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Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings Submits Letters Endorsing Universal, Smaller Parks' Plans to Reopen

Photo: Erasto Chavez
Photo: Erasto Chavez

Any theme park that reopens in Central Florida, must submit a plan that includes health and safety precautions and an opening date to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force as the first step of a three step approval process.

The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force approved Universal and twelve smaller theme parks' plans for reopening at a meeting on Thursday.

Now Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says he's given these same parks his endorsement in the form of letters he sent Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday night.

Those parks include:

  • Universal Orlando Resort
  • Fun Spot of Florida, Inc.
  • Gatorland
  • I-Drive Thrill Park LLC (Magical Midway Family Fun Center)
  • ICON Park Orlando
  • K1 Speed Orlando
  • Nona Adventure Park, LLC
  • Orlando Slingshot, LLC
  • Orlando Starflyer
  • Wonderworks of Orlando
  • Aloma Bowl
  • Boardwalk Bowl
  • Andretti's Indoor Karting and Gaming

In the endorsement letters for the smaller parks he wrote, “If we open effectively, we will be able to expedite the window of recovery here in Orange County."

"This is another opportunity for our community to pull together during tough times, much like we did after the Pulse Nightclub tragedy," Demings said.

All the parks need now is for Gov. Ron DeSantis to give his approval before they can reopen. Entertainment venues throughout Orlando closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

At a press conference on Friday, Demings said, "The governor's office is in direct conversations with these attractions about reopening."

"It has been a long process, however, but I want to thank the citizens who volunteered their time to be participants on our Economic Recovery Task Force and for helping us get to this point."

So far only Legoland in Orlando has gotten the approval of all three to reopen on June 1.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.