ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orange County Economic Recovery task force approved Universal Orlando’s plans to reopen theme parks to staff beginning June 1 and to guests on June 5, after listening to a presentation presented by a Universal executive.
John Sprouls, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts, presented Universal’s reopening plan to the task force Thursday as other theme parks and attractions in the area presented reopening plans.
Under DeSantis’ executive order theme parks need local government approval before sending their plans to state officials for final approval.
“We have been working over the last several weeks trying to be ready and be prepared for the right opportunity to come forward,” Sprouls said.
Sprouls said executives plan to ramp up park operations slowly while managing capacity across the resort within each attraction.
“When I ask we aren’t going to open to public June 1, we will open June 1 and June 2 and as our team works to see what we are doing," Sprouls said. “Then on the third and fourth [of June], some invited guests annual passholders and others [can enter the park] to vet the system.”
Sprouls said that if all goes well and the plan is approved, Universal will then open to the public on June 5.
With the task force’s approval, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings will make the the final say before it goes to DeSantis and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations.
Demings said he will review the Universal plan and likely speak with the governor about it on Friday.
Upon opening, guests would be subject to mandatory temperature checks stationed at all park entrances. Team Members and guests would be required to wear masks at all times while at the park, and masks would be provided if guests did not bring one. Valet services would not be offered, according to the park’s reopening proposal.
Universal Orlando closed all three of its parks on March 15 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. CityWalk reopened last week with modified hours of operation from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. with face mask requirements in place.