Japan’s theme parks banned screaming when they reopened after the coronavirus pandemic.
A recent video showed Fuji-Q Highland amusement park CEO Daisuke Iwata and his boss, chief executive Koichiro Horiuchi, riding the popular Fujiyama roller coaster in silence while wearing masks, the Wall Street Journal reported. A message was displayed at the end that read, “please scream inside your heart.” (RELATED: Japan To Lift State Of Emergency, Says Economy Is Now Top Priority)
A social media trend, called the “serious face challenge,” emerged because of the video, according to the WSJ. People posted pictures of themselves sternly riding roller coasters while wearing masks.
Japanese theme parks released guidelines when they reopened in May that told guests they weren’t allowed to yell on roller coasters, citing health guidelines that say coronavirus can be spread more widely by actions like coughing and singing. The theme-park associations also recommended that guests wear masks, according to the report.
Japan’s rules, including those for theme parks, are voluntary, per the WSJ. Oriental Land Company, which operates Tokyo Disneyland, said that those who violate the screaming rule won’t be punished.
Some park guests took issue with the new guidelines.
Yuuki Suzuki, who said he spent 12 hours online with his wife to get tickets for Tokyo Disneyland’s reopening day, said the rule is “too strict.”
“You don’t see Disneylands in other countries asking people not to scream,” he said. “If a scream comes out, it comes out.”
Another park guest, Natsumi Kumasawa, said that it was her 3-year-old daughter Umi’s first time at Disneyland, so her screaming “really couldn’t be helped.”
Japan’s voluntary rules for fighting off coronavirus have been largely successful, the Wall Street Journal reported. While optional, mask-wearing is a cultural norm in Japan, and when the government imposed voluntary coronavirus restrictions in April and May the number of new daily cases was drastically reduced.