One small silver lining amid the coronavirus pandemic in Southern California is a reduction in freeway congestion. Next week, as Americans grasp for the old “normal,” Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia brings back some vehicle traffic and a limited holiday experience.

The amusement park opens for its Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru Experience, an opportunity for visitors to enjoy the 125-acre park from their cars and trucks as they ride past millions of holiday lights choreographed to music.

No rides will be open, and all visitors must remain in their vehicles. Masks will be required if customers roll down the windows. Amid the restrictions, though, comes good news: Santa, Mrs. Claus, North Pole elves and other characters will be on hand (though they will remain socially distanced from the vehicle caravan).

“We are delighted to be reopening our park to safely celebrate the holidays with this unprecedented and magical event,” Six Flags Magic Mountain President Don McCoy said in a statement. “… We are proud and honored … to provide a feeling of hope and a small reprieve during this very difficult year.”

The park will be open at 6 p.m. on select nights beginning Nov. 20; the display will continue through Jan. 3, 2021.

Advance reservations are required through the Magic Mountain website. Prices start at $20 per passenger. Admission is free for members and passholders, but reservations will still be required.

Large California amusement parks remain closed and won’t likely return to full operation until sometime in 2021 because of the state’s COVID-19 health and safety reopening guidelines.

The tight restrictions are frustrating many, and literally destroying small businesses throughout the state. Disneyland’s closure since mid-March has cost the company billions of dollars and tens of thousands of employees their jobs.

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