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Thursday, May 21, 2020

From Gatorland to Universal, Orange County theme parks make big moves toward reopening

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2020 at 1:50 PM

click to enlarge Gatorland's public safety preparedness video shows employee temperature checks - SCREENSHOT VIA GATORLAND/YOUTUBE
  • Screenshot via Gatorland/YouTube
  • Gatorland's public safety preparedness video shows employee temperature checks
Like it or not, inexorable movement continues toward "reopening Florida," and that includes some area theme parks and attractions getting closer and closer to swinging their doors wide-open.

A clutch of area attractions, including Gatorland, Fun Spot America and ICON Park presented their case on Monday to the Bringing Back Tourism working group, outlining new protocols and procedures planned out. These attractions are pushing to be open by this holiday weekend, but is the Social Distancing Skunk Ape really ready to face the crowds?

Orlando Mayor Demings didn't exactly say no, but he didn't exactly say yes either, when he cautiously answered, “It’s possible, but there’s a lot that’s got to get done,” Wednesday, reported the Orlando Sentinel.
Meanwhile, during Mike Pence's big unmasked adventure in Orlando Wednesday, tourism bigwigs presented an array of possible scenarios for opening during a roundtable discussion with the VP and Gov. DeSantis.

The Orlando Business Journal reported that SeaWorld's interim CEO Mark Swanson offered up June as their earliest possible opening date, with an all-clear nod then needing a few weeks to get employees back.

Disney exec George Kalogridis played his cards a little closer to the chest, per ClickOrlando. He talked about eventual plans to reopen at around 20 percent capacity as Disneyland Shanghai is currently doing. with guests wearing masks. No specific dates were given.

Universal Orlando is moving more quickly, with word coming from the Sentinel that the park will be submitting its reopening plan to Demings' Economic Recovery Task Force today, making them the first major theme park to do so. Complete with an opening date. During the Pence roundtable Wednesday, Executive Vice President and Chief Administration Officer John Sprouls pointed to the opening of CityWalk as an indicator of success of Universal's new guidelines.

Buckle up, everyone. Looks to be a very eventful long weekend.
  • Photo courtesy Fun Spot America/Facebook
  • Fun Spot America
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