Queensland’s theme parks will begin to reopen after haemorrhaging $15 million a month during the shutdown

Queensland theme parks are reopening after COVID-19 restrictions lift. (Uwe Anspach, picture alliance via Getty Images)
  • Queensland theme park operator Village Roadshow has revealed it will begin reopening its theme parks under new COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Visitors will be required to download the Village Roadshow app to gain access, with it to be used to enable contact tracing and virtual queuing.
  • After closing on 23 March, the company confirmed it had been losing $15 million a month.
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Queensland is reopening its theme parks in anticipation of interstate holidaymakers.

Parks including Wet ‘n Wild, Movie World and Sea World will reopen to 50% capacity under the latest relaxation of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions, owner Village Roadshow has announced.

It comes after the ASX-listed company revealed it was losing $15 million every month since shutting its gates on 23 March due to COVID-19.

Under the new plan, Sea World and Paradise Country will be the first to open their doors again on 26 June, followed by Australian Outback Spectacular on 3 July, and Movie World and Wet ‘n Wild on 15 July.

To contain any potential outbreaks of the virus, guests will be required to download the Village Roadshow app in order to issue contactless tickets and be able to trace any infections. It’s also understood the app will be used to allow virtual queuing to prevent crowds forming.

In addition to the reduced capacity rules, visitors will be asked to social distance, while some attractions and food and retail outlets “may be modified or temporarily unavailable in order to deliver on our COVID Safe commitment”.

With Queensland due to reopen its borders on 10 July, the parks may still be able to capitalise on the school holiday crowds, at least from New South Wales. The Australian Treasury estimates the Sunshine State’s Stage 3 reopening will inject $653 million a month into the economy.

Rival operator Ardent Leisure, which operates Dreamworld and Whitewater World, is yet to confirm its own reopening dates.

If its current losses are anywhere near Village Roadshow, however, it can’t be too long.