Under the guidance of government and health officials, some of our local theme parks and businesses are moving into the initial phases of resuming operation. While each location is working on their own schedule, plans for reopening under special guidelines are underway starting with restaurants and shops.
Universal Orlando Resort is the first of our local theme parks to begin the reopening process, starting with Universal CityWalk. The entertainment district will slowly start reopening select dining locations and stores on May 14. Guests will be able to visit the following locations from 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM:
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
- Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville
- Red Oven Pizza Bakery
- VooDoo Doughnuts
- Auntie Anne’s Pretzels
- Hollywood Drive-in Mini Golf
- Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company
- Cold Stone Creamery
- Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen (Dessert Foundry & Candy Smith areas only)
- Universal Studios Store
- Select merchandise carts/kiosks
Of course, precautionary guidelines will be put into place in accordance with government and health officials. There will be no valet service, but self-parking will be complimentary for the time being. Guests will be subjected to a temperature check before they are allowed to continue on to the property and will only be allowed to enter if their temperature is below 100.4 degrees. All visitors are required to wear a face mask, and Universal Orlando will be providing disposable masks to anyone who does not have one. Select restaurants will also offer limited menus.
As of right now, the Universal Orlando theme parks and resort hotels will remain closed until further notice.
UPDATE (5/26/20): Universal Orlando Resort will begin phased reopening of Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay starting June 5, 2020.
New health, safety, and hygiene guidelines will be implemented for guests at the park, from the beginning to the end of each guest’s visit. The new procedures will include:
- Parking – Staggered parking procedures will be implemented in the parking garage
- Protective Masks & Social Distancing – Guests and team members will all be required to wear appropriate face masks and maintain social distancing guidelines
- Temperature Screenings – Everyone who comes on Universal property will have to have a temperature check before entering the parks. If temperatures are 100.4 or higher, you will not be permitted to enter.
- Reduced Park Attendance & Operation – There will be reduced daily capacity for guests entering the parks, as well as reduced attraction ridership, show attendance, and restaurant seating. Select attractions will implement virtual lines as well.
- Cashless Transactions – Cashless payments and “no touch” policies will be implemented anywhere possible around the parks
- Sanitization – There will be increased protocols for cleaning and disinfecting ride vehicles, dining locations, restrooms, and other touchpoints around the parks.
UPDATE (5/29/20): All Universal Orlando Resort properties will have adjusted hours of operation (subject to change).
- Universal Studios Florida: 9 AM – 6 PM
- Universal’s Islands of Adventure: 9 AM – 6 PM
- Universal Volcano Bay: 10 AM – 5 PM
- Universal CityWalk: 8 AM – 10 PM
Universal Orlando has also provided some additional information and tips about guests’ park experience when the resort reopens:
- All guests are encouraged to download the Official Universal Orlando Resort App before their visit. The app allows for cashless transactions, mobile order at select dining locations, virtual lines at select attractions, and other helpful tools to use at the parks.
- Mobile order for food and beverages will be added to select venues and all restaurant menus will be single-use only.
- Time in line at select rides and attractions will be minimized with the help of Virtual Line on the Universal app. You can explore the rest of the park while waiting for your designated ride time and view wait time for other attractions as well.
- Guests will be required to use hand sanitizer before boarding any ride vehicles. At 3D attractions, a Universal cast member will be handing out sanitized 3D glasses to each rider. Ride vehicles will have staggered spacing in order to keep all guests in an appropriate distance of one another.
With Universal Orlando’s Virtual Line system, only a select number of returns times will be available on each day. It’s recommended to try to get your reservations for the attraction of your choice as early as possible. The virtual line system can be used at all of the following attractions:
- Fast & Furious – Supercharged
- Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure
- Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
- Revenge of the Mummy
- Skull Island – Reign of Kong
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
- Despicable Me – Minion Mayhem
UPDATE (6/1/20): Starting June 2, select Universal Orlando Resort hotels will be reopened to guests. The phased reopening applies to the following locations:
- Loews Royal Pacific Resort
- Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
- Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
- Universal’s Aventura Hotel
- Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn & Suites
Walt Disney World
Much like Universal, Walt Disney World will kick off their phased reopening process with Disney Springs starting May 20. A limited number of third-party-owned shops and restaurants will reopen with modified operating hours and other restrictions like parking limitations, socially distant seating, and contactless menus.
Dine-in restaurants will only open to 25% capacity in indoor and outdoor seating areas, and six feet floor markers will be at order/pick-up windows for quick-service restaurants. At Wine Bar George, diners will have to view menus digitally on their own personal devices and will also be encouraged to use contactless payment options.
