The theme park giant told Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force this week that it wants to test its new protocols with team members and limited groups on June 1 before reopening to the public June 5.
“This would be a gradual capacity-managed opening. We are going to manage capacity not only across the resort, but within each and every attraction and food and merchandise venue,” said John Sprouls, executive vice president and CAO of Universal Parks & Resorts and CEO of Universal Orlando Resort, during the meeting. “But we are going to ramp up slowly to make sure all the procedures and practices that we are putting in place actually work.”
Universal Orlando has been closed since mid-March after the Covid-19 pandemic led all the region’s major theme parks operators to shutter.
“We will open on June 1 and June 2 and have some of our team members come in and allow us to vet everything we are doing. Then on [June 3 and June 4] we would do some invited guests and annual pass holders to stress the systems and make sure it works. And then hope to open to public on June 5,” Sprouls added.
Universal shared a bit more into what to expect when guests return, including face masks required for for employees and guests, temperature checks, frequent hand washing, and people in queues and tables set at 6 feet apart.
- Capacity of its rides will be reduced to maintain social distancing
- Water and mist elements on rides will be eliminated to reduce chance of transmissions.
- Single-rider lines will be eliminated as the park does not want to mix riders with those not in the same family.
- Post-show meet-n-greets will be eliminated with performers only available for pictures on stage.
- Restaurants will use disposable menus.
Sprouls said Universal’s team members also will be given extended break times to allow for proper sanitation such as hand washing and time without face masks.”