Gatorland announces reopening date alongside Universal, other attractions

Park will reopen to public on Saturday

ORLANDO, Fla. – Gatorland will reopen its doors to the public just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

On Friday, Gatorland officials held a “State of the Gator” to announce their plans to reopen on Saturday.

The park, which has been closed due to ongoing concern over the coronavirus pandemic, will begin welcoming guests at 10 a.m., according to a news release.

The park was given the green light to resume operations after presenting its safety operational plan to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, and receiving support from the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, the release said.

“We have worked incredibly hard for this day to finally come, and are thrilled that Governor DeSantis, Mayor Demings and the Orange County task force have recognized the monumental changes we have made in our park and park operations to ensure the highest levels of safety for our guests and employees,” said Mark McHugh, President and CEO of Gatorland. “Safety and cleanliness of Gatorland have always been our guiding values, and we cannot wait to see guests walking through our historic gator mouth once again.”

The park’s safety plan includes the following new measures:

  • All queue lines at admissions, shows, rides, food venues and retail shops have been marked for safe physical distancing based on CDC guidelines.
  • The park itself, food venues, retail shops, all shows and rides now have reduced capacities and seats to provide comfortable and safe social distancing.
  • Frequent and visible disinfection of all “touch” areas throughout the park.
  • All counters, tables and chairs at food venues are sanitized and cleaned after every guest.
  • All public areas throughout the entire park are thoroughly disinfected every night.
  • Over 100 additional handwashing and hand sanitizer stations have been added throughout the park.
  • All employees are required to have their temperature checked before working and wear face masks at all times in the park.
  • By entering Gatorland, guests must agree to the following:
    • They do not have a fever, cough or other symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Gatorland reserves the right to check their temperature if they exhibit symptoms.
    • They will endeavor to maintain social distancing from other groups.
    • They will frequently use handwashing and hand sanitizer stations.
  • Guests are also encouraged to wear face masks.

Employees at Gatorland Orlando have safety measures already set up throughout the park, including six-feet placeholders on the ground and signs detailing the new restrictions for guests.

The attraction also introduced what it’s calling “The Gatorland Social Distancing Skunk Ape,” a character that aims to take social distancing efforts to the next level, according to the release.

MORE: Skunk Ape: Here’s how Gatorland will enforce social distancing

Gatorland is the fourth attraction to announce its opening date Friday.

Universal Studios started the trend on Friday after announcing that it would reopen June 5.

After the announcement, more Central Florida theme parks and attractions followed suit, announcing their respective reopening dates.

Legoland Florida Resort announced that it will officially reopen to guests on June 1.

Fun Spot, after gaining approval from the state, opened ahead of all other attractions and began park operations at 2 p.m. Friday.

Gatorland Orlando, along with Fun Spot America and Icon Park had previously submitted letters to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings asking to be included in phase two of the governor’s reopening plan.

RELATED: Fun Spot America, Gatorland push to reopen during phase 2

It’s been almost two months since Gatorland Orlando closed its doors due to the pandemic. Now with the news of Universal's CityWalk and Disney Springs partially reopening, workers say they are ready to reopen whenever they get the green light.