How soon could theme parks reopen? Officials provide no clear timeline

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — It could be a while before our society gets back to having fun and enjoying what Central Florida has to offer.

Members of the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force asked theme park leaders on Monday for their timelines during a work-group meeting, saying so many other Central Florida businesses depend on tourism that comes here for the parks.

“At this point, we’re taking bookings that were in June; that doesn’t mean that we are opening in June,” said Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president of resorts at Walt Disney World.


Universal Orlando is the only theme park to have a set date of when it will remain closed: Through at least May 31. But Rich Costales, executive vice president of resort operations, said that doesn’t mean the parks will definitely reopen on June 1.

“We haven’t made a decision as to when exactly we would open back up our theme parks and really can’t do that until we hear what government and health officials recommend," he said.

Read: I-Drive retail, restaurant owners expect business to ramp up when theme parks reopen

When asked about the rumored reopening date of Jan. 1, 2021, Mazloum said: "I, as you can imagine, don’t want to comment on any speculations. I’m afraid I simply don’t have a lot of information to share as of this point.”

Costales said Universal is “kind of in limbo right now, and we are certainly hoping to see the statistics we see on a daily basis get better and better.”

Brad Gilmour, director of park operations at SeaWorld, said his park is “in the same situation as Disney and Universal.”

Read: Zoom backgrounds by Visit Orlando allow you to bring Central Florida icons to your next virtual meeting

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.