WHEN it comes to new safety measures, Legoland Windsor has left no brick unturned as it welcomes back fun-seekers this weekend.
Park staff have been working around the clock since closing in March to make sure families feel safe when they return.
But with most children not even back in the classroom yet, the Merlin Entertainments-owned attraction has a tough job convincing mums and dads to venture back through its brightly-coloured gates with their little ones.
The Berkshire-based park is set to open to the public on Saturday July 4, and guests will have to pre-book as it will open at just a third of the usual capacity at first.
And at first glance, the changes could seem daunting to a tot.
As I arrived for a look around, I was met at the entrance by a lady wearing gloves and a visor, and who was clutching a thermometer.
Her friendly face put me at ease, however, even as she zapped her gadget towards my forehead.
Guests will have their temperature taken on arrival
After being given the all clear, with my temperature reading safely below 37.8C, I was allowed in.
I knew I was well. I knew I didn’t have a fever. Yet I STILL breathed a sigh of relief as I was waved through.
With scenes now resembling your local supermarket aisle, all the pathways throughout Legoland have been divided into one-way systems.
If you want to look at a map or take in the glorious views across London, be prepared to wait your turn.
Families are told to stay in their own groups when queuing for rides
Along with arrows, little circles have been spray-painted on the ground to ensure social distancing guidelines are met.
Brightly-coloured signage now adorns the rubbish bins, reminding families to wash their hands regularly, and sanitiser stations have been fixed to the entrance of all rides.
They even have friendly staff resembling Ghostbusters, wandering around, spraying disinfectant onto all the models, railings, buttons and gates.
Cleaning has been upped to every 30 minutes through the park, with the ‘high-touch points’ being scrubbed even more frequently.
Staff with backpack sprayers will clean rides and attractions every 30 minutes
Given how impossible it is to stop little hands from touching EVERYTHING, the sight of him certainly brought me great relief.
Karen Glassey, Legoland Windsor’s Operations Director, said: “We’ve introduced extra cleaning on the rides, spraying them down regularly with backpack sprayer, and all the touch points will be done as well.
“We are relying on our guests to look after themselves and others by regularly cleaning their hands too.
Hand cleaning stations have been installed by all rides
“Our team will be wearing face coverings and there is extra PPE if they need to get close to guests on a ride.
“We just want to make sure everyone is as safe as possible while ensuring we can still do our jobs and guests can still have a great time.”
Just one week before bosses were forced to close Legoland’s gates, the park launched its latest attraction – DUPLO Valley.
The new area, featuring little rides including a Dino Coaster and giant DUPLO models, is every small child’s dream.
The rides will be socially distanced, with empty rows between guests
After spending months cooped up indoors with only home-schooling to entertain them, an hour racing around here will prove to kids that dreams really can come true.
Character meet and greets will still be going ahead, although cuddles will be strictly off limits, and the for the first time in months, they can finally be let loose in the attraction’s giant playground.
With most of the park opening on Saturday, bigger kids (ie, adults) can also enjoy its faster-paced rides, such as The Dragon, Jolly Rocker and Spinning Spider.
Face-coverings are not compulsory when wandering around Legoland, but anyone over the age of six – unless exempt due to medical reasons – must wear them on some attractions.
Legoland staff are all set to welcome back visitors this weekend
Luckily, the website warned me of this and I’d popped mine in my bag. But if you do forget a face mask, the park’s shop is selling them in bright LEGO colours.
Along with the main park, Legoland’s two hotels will also be flinging their doors open to guests this weekend.
Staggered check-in times will help with social distancing, cleaning has been heightened and chefs will be serving up the usual help-yourself buffet breakfasts.
The only downside is that the pool has to remain shut, in line with Government guidelines.
But Karen adds: “We are trying to tell everybody, really openly, about all the things we have got in place.
“We are reducing the numbers…
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