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The Votes Are In: Universal Plans To Reopen to the Public on June 5, Pending Final Approvals

Photo: Guneet Jassal
Photo: Guneet Jassal

The Orange County Economic Task Force unanimously voted to allow Universal Orlando theme parks to reopen in June. 

The governor still has to sign off on the plans, after Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings certifies to the state that the county approves the plan. The parks will welcome guests back at a reduced capacity and anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will not be admitted.

Executive Vice President John Sprouls says the parks will open to the public on June 5. 

Sprouls says all guests will have to wear face masks and submit to temperature checks.

He says some lines are virtual and those that are not will use floor markings to maintain six feet of distance.

"We have installed these at every one of our venues that are setting up the proper social distancing for our guests. We’re not going to leave it to them to have to figure that out."

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Sprouls says hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance and exits of rides, restaurants and stores and contact-less payment options are available. 

Only members of the same party will share rides and valet parking, kids’ play areas, and staff meet-and-greets are closed.

He says employees will also be required to wear face masks and undergo health screenings and temperature checks.

“We will have all of our team members that are in guest contact areas be washing their hands at least every thirty minutes. We will increase the frequency of breaks of our team members so that they can wash their hands.”

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Sprouls says the parks will open on June 1 for testing of these procedures and to limited guests on June 3 and 4.

Universal is the first major theme park in Orlando to open since the theme parks closed almost two months ago at the start of the pandemic.

To read over the PowerPoint slides, the park's full reopening plan, or the letter Sprouls wrote to Mayor Demings click on the links.
If you'd like to listen to the story, click on the clips above.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.