Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Gold Coast theme parks to remain open as Coronavirus fears lead to international closures

Gold Coast theme parks to remain open as Coronavirus fears lead to international closures
March 16, 2020

As theme parks around the world close over Coronavirus fears, the Gold Coast’s theme parks are to remain open.

Australia’s major parks, Dreamworld, Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast reportedly intend to remain open, operating as normal, along with the region’s schools, universities and shopping centres.

While, in a bid to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, the Federal Government has said gatherings of more than 500 people should not occur, the theme parks reportedly feel that the rule only applies to ‘static-seated events’

With the announcement having impacted sporting codes and entertainment events, already leading to the cancellation of major events such as the Royal Easter Show and the Melbourne Grand Prix, Village Roadshow released a statement on Saturday advising that after discussions with the Queensland Government it believed “the nature of our business does not apply to this advisory”.

The statement said it would put in place “additional stringent hygiene and safety measures” including “an increased number of hygiene hand-washing stations,” “updated signage” about hand-washing techniques at its attractions, as well as, on-site nurses to address the spread of the virus, Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast, Paradise Country, Topgolf, Australian Outback Spectacular and Sea World Resort would not close.

Village Roadshow Chief Execuitve, Clark Kirby went on to say “at Village Roadshow Theme Parks, the safety and wellbeing of our guests and team members is our utmost priority.

“The Council of Australian Government’s advice today regarding public gatherings was directed at static-seated events of more than 500 people for a duration of over two hours.

“Based on our discussions with the state government, the nature of our business does not apply to this advisory.”

Last week it was revealed that Hollywood star Tom Hanks had tested positive for Coronavirus.

Hanks, who had been filming Village Roadshow Studios at Oxenford, adjacent to Movie World is now in isolation at the Gold Coast University Hospital along with his wife Rita Wilson.

However, in a statement to the Gold Coast Bulletin, Village Roadshow Studios said "this has no impact on Warner Bros. Movie World which will continue to operate as normal.

“The Studios are a completely separate facility to the theme park, and are located at a different site, with no links to the theme park.”

Ardent Leisure has also advised that its Gold Coast attractions remain open, releasing a statement on Saturday that advised “Dreamworld and WhiteWater World will be open today and will continue to operate as normal.

“Our number one priority at Dreamworld is the health and safety of our guests and team members and we are taking all possible precautions to maintain the highest standards of hygiene at all times, while continuing to monitor the existing health situation.

“We look forward to welcoming guests to our parks and will ensure that the Dreamworld website is continually updated based on advice from public health authorities.”

While the Gold Coast’s theme parks remain open Disneyland and Universal Studios in the USA have announced their closure.

Disney announced on Friday that it would shut down its California theme parks until the end of March over concerns about the Coronavirus outbreak, while Florida’s Disney World closed to guests on Sunday.

Comcast’s Universal Studios theme park in southern California is also now closed with a projected reopening date of 28th March.

On Saturday, the Government of Dubai advised that it was temporarily suspending operations at four major theme parks and tourist attractions until the end of March.

The Emirate’s government media office said in a statement that Motiongate Dubai, Legoland Dubai, Legoland Waterpark Dubai and Bollywood Parks Dubai would be closed to ensure the health and safety of guests and employees.

Images: Warner Bros. Movie World, which remains open (top), Village Roadshow Chief Execuitve, Clark Kirby at Movie World (middle) and Hollywood star Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson who have tested positive for Coronavirus (below, courtesy of Tom Hanks).

Related Articles

16th March 2020 - Chief Medical Officer says going to cinemas and gyms is ‘low risk’ during Coronavirus outbreak

15th March 2020 - Cruise ships from foreign ports banned to curb Coronavirus spreading

13th March 2020 - Non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people effectively banned across Australia

13th March 2020 - Coronavirus fears see cancellation of Sydney Royal Easter Show

13th March 2020 - Tourism Industry body welcomes Federal Government’s Coronavirus stimulus

12th March 2020 - East Asian theme parks remain closed as others continue to operate during Coronavirus crisis

11th March 2020 - Amusements and attractions exhibitions in Dubai and Taiwan impacted by Coronavirus

10th March 2020 - IAAPA Expo Asia 2020 cancelled over Coronavirus concerns

6th March 2020 - ATEC highlights the ongoing threat of Coronavirus to export tourism industry

27th February 2020 - Hello Kitty Land Tokyo announces temporary closure due to Coronavirus

25th February 2020 - Ardent Leisure shares fall after critical Coroner’s report into Dreamworld tragedy

25th February 2020 - Queensland Government announces acceptance of Coroner’s findings into 2016 Dreamworld ride deaths

24th February 2020 - Coroner’s report on Dreamworld fatalities exposes Ardent Leisure to prosecution for multiple safety breaches

18th February 2020 - IAAPA shares resources on Coronavirus outbreak

8th February 2020 - IAAPA monitors coronavirus outbreak and cancels Meet IAAPA event in China

3rd February 2020 - Gold Coast tourism suffers $40 million dip due to Coronavirus and bushfires impact

31st January 2020 - Coronavirus declared global health emergency by World Health Organization

26th January 2020 - Coronavirus fears sees closure of Hong Kong and Shanghai Disney resorts

24th January 2020 - Private equity group BGH Capital submits rival bid for Village Roadshow

18th January 2020 - South east Queensland deluge closes Dreamworld, Movie World and Wet’n'Wild Gold Coast

20th December 2019 - Private equity firm makes $750 million offer for Village Roadshow

16th December 2019 - Sea World has ‘nothing to hide’ in its dolphin care

15th October 2019 - Village Roadshow reveals profit turnaround in last financial year

11th September 2019 - Village Roadshow Theme Parks reveal schedule for opening of new Sea World attractions

20th September 2018 - Movie World launches new climb attraction on Southern Hemisphere’s tallest HyperCoaster

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


    SimplySwim is a school management solution that helps swimming school owners and managers optimize operations by automating functions such as managing class schedules, billing and…

read more

Aquatics / Education / Recreation / Safety / Technology


Enta Australasia

As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd.  Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing.  19th July 2018 - ENTA…

read more

Technology / Ticketing / Venues



SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues


TPEC Pool Enclosures

TPEC Pool Enclosures provide a large range of premium commercial and residential retractable swimming pool, spa and terrace enclosures throughout Australia, servicing residential, local government…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation / Venues


Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks


The P.A. People

The P.A. People is a specialist integrator and contractor in sound reinforcement, audio visual systems, performance lighting and production communications. Over its almost 50 year history the company…

read more

Entertainment / Events / Sport / Technology / Venues



As of 2018, TicketServ operates as SeatGeek Asia Pacific Pty Limited, part of international ticketing platform SeatGeek. Click here to contact SeatGeek Asia Pacific via their entry in…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Events / Sport / Ticketing



Our team believes floors should be beautiful, comfortable, and engineered for safety, even when wet. Life Floor tiles meet six unique performance based standards: slip-resistance, impact absorption,…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business