Cedar Point will be open Saturdays & Sundays only, with the last operating day of the 2020 season expected to be Sunday, November 1.
- Kings Island’s Fall Schedule and New Family Event
Kings Island will continue to operate through Nov. 1 on select days. We will introduce an all-new family event, Tricks and Treats Fall Fest beginning Sept. 26, featuring rides, unique food offerings, entertainment and activities for all ages. This event will enable social distancing and capacity management, and you’ll be hearing more about it in the coming weeks.
- Halloween Haunt and WinterFest
The park also had to make the difficult decision to cancel both Halloween Haunt and WinterFest this year due to operating constraints in the region.
- No announcement or update was made today in regards to the park’s reopening.
Michigan’s Adventure’s WildWater Adventure Waterpark continues to be open on select days through September 7, 2020. Please visit our web site for our 2020 operating calendar at https://t.co/lm7uORg5Mm. pic.twitter.com/4uWdhnSmYA
— Michigan's Adventure (@miadventure) July 31, 2020
Schlitterbahn Water Parks
Schlitterbahn’s last operating day of the 2020 season will be September 7, 2020.