UPDATED (6/2/20) As of right now, the following Disney Springs locations have resumed operation:
- 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck – Marketplace
- Aerophile Balloon – West Side
- American Threads – Town Center
- Anthropologie – Town Center
- The Art Corner – Marketplace
- Basin – Marketplace
- BB Wolf’s – Marketplace
- Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza – Town Center
- The BOATHOUSE – The Landing
- Chapel Hats – Marketplace
- Chicken Guy! – Town Center
- Coach – Town Center
- Columbia Sportswear – Town Center
- Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers – Marketplace
- D-Luxe Burger – Town Center
- Earl of Sandwich – Marketplace
- Edward Beiner Purveyor of Fine Eyewear – Town Center
- Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC – The Landing
- Everything But Water – Town Center
- francesca’s – Town Center
- Free People – Town Center
- Frontera Cocina – Town Center
- Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop – Marketplace
- Haagen Dazs – West Side
- Happy Hound – Marketplace
- Havaianas – The Landing
- Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co. locations – Marketplace, West Side, and The Landing
- JOHNNY WAS – Town Center
- Kate Spade – Town Center
- Kiehl’s Since 1851 – Town Center
- Lacoste – Town Center
- LEGO Store – Marketplace
- Levi’s – Town Center
- Lucky Brand – Town Center
- Luxury of Time by Diamonds International – Town Center
- Marketplace Co-Op – Marketplace
- Morimoto Asia (Main Dining Room Area Open from 4:30 PM – 9:00 PM) – The Landing
- Morimoto Asia Street Food (Outdoor Dining Open from 11:30 AM – 9:00 PM) – The Landing
- Na Hoku – Town Center
- Oakley – The Landing
- Paddlefish – The Landing
- Pandora Jewelry – Town Center
- Paradiso 37 Entertainment – The Landing
- Pele Soccer – West Side
- Pizza Ponte (Indoor & Outdoor Dining Open from 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM) – The Landing
- Planet Hollywood – Town Center
- The Polite Pig – Town Center
- Pop Gallery – West Side
- Ron Jon Surf Shop – Town Center
- Royally Yours by Arribas Brothers – The Landing
- Sanuk – The Landing
- Savannah Bee Company – The Landing
- Sephora – Town Center
- Shore – Town Center
- The Spice and Tea Exchange – Marketplace
- Sprinkles – Town Center
- Sosa Family Cigars – West Side
- STK Orlando – The Landing
- Starbucks – Marketplace & West Side
- Sugarboo & Co. – Town Center
- Sunglass Icon – West Side
- Sunshine Churros Kiosks – West Side and Marketplace
- Terralina Crafted Italian – The Landing
- Tommy Bahama – Town Center
- T-REX – Marketplace
- TUMI – Town Center
- UGG – Town Center
- UNIQLO – Town Center
- UNOde50 – Town Center
- Vera Bradley – Town Center
- Vivoli il Gelato (Open from 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM) – The Landing
- Volcom – Town Center
- Wetzel’s Pretzels – Marketplace & West Side
- Wine Bar George – The Landing
- Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill – Town Center
- World of Disney – Marketplace
- YeSake Kiosk – West Side
- ZARA – Town Center
More information on the safety and health measures that are being implemented at Disney Springs has also been released. The following new guidelines will be put into place during the initial reopening phase at the complex:
- Parking – All surface lots will be closed. Guests will self-park in the Orange and Lime Garages, and entrances to Disney Springs will be limited to four locations including the rideshare area and the Hotel Plaza Boulevard pedestrian bridge.
- Face Masks – Guests above the age of three years old, along with cast members and third-party employees, will be required to wear face masks covering their mouth and nose during their time at Disney Springs. You must have the appropriate face coverings with you when you arrive, and they must be worn for the duration of your visit with the exception of dining.
- Temperature Screenings – Everyone who enters Disney Springs will be subjected to a temperature screening upon arrival. Anyone who measures a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be taken to a secondary screening area, and if the results are the same the entire party will be escorted from the complex.
- Social Distancing & Capacity – In order to follow the proper physical distancing rules, there will be a limited number of people allowed in the complex and inside each location. There will also be markers on the ground all around Disney Springs to remind guests to maintain an appropriate distance between each other at all times.
- Sanitization – In addition to extra cleaning measures all around the complex, there will be several hand-washing and sanitizing stations set up all over Disney Springs that guests are encouraged to use regularly.
- Cashless Transactions – Guests are recommended to use cashless payment methods at any Disney Springs locations, including debit cards, credit cards, gift cards, etc. You can also stop by the Welcome Center to exchange cash for a gift card to use throughout the complex.
UPDATE (5/27/20): Walt Disney World is planning to begin a phased reopening of the parks starting July 11. Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will reopen on July 11, followed by Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15. Disney’s water parks will still remain closed until further notice. As expected, the plans for reopening include enhanced health and safety guidelines:
- Added Protective Measures – Guests will be required to wear face masks and additional sanitizing stations/physical barriers will be installed around the parks.
- Physical Distancing – Theme park capacity will be reduced to ensure that guests can maintain appropriate social distance from other parkgoers. Reduced capacitywill also be implemented at dining locations, rides and attractions, retail stores, and transportation.
- Temperature Screenings – Guests and Cast Members will all have to undergo temperature screenings prior to entry into the parks.
- Limited Contact Enhancements – Contactless payment via Magic Bands, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other cashless transaction methods will be implemented where possible. Mobile order will be implemented at select retail and restaurant locations as well.
For more information, check out this guide with everything you need to know about Walt Disney World’s reopening!
UPDATE (5/28/20): SeaWorld Orlando is expected to reopen its parks, including Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove, on June 11, 2020.
Busch Gardens Tampa
Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island Tampa are also still closed until further notice.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s theme park and water park will both remain closed until further notice. The all-new LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel is currently set to open on June 1, 2020 and the LEGOLAND Hotel is set to begin accepting new reservations starting June 1 as well.
UPDATE (6/1/20): LEGOLAND Florida Resort is officially back up and running starting June 1, including the water park, LEGOLAND Hotel, and the all-new LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel.
Other Local Attractions
In addition to the major parks and locations, there are tons of other awesome local attractions that are slowly implementing safe reopening measures. The following locations are currently back up and running:
- Boggy Creek Airboat Rides
- SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium (Located at ICON Park Orlando)
- Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum (Located at ICON Park Orlando)
- Clearwater Aquarium
- The Escape Game Orlando
- Fun Spot Orlando
- Chocolate Kingdom
- Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows
- Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park
- LEGOLAND Florida Resort & Water Park
- SeaWorld Orlando (Opens June 11)
- Busch Gardens Tampa (Opens June 11)
- Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition (Opens June 17)