Universal Orlando Will Reopen on June 1st but Will Open to Guests on June 5th


Today during the Orange County Economic Relief Task Force meeting Universal Orlando gave their presentation on their planned reopening. Universal Orlando’s Executive VP, Resort Operations at Universal Orlando Resort, Richard Costales was present at the meeting to discuss Universal Orlando’s as was John Sprouls, Chief Administrative Officer.

During the meeting it was turned over to John Sprouls, Chief Administrative Officer, for the presentation of their reopening plan.

Mr. Sprouls indicated that they’ve worked with the governor and the governor’s staff and direction from Dr. Pino to create their plan. They sent the official copy to Mayor Demings at 1PM and that was what they presented during the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force meeting.

Just to let everyone know, we’ve asked to reopen our parks beginning on June the 1st. Now this would be a gradual capacity managed opening. We’re going to manage capacity not only across the resort, but within each and every attraction and food venue and merch. venue. …We’re going to ramp up slowly in terms of making sure all the procedures and all the practices that we are putting in place actually work.

So they want to roll it out slowly and make sure they are effective practices before raising the capacities.

I asked for June one, but we aren’t going to actually open on June the 1st. We will open on June the 1st and June the 2nd and just have some of our own team members come in and allow us to vet everything that we’re doing. To make sure that it works….in a controlled environment.

On the 3rd and the 4th we would be doing some invited guests, some annual passholders, and others, again to be able to stress the system and make sure that it works. And then we would hoping to be opening to the public on June the 5th.”

Volcano Bay is also showing on the reopening plans.

So June 1-2nd would be team member testing. June 3-4 will be invited guest testing and June 5th would mark the official reopening to the public. 

So what we’ve done is that we’ve gone through our entire operation and mapped out what we call the Guest’s Journey. So every single point of contact with us…from the time before they arrive, when they are thinking about coming in any pre-arrival communications, via website, social media, …..and try to identify every single touch point that we have with a guest, so that we can keep them safe.

In regards to that they created, what they call the 3 S’s: Screening, Sanitation and Spacing Standards.

They also are striving to create touchless systems as much as possible.

The Guest Journey

Pre-arrival-They will make it very clear about what they intend to do to keep them safe and also what their expectations are. “Some things are going to be different. There will be signage that will start from the moment guests arrive at the parking/toll booth and will carry all the way through. The signage will be frequent and demonstrative, and reinforced.

Ambassadors will be scattered throughout our resort to be able to help people understand what procedures are in place, how they can take advantage of them, and answer any questions….they will be everywhere and extremely visible.

They will also have all the messaging on the website and on the mobile app for guest to see and access.

The Team Member Journey

They also created a Team Member Journey that was done in the same way as the guest’s journey. From before they come in with daily self-temperature checks to staggered parking and a another temperature check when they arrive to work.

New guest procedures and training for Team Members. They want to begin that this weekend. They have identified all the guest interaction points and they are “scripting them to make sure the guests get as much of the right information as they possibly can. And that our Team Members are provided all the information they need to make sure they can answer the guest questions.

Mobile food ordering will be in play for “back-of-house as well as front-of-house” so Team Members can also use touchless ordering. They are staggering breaks and social distanced all the break rooms. Social distancing will be enforced backstage as well as in the main guest areas.

They are changing wardrobe procedures to make sure Team Members have their own wardrobe and they can take them home.

This is the list of what they plan on doing for Standard Operating Procedures.  Volcano Bay is on the list.

Here are the points he highlighted:

  • Guest temperature checks at all of the main entrances.
  • Masks will be required for team members and guests. Free disposable masks will be provided to those that need them.
  • No valet parking

Entertainment and Rides

  • They are going to manage capacity and ramp up slowly
  • Capacity management will be across “each and every venue that we have.” In queue lines, in restaurants, in merchandise stores.
  • The same basic procedures they use for holiday events just scaled down to lower capacities.
  • Interactive Play Areas will be Closed to protect children
  • Most water and mist elements will be reduced or eliminated on attractions
  • Virtual Lines will be implemented
  • Single Rider Lines will be eliminated. Guests will stay with their party and will not intermingle with other parties.
  • Post Show Meet-and-Greets will no longer happen
  • Restaurant menus will be disposable, paper, single-use
  • Mobile Ordering
  • Contactless Payment available. Cash will be accepted at some locations with additional precautions
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be available at the entrance and exit of every attraction, food venue, or merchandise venue.
  • Team Members in guest contact areas will wash their hands at least every 30 minutes
  • Team Members will have more frequent breaks for hand washing and social distanced mask removal.


These are examples of the signs that will be on the website, at key guest entry points, Toll booth, Plaza, Security/Temperature screening and entry to City Walk.

They show what is expected of guests and provide the important information about wearing masks, temperature checks, hand washing and social distancing.

These are examples of A-frame signs and floor markers to be used at “key guest touch points like queues, lockers, store walkways, shows, etc.”

These include the information about safe social distancing distances.

This is the guest communication hand out that will explain the guidelines for Team Members and Guests. These will be available in other languages as well.

Attraction Queue Entry

This shows how they will manage their queues for safe social distancing.

At the end of the presentation they offered to answer questions, but there were none.

They discussed that four officials did tour the area earlier today and it passed their inspection. The four individuals were: Dr. Pino, Florida Dept. of Health, Dr. Christian Zuver, OC EMS Medical Director, Jon V. Weiss, Director of OC PEDS, and Shane Gerwig, OC official.

This is a list of what they reviewed.

Then the committee took a vote to adopt the plan and it was adopted unanimously, with those that couldn’t not vote due to conflicts of interest abstaining.

Now the plan can move onto the Governor’s Office for final approval and if all goes as planned they can begin their reopening plans on June 1st.

Sorry it took me awhile to compile this article but there was a lot of information and I wanted to be sure to get it right for you. You can watch the actual meeting video in the link below.  The Universal presentation starts at about 44:38.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!



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