What to Expect When Traveling to Orlando post COVID-19
For travelers, the emergence from the Coronavirus Pandemic from Orlando International Airport began with mandatory face masks. It also brought fewer airlines, fewer travel destinations, and half the usual number of passengers at the airport. In accordance with CDC guidelines, Orlando theme parks have improved hygiene practices and implemented refined screening and social distance measures.
Theme Parks pre-show audiences and other areas large groups areas were excluded also. Some parks have also halted parades, indoor shows, and other attractions that require crowds.
Capacity & Physical Distance Measures
At Universal amusement parks, non-contact hand sanitizing stations are located at the entrances and exits of all tourist attractions. Park officials are looking for ways to quickly and efficiently disinfect vehicles between groups of guests. Disney parks are also looking for ways to minimize queues. Virtual queues, the expansion of the existing mobile ordering feature for restaurants, cleaning and disinfection are being worked on.
Prevention & Screening Support
Universal Orlando conducted a recent survey of annual cardholders and were asked to rate their comfort level based on temperature testing and contact tracking using cell phone GPS data to determine possible exposure. Temperature checks are available at entrances of amusement parks. Public surfaces are removed more frequently and multiple surfaces are treated with antibacterial and antiviral chemicals. Some airlines have tried using certain chemicals, which can last for several weeks, while Orlando hotels and amusement parks have also researched best sanitizing methods.
Cast members at Disney theme parks in the United States will receive new training focused on health and safety. However, Disneyland’s official reopening training had not yet taken place.
Are Downtown Disney and Disney Springs open?
Disney Springs partially reopened on May 20, 2020. Walt Disney World also announced its plans for a gradual reopening. Most of the stores at Disney Springs such as the World of Disney have reopened since then. However, guests are encouraged to arrive early to ensure a parking spot due to the fluctuating limited capacity.
Are Walt Disney World and Disneyland open?
Magic Kingdom & Disney’s Animal Kingdom reopened on July 11, Epcot and Disney Studios in Hollywood followed on July 15. There’s no opening date yet for the Hurricane Lagoon and Blizzard Beach Water Park at Walt Disney World. Pending government approval, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will reopen in Anaheim, California on July 17 in time for the 65th anniversary.
Are Universal Orlando & Universal Studios Open?
Yes! Universal Studios and Universal Orlando theme park reopened on June 5 with a series of changes, including:
- Floor markers indicating a proper distance of six feet
- Improvement of the “virtual line experience” to reduce the number of people queuing in physical proximity.
- Limited capacity
- Mandatory temperature checks for all visitors and team members.
- Transfer of parking lots in the park structure to promote social distance.
- Disinfection stations that guests must use before entering the vehicle.
- Support for cashless payments like Apple Pay and Google Wallet
Universal Orlando does not require advance reservations like Disney. However, Florida theme parks remind guests that may be denied entry once theme park capacity has been reached.
At the time of this publication, an opening date for Universal Studios in California has not been announced.
What does the closing mean for annual passholders?
Each park complex treats annual tickets differently. Disney has introduced two options for those who make monthly AP payments. The first is to suspend payments while the park is closed and expire the pass. The second is to defer payment until the park reopens. Guests will then receive a valid pass for the same period in which the park is closed. Pass holders who have paid in full can renew their passes for the same number of days that the park is closed. Universal Studios does the same for those who have a membership card or annual subscription.
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