Universal Orlando Presents Safety Protocols for Reopening Theme Parks in June

UPDATE 5/22/2020: It’s official, Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay will be opening to guests on June 5, 20202. See more info here

Representatives for Universal Orlando met with members of the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force today to present their proposal for reopening the theme parks. Universal is hoping to have both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure open on June 5th, with soft openings and tests occurring in a limited capacity beginning June 1st. These dates are not yet finalized as the plans must first be approved by the state governor’s office.

As part of their presentation, Universal introduced materials explaining the various safety protocols they plan to have in place. These include examples of various signage and safety pamphlets for guests to learn how to stay safe while visiting the parks, as well as new procedures for both guests and team members. Let’s explore some of these details below. And stay tuned for the official reopening announcement once these plans have been approved, hopefully within the next few days.

The image above explains some of the broad steps being taken to help protect the guest and the guest experience, including screening guests, sanitizing areas, keeping spacing standards, and introducing touchless options when interaction is necessary.

The image below shows shows the Team Member experience, including changes in how Team Members interact with guests, take breaks, and work on and off stage.

The next image contains the most information for the new protocols that will be put into place when the theme parks reopen. (Click on the image for a higher resolution version.) The first section includes new procedures for guest arrival to the resort parking garage, including requiring that all guests wear a face covering and pass a temperature check. These steps have already been taken as Universal CityWalk is currently open and accepting guests.

It states that things like park maps will be handed out individually to prevent others from touching them before guest receives them. The same will be done with things like 3D glasses before boarding an attraction. It also says that every other locker bank will be disabled and that guests will be pulsed into locker area by a Team Member to make it easier to social distance.

The above image also explains how interactive play areas will be closed when the parks reopen. Some water effects on certain rides will be deactivated or reduced. Virtual Line will be implemented on highly attended attractions. Single Rider lines will not be available for any attraction. There will be no parades or post show character meet and greets. Some character interactions will still happen, but from a distance, such as a stage.

For dining and merchandise, the image above says that they will be offering face masks for sale, as masks are required. All dining menus will be single use so other guests will not have interacted with it before you got it. No buffets or self-serve restaurants will be available. All silverware and condiments will be individually packaged as well. Mobile Order options will be available in addition to contactless payments like Apple Pay.

The document also goes on to explain specific protocols for Team Members. Volcano Bay also includes its own protocols in the document, although it is not yet clear if the water park will be opening at the same time as the theme parks. The document makes it clear that the CDC says well chlorinated pools, or pools using bromine, have been known to inactivate the virus. Other precautions, like limiting the number of guests in a raft, are also included.

This image above illustrates what signs at the entry to the parking garages, security screening areas, and entry to CityWalk look like. These signs are already present at the resort, and explain the basic rules including how face coverings are required, a temperature check is required to enter, and to keep 6 feet apart from other parties when possible. These signs also include a disclaimer explaining that Universal cannot guarantee whether or not an individual will be exposed to Covid-19 during their visit.

The next image shows A-Frame signage and floor markings that will be located throughout all of CityWalk and the theme parks.

In addition to the various signs, audio warnings, and floor markings, Universal has also prepared a hand-out flyer, visible in the image below. The handout features the basic rules and precautions listed on the front, as well as some of the steps they’re taking to keep everyone safe on the back.

These sets of protocols conclude with examples of how they intend to better facilitate social distancing within attraction queues. Two examples of floor markings are shown in the image below, as well as diagrams for possible integration of the markings within existing queue setups.

In addition to all of the protocols discussed above, the theme parks themselves will be operating at a lower capacity, as will individual attractions. Team Members will be taking more breaks than usual to allow for additional hand washing and other precautions. Hand sanitizer stations will be located outside of every attraction and every restaurant.

Universal Orlando has stated that hotels are an important part of the guest experience and that plans are being formulated and details will be shared soon for reopening the resorts themselves. They also say that guests with reservations will be contacted as soon as plans are available.

UPDATE 5/22/2020: It’s official, Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay will be opening to guests on June 5, 20202. See more info here

Please keep in mind that while Universal Orlando has presented this proposal to Orange County, it must still be approved by the Florida governor’s office before it can be put into action. Universal CityWalk is already open, but the theme parks are not yet. They hope to open the theme parks in a limited capacity beginning June 1, 2020. Team Members will likely be invited for the first two days as a soft open test. Then invited guests, (and maybe even some annual passholders,) will be invited to the parks as an expanded test on the 3rd and 4th. Finally, the parks would be opening to the public on June 5th, but space may be limited.

Stay tuned to the site for more details on the possible reopening of Universal Orlando, as well the official announcement when we get it. Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email below to never miss an update. Images: Universal Orlando / Orange County Task Force

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  • Ryan The Super Internet Person


    They better had spark a good agreement with ViacomCBS to permanently eliminate the Dora the Explorer characters by now, because they have faded to obscurity, they’re not as popular as they were in 2005, and Universal is clearly a chimpanzee for not phasing our characters like Dora and Barney, but yet have phased out much superior characters like She-Ra and Woody Woodpecker, because of the COVID-19 budget cuts

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