GALVESTON, Texas — If you're heading to Galveston for some family time this Memorial Day weekend, Moody Gardens attractions are back open with new safety measures in place.
“It’s such a great day. We’ve been waiting for this for the last few months, and we know our guests have, too,” said Jerri Hamachek, marketing manager.
The pandemic forced the amusement park to shut its doors for the last 10 weeks, but on Saturday, they reopened to smiling guests.
“We’ve been telling everyone we want to welcome you back to your happy place,” Hamachek said.
So did the park's animals, including its enthusiastic penguins and seals.
“It’s been very quiet over the last two months, and we found that the animals have missed the guests, just like the guests have missed the animals,” she said.
The park has since put proper COVID-19 safety guidelines in place, even developing what they call the Pyramid Promise.
“That it’ll be clean, safe and fun,” Hamachek said.
From keeping at 25 percent capacity to posting reminders across the grounds to maintain social distancing, and providing sanitizing stations, the park said safety is its top priority.
“We know this has been a very stressful time for everyone, for us, for our guests. We’re all in this together,” she said.
Masks aren’t required at the park but encouraged. Employees' temperatures will also be checked daily to make sure they’re healthy.
The park is also offering guests the option of cashless purchases.
“Again, that’s just less contact and we feel like that’s just an extra measure we can take,” Hamachek said.
As for the attractions, exhibits where there is a lot of interaction and touching, such as the Discovery Museum, the water park and the zipline and ropes course, will remain closed for now.
But everything else, like the Aquarium Pyramid to the dinosaur exhibit, are open, including the hotel and golf course.
However, if guests are still hesitant to make the trip, Hamachek said the park will welcome them back anytime.
“We want everyone to take their time and make the decision that’s right for them, so no need to rush and get here. We’ll be here whenever it’s right for you," Hamacheck said.
Moody Gardens said it will sell tickets on site, but they’re encouraging guests to purchase them online to help further enforce social distancing.
The park is now open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.
MORE LOCAL NEWS ON KHOU 11