Florida Task Force Releases Guidelines for Phased Reopening of State's Theme Parks

The proposed guidelines would apply to Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld, among others, though the group has no ties to the parks

Visitors make their way toward Cinderalla Castle at Magic Ki
Photo: Matt Stroshane/Bloomberg/Getty

When Florida's theme parks do finally reopen, they could look and feel a lot different.

A task force appointed by officials in Florida's Orange County have developed a set of guidelines for the phased reopening of the state's many theme parks when they eventually resume operations.

The Orange County Economic Task Force met virtually on Tuesday to discuss their recommendations, which would apply to Orlando theme parks, such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld. The group has no ties to the parks, but representatives for many area attractions were on the call.

Walt Disney World remains closed indefinitely. Universal Orlando Resort recently extended its closure until May 31.

Universal Orlando Resort.

If theme parks follow the task force's advice, they would see parks reopening in two phases. The first would have them operating at half capacity, the second at 75 percent capacity.

Railings and surfaces would be wiped down regularly while touchless hand sanitizer stations would be placed at all ticketing and entry areas, turnstiles, and entry and exit points for rides and attractions.

Additionally, queues for rides and attractions would maintain social distancing efforts, with markers spaced 6 feet apart to show park goers where to stand.

Furthermore, the group also recommended that parks discourage anyone 65 or older from visiting during the first two phases.

Thousands of park employees' day-to-day would also change. The task force recommends they be required to wear face masks and have their temperatures taken prior to their shifts. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher would be sent home. Employees with flu-like symptoms would also be required to stay home.

Which of these guidelines will be put into effect is ultimately at the discretion of the individual parks and they do not have to follow the rules as laid out by the task force.

The group also made recommendations for restaurants, hotels and retail establishments in the area of Orlando theme parks.

Similar to the park attendance recommendation, restaurants would operate at 50% capacity and tables would need to be spaced at least 6 feet apart from one another.

Employees would wear face masks and gloves and menus would all be disposable.

During hotel stays, guests would see sneeze guards at check-in counters and their coffee makers, coffee cups and glassware would all be removed from their rooms and their mini-bars would remain empty.

As of Wednesday, Florida has had more than 32,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 1,100 deaths attributed to the virus, according to data compiled by the New York Times.

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Updated by
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Nicholas Rice is a Staff Editor for PEOPLE Magazine. He began working with the brand as an Editorial Intern in early 2020, before later transitioning to a freelance role, and then staff positions soon after. Nicholas writes and edits anywhere between 7 to 9 stories per day on average for PEOPLE, spanning across each vertical the brand covers. Nicholas has previous work experience with Billboard, POPSUGAR, Bustle and Elite Daily. When not working, Nicholas can be found playing with his 5 dogs, listening to pop music or eating mozzarella sticks.

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