Two Japanese executives ride a rollercoaster wearing masks, expressionless.

“Scream Inside Your Heart”: Pandemic Advice for Japanese Rollercoasters and Also Our General 2020 Mood

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Japanese theme parks and amusement parks, including Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios in Osaka, began reopening in May, along with a new set of safety guidelines. In addition to social distancing and recommending masks, guests are asked to “refrain from vocalizing loudly”—i.e. screaming—on rollercoasters.

While it may help prevent the spread of COVID-19 via respiratory droplets, the idea of being prohibited from screaming on rollercoasters is reportedly getting some pushback from park guests. The guidelines are not mandatory, but unlike in the U.S., mask-wearing, while already popular, has become ubiquitous and people don’t turn into total jerks when asked to care about the health and safety of others.

One college student told The Wall Street Journal, “There’s just no way not to scream … 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%.”

Going on a ride like Tower of Terror and getting yourself not to scream can be physically difficult, and for a lot of people, being successful takes so much work that it basically defeats the entire purpose, like going to a comedy show and forcing yourself not laugh. Eventually, jokes just stop being funny.

Another guest described “closing her eyes and emptying her mind of any of the fear or fun she was experiencing.” Good times!

And that’s for adults! Imagine taking a child to Disneyland and telling them not to “vocalize loudly.”

A video of two amusement park executives riding a rollercoaster in masks, totally expressionless, ends with some advice for park guests: “Scream inside your heart.”

Scream. Inside. Your heart. That sounds like advice both for rollercoasters and for getting through the never-ending hellscape that is 2020.

We’re all in this together, screaming inside our own hearts 24/7.

(via WSJ, image: screencap)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.