76ºF

Here’s what Fun Spot, Gatorland, Icon Park want to do to keep you safe

Fun Spot, Gatorland want to open by the end of the week

ORLANDO, Fla. – Some of Orange County’s smaller attractions said they have strong guidelines in place for keeping guests safe, and they want to open by the end of the week.

Leaders from Fun Spot America, Gatorland and Icon Park presented their plans to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force on Monday.

“Our priority is number one the customer’s safety comes first,” said Chris Jaskiewicz with Icon Park. “Keep things clean and keep people healthy.”

All three parks have been closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

They all had similar aspects of their proposals, which they said came from guidelines set up by the Centers for Disease Control and The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

Those include only allowing 25 percent capacity during phase one of reopening, enforcing social distancing rules in the lines for rides, checking employees temperatures before work, requiring employees wear masks, setting up hand sanitizing stations throughout each park and frequent deep cleanings.

Each park had their own additions, which are listed below.

Two of the parks wanted the task force to move quickly with a decision.

“Our goal is to seek approval from the task force and from Mayor Demings and open our park this Saturday, May 23,” said Mark McHugh with Gatorland.

Fun Spot is looking to open this Friday, May 22, and we’re asking for permission,” said CEO John Arie, Jr.

Demings cited results from an ongoing consumer confidence survey are being conducted by Orange County.

He said from what he's seeing, residents want assurances.

“They want to see masks,” he said, “They want to see a number of things in order to reengage.”

Arie said his hope is a successful reopening of these three attractions might mean more attractions could start the reopening process.

"We look forward to not only helping us get open, but helping all the attractions along I Drive, 192, and everywhere across Central Florida open again," he said.

A spokesperson for Orange County government told News 6 all three attractions will submit their safety proposals in writing on Wednesday, and the hope is to have a decision by Thursday.

Here are the proposals made by each park during Monday's Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force:

Icon Park Orlando

  • Cancellation of 4th of July event
  • Employees would be tested and their temperatures monitored
  • Manage social distancing of 10 feet inline
  • Install plastic shields at all ticket counters and points of sale
  • Riding capsules would be cleaned after each 20-minute ride
  • All rides would be one party only

Gatorland

  • Implementation of new 32-page policies and procedures manual
  • Determined capacities for each area of the park, which would allow each guest to have a six-foot circle around them
  • Temperature checks for employees every day
  • Instituting a face mask policy
  • Hand sanitizing stations throughout the park
  • Policy for contact tracing to help with health investigators
  • Open at 25 percent capacity for Phase One of reopening, 50 percent capacity for Phase Two, 75 percent capacity for Phase Three
  • The staff has the right to take any guest’s temperature
  • Disinfect all surfaces after each use

Fun Spot America

  • The company created a task force to set new rules in place
  • Park has been cleaned for the last eight weeks
  • The staff has been trained on new rules
  • The social distancing of nine feet will be enforced in the lines for the rides, signs will be set up to remind guests
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the park
  • Park will open at 50 percent capacity
  • Staff temperatures will be taken every day before work
  • All front line staff will wear face masks and sanitize hands in between transactions
  • Staff must take a health screening survey
  • Arcade, diner and indoor attractions will be closed during Phase One of reopening
  • Staggered loading and exiting of the thrill rides will eliminate bottlenecking and crowds
  • Disinfecting of all surfaces

About the Author: