ORLANDO, Fla. – Fun Spot, which has been pushing to be allowed to reopen after its extended coronavirus closure, will be allowed to do just that in time for Memorial Day weekend.
An official with the Central Florida attraction said with approval from the state, the Orlando location opened at 2 p.m. Friday and will accept guests until 10 p.m. It’s unclear when the Kissimmee location, situated within Old Town, will start accepting guests.
During an Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force meeting on Monday, CEO John Arie, Jr. said he was hoping to be allowed to open Friday.
Fun Spot provided this list of protective measures:
- 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% 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
Earlier this month, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that attractions could begin submitted reopening plans that would need to be approved by a local official, such as the mayor, and then sent to the state for the final green light.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings on Thursday approved the plans.
“I have reviewed the small attractions and will recommend to governor today,” Demings said.
Video posted to the county’s Twitter account Thursday shows him signing plans for 12 local attractions:
Today after our @OrangeCoFL Economic Recovery Task Force meeting, I signed letters of recommendation for the re-opening of 12 local attractions. Their safety measures and plans were reviewed by our Div. of #BuildingSafety. The letters went to @GovRonDeSantis' Office. Stay tuned. pic.twitter.com/ZUdqoE5Yhj— Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings (@OCFLMayor) May 21, 2020
John Chidester, the vice president of marketing for Fun Spot America, said he expects a good turnout this weekend.
“It is the official kickoff to the summer season so everyone is excited about having the opportunity to reopen in time for the summer season,” Chidester said. “Although we do expect it to be certainly not as busy as traditional summers because we don’t have our visitors out of state here in Florida.”
He said guests will be able to notice the health changes. For example, every other row on rides will be empty and the park will operate at 50% capacity to begin with.
“We are all going to learn from each other through this and again, to say what we are doing today as we learn things, we will incorporate those new learnings into our operations,” Chidester said.
Mark Martinez was among one of the first guests to arrive Friday afternoon.
“It feels awesome. We love going to the parks, that’s my favorite thing, why I moved down here, so it was awesome to be able to do what I love to do,” Martinez said.
Shortly after Fun Spot’s reopening announcement, Universal Orlando sent out an alert notifying guests that its parks would soon begin operating. Read more on that here.