Florida Theme Park Re-Opening Plans

It’s been an exciting last few weeks regarding the re-opening of Florida parks and resorts. First, Universal CityWalk Orlando opened mid- May followed by a phased re-opening of Disney Springs.

Disney owned and operated properties at Disney Springs opened to much fanfare on May 27th. There were long waits to gain entry into shops, particularly at World of Disney.

Walt Disney World has announced their plans for a phased re-opening of parks and resorts.

LEGOland Florida announced it would open June 1, 2020. Universal Studios Resort in Orlando has announced a June 1, 2020 phased re-open with June 5, 2020 being opening day for the general public. At the time this is publication, there is no exact opening date for the Universal resort hotels but the assumption would be that those would come around or shortly after the parks resume operation.

Here are a few key opening dates:

Universal’s CityWalk Orlando – began phased reopening on May 14.

Disney Springs – May 20 – some third party locations, May 27 – Disney owned retailers and some additional third party locations.

LEGOland Florida – reopen slated for June 1

LEGOland Florida re-opening info can be found here.

Universal Studios Orlando, Universal’s Island’s of Adventure, Universal’s Volcano Bay – phased re-opening beginning June 1 and opening to public beginning June 5. No official date (at the time of this post) for the opening of all Universal resorts.

You can find updates over at Universal Orlando Resort.

SeaWorld, Aquatica, Discovery Cove and Busch Gardens (Tampa) – re-opening to public June 11.

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort (Disney Vacation Club resort) – June 15

Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort (Disney Vacation Club resort located in Hilton Head, South Carolina) – June 15

Walt Disney World: Disney Vacation Club Resorts (locations TBD) and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – June 22

Walt Disney World Resorts (TBD), Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom – July 11

Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT– July 15.

You can read Disney’s update on the Disney Parks Blog. No dates established for Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach.

At the time of this publication, SeaWorld and Disney were awaiting final approval from the governor of Florida. Disney has temporarily suspended all bookings, including rooms, dining, tickets and fast passes as they work through current bookings that are held before, during and immediately after their phased re-opening. Guests who have previously booked trips for the upcoming months are currently unable to make any changes to their trips. (If you have a trip planned or looking to plan a trip, I’d be glad to assist you once we have received more guidance and “green light” from Disney Parks. )

General Themes Across Parks

Let’s face it. (No pun intended, really). This summer is going to look different. Masks, temperature checks, hand washing, hand sanitization and social distancing will be a part of social life into the foreseeable future.

While LEGOland Florida is not requiring masks, they are highly encouraging them and offering them at party entry. Throughout all the parks you will see limited capacity ranging from 50% as announced at LEGOland to undisclosed capacities at Disney theme parks.

While each company varies on their proposed and planned operating procedures, there are some general overall themes.

Here are a few:

  • Requiring masks for employees/cast members. Requiring or “highly encouraging” mask use for guests (except when in water or water attractions). Anyone over the age of 3 years. (This has been changed to age 2 and up for Walt Disney World.)
  • Temperature checks for employees/cast members and guests before entry.
  • Increased options for contactless resort check-ins, park entry, payments and ordering. Less paper ticketing and menu use whenever mobile payment and ordering is possible.
  • Limited capacities for parks, dining locations and attractions to meet social distancing requirements. Due to the difference in parks and their dining and resort amenities, their reservation and ordering systems vary.
  • Social distancing enforcement through signage, employees/cast members who will be there to serve in social distancing ambassador type roles. Plexiglass and other divider type products used at ticket windows, check-ins and wherever customer service type needs require social interaction.
  • Virtual queuing systems for attractions where needed.

Having patience and at least one person with a smart phone will be essential going forward as mobile and contactless systems are in place. This is something most of the parks have had in some capacity for a while but expect this to be more necessary than ever before.

*Lastly, we still do not have dates for any locations in California as the state has not neared their re-opening phase for large crowds. A re-opening date for Disney’s Aulani Resort has also not been determined. Disney’s Vero Beach Resort in Florida and Disney’s Hilton Head Resort are both scheduled for June 15 reopens.

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About Crush on the Magic

I'm a Midwestern mom that embraces fun whenever possible! Crush on the Magic is focused on all things Disney and Universal Destinations. I'm here to provide insights for all Disney/Universal vacationers, from the theme park regular to the once-in-a-lifetime trip goer, this site is for you! Thinking of booking a trip? I am happy to provide my expertise at no additional charge. Contact me at Blair@WickedMouseTravel.com or complete my no obligation form at https://us18.list-manage.com/survey?u=b62311de7c042ab679f0a7199&id=0e36980940&attribution=false&fbclid=IwAR0dF1h9z_nYDe8o1YyioqcEFp1TksK-ugt5r3NeNdxn5Iodetb-hEB33Ys