LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — The Dutch Wonderland amusement park reopened for its 2021 season on Saturday, and both guests and park employees are excited to be back for what will hopefully be a more normal season.
“We’re so proud and happy to be part of this Central PA community, to welcome people back and to provide just another glimmer of hope and another bit of a sense of normalcy as we head into the summer of 2021,” says Jeff Eisenberg, director of marketing at Dutch Wonderland.
The park’s past season was shortened due to COVID-19, and some of the rides were shut down to protect visitors. This year, those rides — the Bumper Cars and the Fun Slide — are operating once again.
Eisenberg says last year was tough both because the business took a financial hit and because Dutch Wonderland couldn’t offer the same experience for guests, but this year is looking more promising.
“Initial indications this year are that people are going to be coming out in droves, and we’re really, really excited to see it,” says Eisenberg. “All indicators are that we should see a great, great rebound season. Indicators within the first 15 minutes of operation here this morning are certainly pointing in the positive direction.”
Eisenberg is happy to welcome guests back to the park, and visitors are glad to be back at Dutch Wonderland, too. Sofia Sweitzer, age 7, got to ride the Kingdom Coaster for the first time this year. “I was scared at first, but it was really fun,” she says.
Her 11-year-old brother Peyton was excited to introduce the ride to his sister. “Now I have a sister that can go on [the roller coaster] with me, so it’s really fun to go on with another person,” he says.
Dutch Wonderland is following the latest CDC guidelines for COVID-19 safety. Masks are not required for fully vaccinated individuals, but social distancing is still encouraged, and increased sanitation measures are in place around the park.
Unvaccinated individuals should still wear face masks, but guests will not be required to show proof of vaccination. “We trust our guests to keep themselves and to keep everybody else safe,” says Eisenberg.
The park is also operating with a limited capacity to prevent overcrowding and allow for social distancing on rides. Because of the capacity limit, advance ticket sales are required. Guests can purchase tickets or season passes online on Dutch Wonderland’s website, where they can also reserve a time to visit the amusement park.
“We’re just so excited to be back out here and seeing smiling faces, whether they’re behind masks or whether they’re not behind masks,” says Eisenberg. “We’re just so happy to be back here in the park on a beautiful day.”