From the Walt Disney World News and written by: Guest Blog
From the Universal Orlando Blog and written by: Ashlynn Webb
Reopening Will See Wide-Range of New Health and Safety Best Practices
ORLANDO, Florida (Friday, May 22, 2020) – Universal Parks & Resorts today announced plans to begin a phased reopening of Universal Orlando Resort beginning June 5th. The reopening will be carefully managed and include a wide range of new and enhanced best-practice health, safety and hygiene procedures based on guidelines from the CDC and health officials.
With support from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Universal officials shared details of their reopening plan Thursday with Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings’ Economic Recovery Task Force. Mayor Demings recommended approval of Universal’s plans to Gov. DeSantis on Friday. Universal Orlando will move toward its phased reopening while continuing to monitor local conditions and work with health officials.
Universal Orlando has been closed since March 16. Universal CityWalk Orlando began reopening May 14 with new health, safety and hygiene procedures – giving Universal experience it will put into practice as it reopens its theme parks.
The reopening will include Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay.
Attendance during this time will be carefully managed and controlled. Universal will soon schedule team members for training on its new procedures. It will conduct a team-member-preview on June 1 and June 2 so the new procedures can be practiced and refined. A limited number of guests will be invited to visit on June 3 and June 4 as Universal continues to prepare for its phased opening. The public opening will be on June 5, with Universal continuing to manage daily attendance. (For full details on Universal Orlando’s reopening guidelines and experiences, click here).
The new health, safety and hygiene procedures will cover each step of a guest’s visit: how they arrive, how they interact with other guests, how they experience attractions, rides and shows and how they have meals.
“We want to invite guests back to our theme parks in a cautious and thoughtful way,” said Tom Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts. “We have put new health and safety procedures in place for both our team members and guests. And we have worked hard to make sure our guests can enjoy their time with family and friends. Doing this the right way will take all of us — and we need everyone’s help. Guests should follow our guidelines and continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC and health officials.”
Universal Orlando’s new procedures will cover three areas: screening, spacing and sanitization. Key measures will apply to both guests and team members:
- Guests and team members are required to wear face coverings and observe social distancing guidelines
- Theme park guests as well as all Universal team members are required to have temperature checks before coming on-site; those with temperatures of 100.4 or greater will not be allowed to enter
In addition to face coverings and temperature checks, guests can expect the following when they visit Universal Orlando:
- Staggered parking
- Managed and reduced daily park attendance
- Managed and reduced attraction ridership, show attendance and restaurant seating. Some areas and events may remain closed for now.
- Increased cleaning and disinfection of food locations, ride vehicles, restrooms and other frequent “touch points” that go beyond Universal’s already aggressive cleaning procedures
- Social distancing practices at all locations through the parks, within attractions and queues and at restaurants
- Use of virtual lines at select attractions
- Cashless payments and “no touch” policies where possible
Universal’s resort hotels are an important part of the guest experience. Reopening plans are being finalized and details will be shared soon.
All Universal guests are urged to follow CDC guidelines and conduct temperature checks prior to their arrival. Guests should evaluate their own risk before they visit – and it is not recommended that older adults or individuals at high-risk with serious underlying medical conditions visit the destination. People who show no symptoms can still spread COVID-19 if they are infected. Any interaction with the general public poses an elevated risk of being exposed to COVID-19 and Universal cannot guarantee guests will not be exposed during their visit.
For information on CDC guidelines, click here. For more information about Universal Orlando’s policies during this time, visit Universal’s website. Due to the evolving nature of this situation, details are subject to change without notice.