It’s clear there will be major changes at Central Florida’s major theme parks, including Disney World and Universal Orlando, when they begin to reopen as coronavirus restrictions ease. The Orange County Economic Task Force issued some preliminary guidelines Tuesday as the state considers a phased approach to reopening the parks. All are initial suggestions only, and will be assessed and updated in the coming days.
Among the initial recommendations, larger theme parks will operate at 50% capacity during a Phase 1 period. That could increase to 75% capacity in Phase 2. Additionally, all employees will be required to wear facemasks; there will be touchless hand sanitizer at each ticketing entry and turnstile, and at each ride/attraction entry and exit; there will be temperature checks for staff prior to their shifts; as well as a regular wipe-down of all railing and surfaces. Any staff member age 65 and above will be encouraged to stay home.
To help with social distancing, tape markings of 6 feet apart could be placed in the attraction and ride queues.
During a subcommittee meeting in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Re-Open Florida Task Force last week, Universal Orlando CEO John Sprouls shared measures the resort is considering, including screening employees, encouraging guests to wear face masks, disinfecting rides and attractions throughout the day and increasing the use of its virtual line system.
Disney World hasn’t revealed publicly what measures it’s considering as it reopens its theme parks.
DeSantis is expected to announce formal re-opening plans Wednesday, the day before Florida’s current stay-at-home order expires.
The Orange County Economic Task Force is made up of executives from various industries, including Disney World SVP Resort & Transportation Operations Thomas Mazloum, Universal Orlando EVP Resort Operations Rich Costales and SeaWorld VP Operations Brad Gilmour.
The major theme parks have been closed since mid-March because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the majority of their employees facing furloughs or pay cuts.
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