Universal Orlando sets target reopen date
Universal Orlando, following a coronavirus-prompted closure in mid-March, is preparing to open again—and soon.
The resort, home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Volcano Bay, has set a reopen date of June 5. On Thursday officials from Universal Orlando submitted the theme park’s proposal to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, headed by Mayor Jerry Demings.
The task force unanimously voted in favor of Universal’s plan, according to The Hollywood Reporter, paving the way for one of the first reopenings of a major U.S. theme park in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Universal Orlando employees will return to the park on June 1 for a test run. On June 3, a minimal number of guests will be invited to the park. The park will then open in a limited capacity to the public with social distancing measures in place. Masks and temperature checks for both employees and guests will also be required.
Other changes put in place to combat the virus include closed interactive play areas and mist zones, no valet parking, and paper single-use food menus. Cash will be accepted but minimized if possible.
Last Friday Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis outlined plans for Universal and its nearby competitor, Walt Disney World, to reopen. In addition to submitting plans to the state, the parks would “need to have an endorsement of the relative official in their locality—Orange County mayor, wherever you’re talking about,” he said.
With Mayor Demings’ task force approval, it appears Universal Orlando has the green light to go forward. Disney has yet to set a date for its own Florida park, but the company reopened Shanghai Disneyland—selling out limited tickets—earlier this month.
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