Face covering required: Universal’s CityWalk to reopen with limited operations

Guests can visit select venues starting Thursday

Universal Orlando Resort’s CityWalk announced Tuesday it will open for limited operations.
Universal Orlando Resort’s CityWalk announced Tuesday it will open for limited operations.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Universal Orlando Resort’s CityWalk announced Tuesday it will open for limited operations.

Select venues in the retail district are set to reopen Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Restaurants on its initial list include Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Voodoo Doughnut. Shopping venues are limited to Airbrush, retail services at Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company and the Universal Studios Store. Click here for a full list of venues that will welcome guests.

Restaurants may be operating on a limited menu and seating. CityWalk officials also say some venues will accept mobile orders. Cashless payments will be an available option at all venues.

All nightclubs, Universal Cinemark and the Blue Man Group venue remain closed. The tourist attraction says self-parking will be complimentary, valet parking will not be available for the time being.

[RELATED: Disney CEO says masks likely part of US parks’ reopening plan | Disney Springs to begin phased reopening May 20 after coronavirus closure]

CityWalk managers say they have enhanced sanitization procedures and implemented additional measures for distance spacing. All team members will be required to wear a face covering and they are asking guests to do the same.

Guests will also be subjected to a temperature check upon arrival. Anyone with a temperature that reads 100.4 degrees or higher will be asked to go home.

Team members will be enforcing social distancing guidelines by asking guests to stand on floor markings throughout the retail district. These markings are in addition to signage throughout the district to promote people to keep space between themselves and other groups.

Retired Professor of Theme Park Management from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at The University of Central Florida, Dr. Duncan Dickson said it’s important for employees to make guests feel safe.

“You have to have your front line people feel comfortable and if they don’t feel comfortable, they are going to have a difficult time making the guests feel comfortable," said Dr. Dickson. “It gives them some opportunities to practice the social distancing, the temperature checks, all those things on a smaller scale.”

Dr. Duncan said it's important for staff to be well trained.

“They are looking at, can my cast, my team, give a great guest experience because you know, that’s where it breaks down. If the employees aren’t having fun, the guests aren’t going to have fun," said Dr. Dunkin.

“There is going to be incredible pressure on the custodial, parks services teams to maintain cleanliness, to make sure tables are wiped down.”

Universal Orlando theme parks and resorts have been closed since mid-March. Universal Orlando officials have not released any plans regarding opening theme parks.