Universal Parks & Resorts a few days ago 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. The other night, we walked through these protocols and had a great discussion on the live stream about them and what your thoughts were.
With support from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Universal officials and 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. The reopening will include Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay.
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.
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. We are still not sure if this will be only Universal Orlando passholders or invited guests. 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). On my live stream from last week, we brought up these guidelines and walked through them together, discussing out thoughts and how we may think they will move forward through this unprecedented opening.
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
As I mentioned on the live streams, I will not be streaming or going on the opening of CityWalk for my own reasons. We will be going later on and covering the area as it is opening up. I personally feel that we have moved into a new direction, one of safety and thoughtful decisions rather than a “rope drop” mentality that has driven us previously for whatever reason. I will always work hard and strive to bring you the best quality and information regarding the theme parks, openings and happenings in the most safe and entertaining way. This is unchartered territory for us all and especially as an irl live streamer it may be crazy to navigate through it, since things happen in the moment and a lot of time beyond my control. But, as the saying goes, “we are all in this together” and with the Mayne Mafia, it will always be a great adventure.
Be sure and keep checking back here at spokesmayne.co for information on the phase openings of the theme parks in Orlando as well as other venues as they open up. What do you think about Universal Orlando opening up. Do you think that it is too soon? Do you feel that they have done as much as they can to provide guidelines and safety? Are you ready to go back? Let me know in the comments and have a discussion. I would love to hear what you think.
Hours of Operation, Beginning June 5
Universal Studios Florida:
- 9am-6pm Daily
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
- 9am-6pm Daily
Universal’s Volcano Bay
- 10am-5pm Daily
Universal CityWalk Orlando
- 8am – 10pm Daily
Universal Orlando Press Release 05-22-20; Spokesmayne