Adjusting to the ‘New Normal’
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, KidZania temporarily closed its facilities around the world in March. At press time, KidZania opened locations in Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.
“Our different locations around the world will timely align to local health authorities’ recommendations and standards on disease prevention and control in order to safely reopen their premises,” says Xavier López Ancona, CEO of KidZania. “The safety and security of our visitors, teams, and suppliers are our utmost priority.”
During the closure, KidZania conducted deep cleaning and maintenance services in all of its facilities and developed plans to prepare for upcoming reopenings.
“Besides reinforcing hygiene and sanitization measures in all our facilities, this ‘new normal’ represents a great opportunity for us to ensure that our facilities are safer and cleaner, but also, it gives us a chance to address the societal challenges posed by COVID-19 through new content in our role-playing activities,” López Ancona says. “KidZania will be committed to offer children the opportunity to celebrate true heroes and learn about their great contributions in an experiential and fun way.”
KidZania London Governor Ric Fearnett says upon reopening, the facility will employ daily preventative cleaning and disinfection procedures, reinforce sanitation in key spots, distribute alcohol-based disinfection wipes for hand cleaning and surface disinfection, implement body temperature screenings, require team members to wear masks, and display graphic boards with effective hygiene practices.
“Ahead of our reopening, extensive hygiene and health measures will be taken to ensure that our team, as well as our visitors, can come back to KidZania and enjoy a day of fun and learning in a safe space,” Fearnett says.
Eduardo Guevara, global director of technology at KidZania, says the team is looking to incorporate more self-service technology and encourage contactless transactions at facilities.
“We are enhancing our websites to allow for more products to be available for prepurchase,” Guevara says. “This will not only simplify the process of buying and expedite access to KidZania facilities, but will also give our visitors the ability to plan their visit at their own pace, from the comfort of their homes and workplaces.”
Through its social media channels and B-KidZanian loyalty program, the company launched #KidZaniaAtHome, a global campaign that shared tips and ideas to help parents and teachers explain the pandemic and stay-at-home orders to children. The initiative included daily activities, online workouts, and yoga sessions specially designed for kids to participate at home.
Patricia Velasco, global marketing director at KidZania, says the campaign’s materials were developed at KidZania’s head office and enriched with suggestions and ideas from regional teams.
“We kept our customers close through the #KidZaniaAtHome campaign,” Velasco says. “Now, more than ever, KidZania will reinforce its commitment to inspire children to get ready to create a better world.”