Home Articles Arizona Boardwalk will reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend

Arizona Boardwalk will reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend

New guidelines for OdySea Aquarium, Arizona Boardwalk’s anchor attraction, include timed-ticketed entry, limiting the number of visitors entering the Aquarium at one time, and new standard operating procedures to safeguard guests, animals and team members.

Arizona Boardwalk, OdySea Aquarium
Photographing penguins at OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale. Photo courtesy of Arizona Boardwalk.

Arizona Boardwalk announced Monday that it will be reopening to families on Thursday, just in time for the Memorial Day Weekend.

The popular Scottsdale entertainment destination — which includes OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Laser + Mirror Maze, Surprise Your Eyes, and Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs — will reopen with updated safety protocols aligned with the state’s phased approach and public health directives.

Restaurants, including Johnny Rockets, Nékter Juice Bar, and Pizza Time, among others, also will be reopening.

“Our priority is to keep everyone who visits Arizona Boardwalk, as well as our employees, healthy and safe while providing a fun and engaging environment,” said Ran Knishinsky, Arizona Boardwalk’s chief marketing officer, in a statement. “We recognize how stressful this situation has been for our community and the world at large, and we look forward to once again providing a safe, family-friendly experience to our guests.”

New safety procedures

New guidelines for OdySea Aquarium, Arizona Boardwalk’s anchor attraction, include timed-ticketed entry, limiting the number of visitors entering the Aquarium at one time, and new standard operating procedures to safeguard guests, animals and team members. Along with capacity limits that support physical distancing, other health and safety initiatives at OdySea Aquarium include touchless ticket sales through online and kiosk purchase options, social distancing markers at key exhibits, additional hand-sanitizing stations throughout the aquarium, and enhanced cleaning methods that focus on high-touch areas such as restrooms, counters, escalator railings, elevators and exhibit-glass. The Kids Cove play area, animal touch exhibits, and 3D movie will remain temporarily closed, and animal encounters and behind-the-scenes tours are suspended at this time.

“We have worked thoughtfully and within the state’s recommended guidelines on our reopening plans as the health and well being of our guests, team and animals is our top priority,” said Greg Charbeneau, OdySea Aquarium’s vice president and general manager, in a statement. “We are taking a phased, controlled approach … yet will continue delivering a wonderful, memorable guest experience while ensuring we operate safely and responsibly.”

Suggestions for guests

Aquarium staff will have their temperatures checked when they report for shifts and will be required to wear masks in public spaces. Guests are strongly encouraged to wear face masks, visit in groups of fewer than 10, and practice social distancing as they tour. The Odysea Treasures gift shop will have face masks for sale for guests.

Discounted tickets are available via online advance purchase. Limited capacity and timed ticketing will be strictly enforced to maintain safe social distancing practices. Ticket entry times will be sold in 30-minute time slots and guests will be required to enter during their specific time. Online sales, time reservations and hours are available at odyseaaquarium.com/tickets-savings-2.

The other attractions, restaurants and shops at Arizona Boardwalk will be setting capacity limits to maintain proper social distancing, minimizing touch points, and increasing cleaning protocols as they reopen.

“We can’t wait to see visitors and familiar faces come through our doors again,” said Dee Mangulins, said executive director of Butterfly Wonderland, in a statement. “Outside of lovingly taking care of our butterflies and other animals, we’ve used the last two months wisely to spruce-up, paint, deep clean and implement our new safeguards and guidelines… We made the most of our quarantined time.”

Other businesses re-opening on May 21 include Arizona Territory Trading Post, Four Peaks Mining Co., and Vitality Oxygen Bar & Aqua Massage. Lunch, dinner and snack options include Coffee Cove, Frozen Penguin Ice Cream, Johnny Rockets, Nékter Juice Bar, Pangaea Dino Grill, Pizza Time, The Reef Snack Bar, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and Sugar Drop Candy Shop.

VR Xtreme and Polar Play Ice Bar will not be re-opening in this first phase. Please check arizonaboardwalk.com periodically for updates on their future re-opening dates.

For details, hours and prices, visit azboardwalk.com

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