Universal Orlando CEO Outlines Its Reopening Plans During ‘Re-Open Florida Task Force’ Meeting

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Universal Orlando Resort’s CEO John Sprouls spoke via conference call to lay out some of their expectations for reopening their theme parks. The 10:00 a.m. call was dealing with travel and tourism as part of the Re-Open Task Force Industry Working Group.

Sprouls’ comments seem to align with what many are expecting to happen at reopening with Disney, with increased sanitation, social distancing and virtual queues currently being discussed as part of Universal’s plan to slowly re-open.

“We are obviously thinking a lot about when and how to reopen. We’ve got multiple teams working on a number of different scenarios. And the guiding point is we’re going to be guided by state and local officials and help officers in terms of any type of opening scenario to make sure we can keep both our team members and our guests safe,” Sprouls said.

He continued, “When we’re ready to reopen, and we don’t know when that is yet, we hope it’s sooner rather than later. We know the paramount issue is for our guests to feel safe in our parks.”

Sprouls said they’re discussing a number of options for reopening, including requiring Team Members to wear face masks and have a health screening before every shift, and more reliance on contact free experiences such as mobile ordering for dining.

Virtual Queuing came up as a means to maintain social distancing on attractions, and Sprouls pointed to their success with Volcano Bay.

Sprouls says they plan on using outdoor queues so people aren’t crammed together in tight indoor spaces.

And yes, Universal plans on capping attendance at first.

“We also envision overall caps on attendance, that when we first open we would be capping attendance to make sure we could create maximum amount of social distancing and then as we gain confidence in those practices and procedures that we’re employing, and as we learn from what we’re doing, we’ll gradually see that attendance rise,” Sprouse says.

Also mentioned was increased sanitation on ride vehicles, and perhaps every other row being filled on an attraction instead of every row.

“We’ll use staggered seatings on rides and attractions and shows so that we can create the social distancing that we think is actually necessary. We’re working through a lot of things.”

Sprouse anticipates a slow ramp-up in regards to Universal opening its hotels, restaurants and retail shops (i.e. CityWalk) as guidance allows.

Clearly, whenever the Orlando theme parks do reopen (and again, neither Universal nor Disney knows when they will reopen) park Guests can expect a very different — albeit likely temporary — experience.

Curiously, Disney did not have any reps at this meeting, nor have they made any of their reopening plans public.

Will you go when Disney and Universal first reopen, or will you wait for things to look a little more “normal?” Comment below and let us know.

[Source: The Florida Channel]

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A Disney fan, but never a "pixie duster." As a former newspaper editor, web developer, and Disney comics freelancer, I'm able to combine that experience into writing about Disney objectively. I previously built The Kingdom Insider website from the ground up, and was Managing Editor for years. Current co-host of the Clownfish TV YouTube channel. Opinions my own. Yes, they're STRONG ones. Deal with it.

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