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Universal Orlando Issues “Inherent Risk” Health Warning for Upcoming Reopening

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BUSINESS 2:06 PM PDT 5/22/2020 by Ryan Parker Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images Universal Orlando The Florida theme park will officially welcome guests once again on June 5. Universal Orlando on Friday announced the entire Florida theme park, which includes Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay, will offically reopen June 5.  The…


BUSINESS


2:06 PM PDT 5/22/2020

by


Ryan Parker

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

Universal Orlando

The Florida theme park will officially welcome guests once again on June 5.

Universal Orlando on Friday announced the entire Florida theme park, which includes Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay, will offically reopen June 5. 

The previous day, John Sprouts, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Universal parks and resorts, submitted the park’s proposal to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, which is headed by Mayor Jerry Demings.

The task force unanimously voted to approve Universal’s plan. Universal Orlando, along with Universal Studios Hollywood, has been shuttered since mid-March amid the pandemic.

Along with confirming the destination’s official reopen date, Universal issued a warning to would-be guests. 

“Note that any public location where people are present provides an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 and we cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed during your visit,” the theme park’s website reads. 

This is similar to the blunt warning the Walt Disney Co. issued when its Disney Springs shopping and dining complex reopened Wednesday. 

Universal Orlando will open June 1 just for employees as a dry run of sorts and then on June 3, some VIP guests will visit. The park will then reopen to the public on June 5.

Numerous safety measures have been put in place, Sprouts informed the task force, including that the theme park will open to a lower capacity, which will increase as weeks and months proceed. Masks and temperature checks will be required for both visitors and employees. If a guest does not have a mask, one will be provided for them, officials said.

Interactive play areas have been closed. There will be no more valet parking. Mist areas will be closed. There will be no more post-show meet-and-greets. All menus will be paper single-use in restaurants. Cash will still be accepted, but the park is trying to minimize it. Employees will self-check at home and then be checked again once they arrive to work.

Signage has been placed throughout the park to remind visitors of social distancing, with at least six feet of separation required for ride and food lines, Sprouts noted. 

The CityWalk district within the Florida destination reopened earlier this month with strict new measures in place, such as mask and temperature check requirements. Sprouts told the task force it was an overwhelming success

Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave Disney and NBCUniversal the green light to submit their park reopening plans, which would include a date. It is unclear when Disney will submit its plan, but additional shops and eateries are expected to reopen within Disney Springs next Wednesday. 

  • Ryan Parker

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