ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has approved Universal Orlando’s plan to reopen Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure to the public on June 5 after being closed for two months.
The proposal was unanimously approved by Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force.
The plan will now go on to Gov. Ron DeSantis for full approval.
“We’re going to ramp up slowly in terms of making sure all the procedures and measures we have in place actually work.” said John Sprouls, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts.
Officials said the parks would first open to workers on June 1 to test out their reopening plans. Then, they said select guests would be welcomed back on June 3 and 4, followed by reopening to the public on June 5.
Here are some key things to know about Universal’s reopening plans:
- Guests and workers will be required to wear masks. If guests arrive without a mask then a free disposable one will be provided.
- There will be temperature checks, just like when CityWalk reopened.
- Capacity will be managed. Universal officials didn’t say how many it will allow in the park, but that it will be significantly less than normal.
- Virtual lines will be used, and single rider lines will be gotten rid of to create more social distancing. Rows will be spacing people in terms of rows., but parties will be kept together.
- All interactive play areas will be shut down.
- Food can be ordered online, and contactless payment encouraged. Menus used will be disposable.
Universal has already set up signs informing people what the need to know about masks, social distancing and hand sanitation.
Social distancing will begin in the parking lot, with guests only allowed to park in every other space. The park is encouraging parties to stay about 10 feet apart.
For employees, Universal will increase the frequency of breaks to allow team members to wash their hands, and get to a place where they can safely social distance to allow them to take off their masks for a moment then put them back on before returning to guests.
Universal will start staff this weekend.
In addition to approving to send the plans for Universal to the mayor, plans for reopening about a dozen other smaller theme parks and attractions were also approved to be sent.
If the mayor agrees with the steps the parks are proposing for reopening, he will submit them to the governor to consider, who ultimately makes the final call on reopening.
Legoland announced Friday that it would reopen June 1.
Along with the park and waterpark’s reopening, the all-new LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel will debut on June 1.
The resort will initially open with adjusted operating hours. LEGOLAND Theme Park will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and LEGOLAND Waterpark will be open daily from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The park would open with a 50% capacity. Guests would be strongly recommended to wear face masks, but those who don’t will be provided complimentary ones. Park officials said temperature of every guest will be taken. Anyone with a fever of 100.4 degrees or high won’t be allowed in.
The park would also leave empty rows on rides and empty seats between guests in ride vehicles.
In Kissimmee, Island H2O water park will be reopening on select days starting Saturday. Park officials will be limiting how many people can enter, and staff and guests will undergo a verbal screening when they arrive.
There will also be signs telling guests to stay at least six feet apart from others and to limit interactions.
Walt Disney World nor SeaWorld has not publicly announced its reopening plans.
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