During the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force meeting today, May 21, Universal Orlando shared its plan for reopening, as well as a reopening timeline, for local approval.
With this plan, Universal Orlando aims to reopen along the following timeline:
- June 1-2: Team Members will visit the park to help test the new safety precautions in place.
- June 3-4: Some invited guests, Annual Passholders, and others will come and vet those new guidelines as well.
- June 5: Universal Orlando Resort will reopen to the public.
With this reopening plan, many new operational changes and safety procedures will be put in place, including:
- UO Ambassadors will be scattered throughout the parks to help guests understand the new procedures in place, and will be “extremely visible” to guests.
- There will be temperature checks for both guests and Team Members at parking or the main entrance to the resort. Those found with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be requested to see a doctor and not visit the theme park that day.
- Universal Orlando’s valet operation will be closed for the time being. Guest vehicles will be parked in the parking garages with 1-2 spaces in between them.
- Automated spiels at all entry locations will offer information on preventative measures in multiple languages.
- There will be an audio message along the moving walkway reminding guests to follow all new safety protocols.
- Guests and Team Members will be required to wear face coverings. If guests arrive at the parks and do not have a mask, they will be provided one free, disposable mask. Face coverings will also be available for purchase.
- Brochure racks for maps will be eliminated, and Team Members will hand them out individually and encourage guests to use the theme park’s official mobile app.
- Team Member break rooms will observe social distancing and TMs will be allowed to take their costumes home to reduce contact.
- Team Members will do self-temperature checks at home and upon arrival to work; those with a 100.4 degree temperature or more (or flu-like symptoms) will be sent home. If the TM has a temperature, they will not return to work for 72 hours. Team Members age 65 and older are encouraged to stay home.
- Interactive play areas will be closed, and most water and mist elements on attractions will be eliminated.
- Virtual Line will be implemented for a number of attractions at both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and single-rider lines will be eliminated.
- All post-show meet-and-greets for entertainment offerings will be eliminated, and characters will remain staged for photos instead.
- No parades will run during this initial reopening period, but individual float interactions will have performers remain on floats when greeting guests.
- All 3D glasses will be handed out individually.
- All dining locations will offer mobile ordering and contactless payments will be available. Cash payments will not be refused, but other protocols will be in place for guests who use it as payment.
- All dining menus have been converted to single-use only. Condiments will be individually packaged, and silverware will come pre-wrapped.
- No buffet or self-serve options will be available in restaurants.
- Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance and exit of every ride, merchandise and food and beverage location.
- Every other locker bank will be disabled, and guests will be led into the locker area by a Team Member to store their items.
- Signage will be added to the UO website and across the resort to help guests know exactly what to expect when visiting. Handouts will also be given to all guests with this same information, and will be available in multiple languages.
- Social distancing markings and “please stand here” markings have been installed on the ground throughout the resort.
At Universal’s Volcano Bay, the following preventative measures will be in place:
- Ride vehicles, rafts, and life vest cleaning will be places in water for additional cleaning as needed.
- The number of tubes in the lazy river and life vest in the action river will be reduced.
- Volcano Bay will reduce the number of guests per raft slide to party size only (no grouping of unfamiliar parties).
- Lounge chairs will placed in clusters to support travel party seating and separate 6 feet apart.
This plan was unanimously approved by the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force. Now Orange County mayor Jerry Demings will review the proposal, and if he endorses it, he will send it on to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for final approval.
Stay tuned for updates tomorrow as we await news on the approval of Universal Orlando’s reopening plan.