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Universal Orlando reopens Friday with changes

Florida

(WFLA photo)

ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH)—Universal Orlando has reopened its theme parks to the general public.

Passholders had a chance to go inside and experience the new safety procedures before it opened, and thousands of new directional and social distancing markers pointed them toward something new.

Before you can get to CityWalk, or the gates to Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios, you’ll have to pass a temperature check. It takes only seconds.

WESH 2’s Greg Fox said it took longer to get through the usual bag check areas that have been used for years.

“The team members here are being nice and helpful and making sure that everyone is keeping their face masks on,” Johnny Childers said.

Childers and his wife Jenny are from Palm Bay. They provided video in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including the ride areas, as well as some of the busier walking areas. They say Universal personnel were constantly reminding people of COVID-19 precautions.

“A lot of places are social distancing, labeled and marked, and it’s just a great thing overall and very clean and we feel very safe here,” Jenny Childers said.

“I think we are keeping people safe,” Universal Orlando Resort’s CEO John Sprouls said.

Sprouls said they worked hard to create contactless payments in stores and restaurants to protect visitors and guests.

“We are trying to do the things that we promised which are not only making people feel safe, but more importantly, making them safe,” Sprouls said. “We think, as long as we can do that, we’re putting more people back to work and trying to get our economy in central Florida moving in the right direction.”

In preparation for opening to the general public, on Tuesday Universal reopened most of its resort hotels.

Temperature checks and masks in common areas, are required inside, just as they are for people entering the parks.

After four days of polishing up safety procedures with employees and passholders, Universal’s big test comes Friday.

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