Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force approved without objection SeaWorld's proposal to reopen its Orlando theme parks to the public on June 11. The parks would open to employees the day before, under the plan.
SeaWorld will not require advance reservations to visit, but all visitors will be required to pass a temperature check and to wear a mask while visiting, Interim CEO Marc Swanson said in his presentation to the Task Force. The parks will promote social distancing with queue and viewing area markings and with staggered seating on rides and in shows. Single rider lines will be eliminated, as will the placement of multiple parties on water slide rafts.
Being SeaWorld, the park will use a shark as a frame of reference on signs for the six feet that parties should remain distant from one another. The park will close or modify its tours and animal interactions as well as eliminate the distribution of paper maps in favor of directing guests to use the SeaWorld app, Swanson said.
SeaWorld's cafeteria-style restaurants also will modify their service by handing guests plates rather than having them pick from several items out for display, he said. Guests also will be encouraged to use touchless forms of payment, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.
SeaWorld's reopening plan now will go to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings for approval, who would then send it to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. (Update: Demings approved the plan early this afternoon.)
Last week, the Universal Orlando Resort presented its plans to reopen to the public on June 5. Following SeaWorld's presentation today, the Walt Disney World Resort proposed reopening in phases, with the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom reopening on Saturday, July 11, and Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios returning on Wednesday July 15.
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