11:49 AM PDT 5/21/2020
The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force unanimously voted to approve the plan.
Universal Orlando has targeted June 5 as its date to reopen after being shuttered for months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
John Sprouts, an official with the Florida studio destination, submitted the park’s proposal Thursday to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, which is headed by Mayor Jerry Demings.
The task force unanimously voted to approve Universal Orlando’s plan to reopen. Universal Orlando, along with Universal Studios Hollywood, has been shuttered since mid-March amid the pandemic.
Universal Orlando will open June 1 just for employees as a dry run of sorts and then on June 3, some invited guests will visit. The park will then open to the public on June 5, officials said.
The theme park will open to a lower capacity, which will increase as time goes on, according to the plan. An onsite inspection took place with government officials on Thursday morning prior to the task force meeting. There were no concerns from those officials following the inspection, task force officials said.
Masks and temperature checks will be required for both visitors and employees. If a guest does not have a mask, one will be provided for them, officials said. Interactive play areas have been closed. There will be no more valet parking. Mist areas will be closed. There will be no more post-show meet-and-greets. All menus will be paper single-use in restaurants. Cash will still be accepted, but the park is trying to minimize it. Employees will self-check at home and then be checked again once they arrive to work.
Signage will be placed throughout the park to remind visitors of social distancing, with at least six feet of separation required for ride and food lines.
The CityWalk district within the Florida resort reopened earlier this month with strict new measures in place, such as mask and temperature check requirements.
Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave Disney and NBCUniversal the green light to submit their park reopening plans, which would include a date.
The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, comprised of 44 members of the business community, includes Disney executives and the CEO of the Orlando Magic. The rep for Disney recused himself from the Thursday vote.