More Theme Park Reopenings Announced

May 29, 2020, 1:08 PM · We're getting more announcements today of theme park and resort reopenings coming in the weeks ahead.

First up, Universal Orlando Resort announced that it will begin reopening its hotels to guests on June 2. Universal's Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal’s Aventura Hotel and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites will open on that date, with Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites returning at a date to be announced later.

Dockside has been set for its grand opening on March 17, before Universal delayed it and closed its theme parks and hotels due to the pandemic.

Guests staying at one of the reopening Universal Orlando hotels will be able to visit the parks on June 3-4 during their passholder soft openings. The parks reopen to the public on June 5.

Even though capacity will be limited at the parks after their return, Universal said that it is accounting for hotel guests and that they will be assured entry to the parks even if they have to be closed to other visitors due to capacity limits. Guests will have to wear a mask and pass a temperature check to enter the hotels as well as to visit the parks.

Elsewhere, the City of Tampa has approved Busch Gardens Tampa to reopen on June 11, though that plan still needs approval from the state of Florida. The 11th is the same day as its sister park SeaWorld Orlando is looking to return. Both parks will follow what has become the industry norm on masks, temperature checks, capacity controls, and social distancing. No word yet on when the park's new record-setting RMC coaster, Iron Gwazi, will debut.

Hersheypark announced today that the park is planning to reopen in July, pending approval from state authorities for a specific date. Hersheypark has been looking forward to the opening of its new Hershey's Chocolatetown entrance plaza this summer, along with the new Candymonium roller coaster from Bolliger & Mabillard - the park's longest, tallest, and fastest coaster.

In California, SeaWorld San Diego and Legoland California have applied to reopen on July 1. The state of California has not cleared theme parks to begin reopening, slotting them in Stage 3 of the state's reopening plan. But as San Diego County is beginning now to move into Stage 3, the parks are applying for approval to reopen. SeaWorld San Diego testing its new B&M dive coaster, Emperor, and Legoland California was getting ready to open its new The Lego Movie World land, including the Emmet's Flying Adventure flying theater ride, before the parks closed.

Update: Just added a June 29 reopening for Kentucky Kingdom.

So here's the latest theme park proposed reopening calendar:

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Replies (4)

May 29, 2020 at 1:16 PM

Again, see it smarter by Disney to wait longer to reopen not just for prep but to observe how Universal handles the guidelines and thus implement them a bit better. Also, of course, much larger so have to handle it differently.

May 29, 2020 at 3:27 PM

Robert, have you seen the bit of Disney having actors as stormtroopers pushing guests to follow distancing/mask rules? Brilliant.

May 29, 2020 at 8:32 PM

Discovery Cove has also announced they are reopening on June 11th.

June 1, 2020 at 1:33 PM

As I was driving in to work today heading east on I-10 in the Florida Panhandle, I think there were more Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas vehicles on the road than vehicles from Florida. Tourism season is definitely here.

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