Universal Orlando Is Open! See What Guests Are Saying
The day has finally arrived theme park fans! Universal Studios in Orlando officially opened its gates to the general public today. USA Today shared some images with us this morning of theme park fans streaming back into the parks this morning and was on hand to get feedback about how guests are feeling about being back in the parks again!
By all accounts and from what we saw when visiting during the passholder preview earlier in the week, the enthusiasm is definitely there for the parks to re-open. As one guest, Donna Walters, told USA Today, “We missed the parks desperately!”
Guests arriving at the theme parks can expect new safety requirements in place. This includes temperature checks. Guests with temperatures above 100.4 degrees will not be allowed into the parks. The number of people allowed into the parks for social distancing is also being restricted.
For passholder previews earlier in the week things were pretty jam-packed. It will be interesting to see if those entering the parks are spaced a bit more to ensure that social distancing protocols are in place.
Throughout the parks and entrances, you’ll see blue markings on the floor reminding guests to keep 6 feet of distance between you and other parties. According to USA Today, a recording in English and Spanish is also reminding guests to wear face masks and keep their distance.
Similar to what we have seen at Disney Springs, workers with spray bottle sanitizers can be seen throughout the parks wiping down handrails, escalators, elevators and more.
When we visited Universal Studios on Wednesday we also noticed hand sanitation stations along the security entrance to the parks.
By far one of the most controversial policies has been the use of face masks at the theme parks. This is similar to what we saw over at Disney Springs. When we visited Universal on Wednesday we noticed many guests adhering to the policies and some that weren’t.
As Walters, a registered nurse, told USA Today, “We feel like all the precautions were up to snuff. We felt super safe to come here.” When asked specifically about the masks she said, “Yeah, the masks. It’s Florida, so it’s hot. But it is what it is, and it does protect other people.”
Universal marks the first major Orlando theme park to open but SeaWorld will be hot on it’s heels and is planning to reopen next week. Bush Gardens Tampa Bay will also be opening.
Walt Disney World is taking a more cautious approach, as we previously announced here at MickeyBlog, Disney has plans to reopen the theme parks beginning July 11th starting with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom and will then open EPCOT and Hollywood Studios a few days later on July 15th.
As of yet, Disney World has not made any plans to reopen its two water parks: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Disney also announced that crowd-inducing offerings like meet-and-greets, parades and fireworks will be postponed for the time being. As Union Leader Eric Clinton said, “Any scenario that could create large crowds … the company isn’t going to do it,”
According to USA Today, Orlando’s theme park industry, as well as hotels and restaurants, were devastated by the coronavirus-related closures. Tens of thousands of workers in the Orlando area were furloughed as a result of the closures and them parks lost millions of dollars in revenue.
We’ll be following the theme park reopenings closely in the weeks ahead. Readers are encouraged to keep following along with us for the latest news and updates!
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