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SYFY WIRE theme parks

Theme parks in Japan are asking people not to scream on roller coasters amid the pandemic

By Josh Weiss
Alton Towers The Smiler

The concept of screaming on a roller coaster may become outdated in the age of coronavirus. Newly-reopened theme parks in Japan, for instance, are asking visitors not to shout on rides in order to prevent the spread of the pathogen. In a recent video, two executives of Fuji-Q Highland rode the Fujiyama coaster (the park's top attraction) without uttering a single exclamation. The takeaway message, according to The Wall Street Journal, was: "Please scream inside your heart."

"We received complaints that the theme park association’s request to not make loud noises was impossible and too strict. That’s why we decided to release the video," a Fuji-Q spokesman said in a statement to the WSJ.

Some folks on Twitter have co-opted the iconic Alien tagline, writing stuff like: "During the pandemic, no one can hear you scream."

"There’s just no way not to scream,” Rika Matsuura, a college student who recently visited Tokyo Disneyland, also told the WSJ. "It’s kind of torture to be back at your favorite place in the world and to not be able to scream and enjoy everything 100 percent."

Alexander Semencic, a New York native who's lived in Japan for close to two decades, allegedly didn't have an issue keeping quiet during his visit.

"I managed my silence like a medieval monk," he said to the WSJ.

The request on the part of Japanese amusement parks has reportedly sparked an internet meme, the "Serious Face Challenge," in which people take deadpan photos of themselves while on roller coasters. However, we couldn't find any posts on social media using the hashtag. So, apparently it's not all that viral — at least not yet.

American theme parks are requiring precautions like face masks and temperature checks as they reopen, but there aren't any rules about screaming on rides. But if you do find yourself at Walt Disney World (opening back up this weekend), do us all a favor and say it, don't spray it.

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