Universal Orlando announced it will reopen on June 5 — and it’s not the only theme park to make the same decision
After closing the park mid-March in response to the coronavirus, Universal Orlando recently announced plans to reopen to the public on June 5.
The company will actually begin with a soft reopen with invited guests and some annual pass holders starting June 1, and on June 3 and 4, the park will invite visitors to the park to “stress the system and make sure it works,” according to John Sproules, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Universal Parks and Resorts. According to People, Universal Orlando won’t welcome public visitors until June 5.
We're getting ready to re-open!
— Universal Orlando Resort (@UniversalORL) May 22, 2020
Universal emphasized that the experience will not be the one guests were used to pre-pandemic. “Things are going to be different, but we’re going to ask [guests] to be patient with us,” Sproules said.
How different exactly? According to Universal Orlando Resort’s operations update, all guests and team members must: wear a face covering, have their temperature checked upon arrival (and guests with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be admitted), wash hands often and use hand sanitizer when required at select locations at the park, practice social distancing of at least six feet between their travel party and others, and follow team member directions.
Additionally, the park will limit capacity “throughout all attractions, restaurants, and shops throughout the destination.”
“We mapped out a guest journey, and every single point where they come in and contact with us…and tried to identify every single touchpoint that we would have with the guest so we can keep them safe,” Sproules continued. People reports that Universal employees will be trained on these new safety protocols this weekend and will need to do self-temperature checks at home every day. Employees must also follow social distancing measures, which will also be enforced during breaks. Moreover, employees won’t be allowed to share costumes or uniforms.
Universal Orlando isn’t the only theme park to open their doors sooner than expected. Florida’s Legoland will welcome guests back in starting June 1 and will implement similar protocols as Universal Orlando, including limited capacity, temperature checks, and social distancing. Still, according to the Orlando Sentinel, this means that Legoland will potentially be packed with 6,000 people.
Universal Orlando’s reopening was approved by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and unanimously approved by both the Universal and Legoland respective boards.