Officials say Florida’s biggest theme parks could look a whole lot different when they eventually reopen from the current coronavirus pandemic.
The Orange County Economic Task Force laid out possible mandates for parks such as Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando this week, including a phased approach to reopening that calls for larger parks to operate at 50% capacity when they initially reopen gates.
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Other requirements would include employees wearing masks at all times while being checked for their temperatures before each shift, with those employees over the age of 65 being told to stay home.
“We would be capping attendance to make sure we could create a maximum amount of social distancing,” Universal Orlando COO John Sprouls told NBC affiliate WESH-TV. “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.”
Phase two would allow for the parks to operate at 75% capacity. Larger parks are waiting for guidance from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on guidelines for when they can reopen.
The parks closed March 25, with thousands of workers being furloughed and no reopening date set.
Sprouls added that the park is looking into such procedures as staggered seating on rides, virtual lines and online food ordering in an effort to keep visitors safe.
“If they don't feel safe, they won't attend,” Sprouls said.
Universal Orlando is owned by Comcast, the principal owners of NBCUniversal and NBC 6