Worlds of Fun is the first Cedar Fair park to open since the entire world closed down — so, is it still fun? Is it safe? Is it even worth visiting with all the new measures being taken? What are those new measures? As I headed to one of the smallest parks in the Cedar Fair chain, I was excited to find out.
By Justin S. Landers
This Cedar Fair park boasts six rollercoasters and a handful of flat rides. Of my three visits there, the longest line I’ve seen has been around 30 minutes. It’s certainly a smaller park, but one I was excited to return to none the less.
On the second day of their reopening, Tuesday, June 23, I walked into a very empty park. A normal sight for Worlds of Fun on an average day, but this was beyond that. There couldn’t have been more than 1,000 people in the entire park.
As with most parks, entering is now a multi-step process. It went something like this: A few days in advance, I downloaded the Worlds of Fun app onto my phone. I made a reservation through the app, and chose a time slot to enter the park. I was then asked a few brief questions in a health survey.
Upon arrival to the park, I walked through the parking lot and into a tent for a temperature check before moving through to the metal detectors and a standard bag check. I then scanned my digital Platinum Pass on my phone and entered the park.
As I was coming in, there were signs up that made it clear masks were not optional at this park. I then made my way over to Patriot, which would turn out to be my longest wait for the entire day at about 10 minutes.
After I rode Patriot, I found myself standing in one of very few open restaurants in the park, where again, I found no line. I got a barbecue meal using my meal plan and found a quiet corner to take my mask off and eat. I was told that more restaurants would be opened in the coming weeks.
After lunch, it was off to Timber Wolf. I walked up to the older of the two wooden coasters in the park to find them being cleaned! It turns out that cleanings are scheduled to happen every 30 minutes, and only take about five minutes to do. The process is simple: Employees spray down all seats, then run the train through a cycle. If there is more than one train running, they clean them all at once. A slight inconvenience for the feeling of maintaining a safe environment.
I continued to loop my way through the park, quickly boarding every open roller coaster I came across. Rides were mostly a walk-on, with the occasional need to wait for one train or a quick cleaning. It almost felt like a normal day, beyond everyone wearing masks and seeing constant cleaning.
There were also a noticeable amount of closed flat rides, even though every coaster — with the exception of Boomerang — was operating. I was informed that just like the restaurants, flat rides would become more and more available later in the season. I rode Zulu — the old relocated Witches Wheel from Cedar Point, but was not able to get on the launch tower, unfortunately. If flat rides are important to you, it may be worth waiting until later in the season to visit.
At one point, I passed an employee who was asking someone politely to put their mask back on, which turns out was broken. The team member sent the guest to Guest Services, where they apparently provided him another face covering for his visit. It was amazing to see the enforcement of social distancing when necessary, but for the most part, the park was empty. If this is the future of Cedar Fair parks this season, I am certainly excited for a decently-saved year of theme parks and thrills. Based on the reservation system, it appears Worlds of Fun is limited to around 3,600 people currently — a number they didn’t even come close to on my visit.
It always amazes me how quiet this park is, with the decent ride collection they have. Prowler is an amazing GCI wooden roller coaster, Patriot is a decent B&M invert, and Mamba may be the best Morgan hyper-coaster out there. This is often such an overlooked park. I encourage you to make a little trip out of it — Worlds of Fun is only 3 hours north of Silver Dollar City, which is only 3 hours away from Six Flags St Louis.
29-year-old Justin Landers owns Just Shoot Light Multimedia Productions. He has been involved in the amusement and theme park industry since 2013 as a freelance photographer and videographer. You can follow him on Instagram @Inverted_Therapy and Just Shoot Light on YouTube.