What Florida’s theme parks could look like after reopening

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH)—The Orange County Economic Task Force on Tuesday discussed some possible guidelines and mandates that Central Florida theme parks may have to follow whenever they reopen.

The first draft of preliminary guidelines and mandates for businesses reopening in Central Florida included a phased approach to reopening theme parks that calls for larger parks to operate at 50% capacity when they initially reopen gates.

The guidelines and mandates listed below are just initial suggestions, and do not include any additional measures theme parks decide to take on their own.

Orange County officials have said they are waiting on guidance from Gov. Ron DeSantis before moving ahead with any plans to reopen. There was also no discussion about specific dates for the reopening of theme parks.

Mandates for large theme parks (Disney, Universal, SeaWorld)

  • All employees must wear face masks.
  • Touchless hand sanitizer must be stationed at each ticketing entry/turnstile.
  • Touchless hand sanitizer at each attraction entrance and exit.
  • Temperature checks for staff prior to shift. (Those with temperatures over 100.4 will not be allowed to enter premises.)
  • All employees with flu-like symptoms will be advised to stay at home.
  • Wipe down all railings and surfaces after every use.
  • Phase 1: 50% capacity
  • Phase 2: 75% capacity

Guidelines for large theme parks:

  • Tape marking 6 ft apart in attraction queues.
  • Staff to regularly wipe down surfaces at random.
  • Phase 1 and Phase 2: Staff 65 years or older are encouraged to stay at home.

The task force separated Central Florida’s smaller theme parks, like Gatorland and FunSpot into a second category with a different set of guidelines and recommendations.

The suggestions and mandates for the smaller parks were for the most part the same as those made for large parks.

The suggestions shared by the Orange County task force look similar to what was discussed last week by the Reopen Florida Task Force.

Universal Orlando Resort CEO John Sprouls indicated that planning was underway for virtual lines, staggered seating on rides and online food ordering.

Sprouls said last week that even with steps such as enhanced cleaning, checking temperatures and observations by on-site medical personnel, guests will need to be confident that the facilities are safe.

“If they don’t feel safe, they won’t attend,” Sprouls said.

Opening at 50% capacity could be a way for parks to help guests feel a safer while visiting.

“We would be capping attendance to make sure we could create a maximum amount of social distancing,” Sprouls said. “And then, as we gained confidence in those practices and procedures that we’re employing, and as we learned from what we’re doing, we would gradually see that attendance rise.”

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