• Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

More Amusement Parks Crack Down on Teen Access Ahead of Summer Season


Apr 24, 2023
California's Great America amusement park in Santa Clara will require guests younger than 15 to have an adult chaperone during the park's afternoon and evening hours. (CoStar)


Amusement parks near Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., are just the latest to require teens to have adult supervision late in the day amid a wave of violence at parks ahead of the busy summer season.

At least eight theme parks owned by Cedar Fair adopted policies this month restricting teen access. Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia; Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California; and Valleyfair near Minneapolis are among the Cedar Fair-owned parks that have approved the new rules. They require that any guest younger than 15 be accompanied by an adult after 4 p.m.

Amusement parks, shopping malls and other publicly accessible properties are cracking down on unruly behavior by restricting when and how teenagers can visit. A fight involving more than 100 teens took place this month during the opening weekend at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri. The park is owned by Cedar Fair.

“We are committed to keeping Worlds of Fun a place where families and friends come together to enjoy a one-of-a-kind park full of fun experiences and immersive entertainment,” the theme park said in a statement on its website.

Retailers have also seen a spike in crime, such as recent shootings at Northlake Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina, that prompted Apple to close a store there. Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey, recently restricted teens’ access.

Kings Dominion required teens to have adult chaperones in the afternoons and evenings starting April 22, according to a post on the park’s website. Valleyfair, in Shakopee, Minnesota, said its policy will take effect May 13.

On April 15, a teenager was arrested outside Cedar Fair-owned Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, with a loaded handgun. The park’s new teen policy took effect on April 22.

Other Cedar Fair parks that have adopted similar policies include California’s Great America in Santa Clara; Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania; and Carowinds in Charlotte.

Some Cedar Fair properties have not adopted the teen-restriction policy or have not publicly announced it. Cedar Point near Cleveland, Michigan’s Adventure in Muskegon and Canada’s Wonderland near Toronto do not say on their websites if they’ve cut teen access.

Gary Rhodes, a Cedar Fair spokesman, declined to comment to CoStar News.

Edithann Velez Ramey, chief marketing officer at Six Flags Entertainment, told CoStar News the company does not restrict teen access or require chaperones at its parks. Six Flags owns and operates 27 amusement parks in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

A spokeswoman for SeaWorld Entertainment, which owns Busch Gardens and its namesake theme parks, declined to comment.

Three other amusement park operators did not immediately respond to requests for comment: Walt Disney World, Universal Destinations & Experiences and Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.

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