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Tourism

Disney Springs is open: Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld to begin presenting reopening plans

  • Disney Springs is open: Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld to begin presenting reopening plans
    Disney Springs is open: Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld to begin presenting reopening plans
Region:
USA
Category:
Tourism
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Disney Springs has reopened their doors today, but not all restaurants and shops will open.
Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld will begin presenting their reopening plans on Thursday, Orange County officials said.
Vice President Mike Pence met with industry leaders and Gov. Ron DeSantis Wednesday to talk about reopening Florida.

They said specifically that "Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld will make their presentations to the full task force for review beginning this Thursday."

However, while all three parks will present their plans, only Universal will actually speak on Thursday. The other two parks will present at future task force meetings.

Governor Ron DeSantis is allowing theme parks to submit plans for reopening but is mandating that Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings endorse the plans before they are submitted to the state.

The task force will also vote on Thursday about whether smaller attractions, like FunSpot and Gatorland, can open this weekend with safety standards in place.

 Really it started last week with Universal Orlando reopening its entertainment district, CityWalk, to limited capacity and limited openings.

But with all due respect to the UOTeam, the rest of the world judges Orlando’s reopening by when Disney returns to full steam. That is the monolith and the driver of the economy throughout Central Florida.

It is the focus of so many restart plans throughout sports — not just the NBA, but also MLS. Disney’s property is key to sports restarting in a way that will keep players and staff quarantined from the virus and able to finish off their season.

And Disney has started to reopen. Wednesday marked the reopening of Disney Springs, their entertainment district, with social distancing and limited opening policies.

Disney is beginning to inch open. And Disney, Universal and SeaWorld will present their reopening plans to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners for approval, the first step in the parks reopening under the state’s phased reopening plan.

 Vice President Mike Pence met with industry leaders and Gov. Ron DeSantis Wednesday to talk about reopening Florida, particularly its tourism industry, at a roundtable discussion in Orlando. 

Pence is in Orlando on the same day Disney Springs began its phased reopening.

Read More: U.S. Travel Association President and CEO, Roger Dow: "We will be the industry to bring America back. Travel is the front door to economic development."

The majority of the nation has had their eyes on Disney and we finally have a portion of Walt Disney World in Florida reopening today.

Disney Springs has reopened their doors today, but not all restaurants and shops will open.

Disney official George Kalogridis said the company was taking learning points from its reopening in China of Shanghai Disneyland.

John Sprowls of Universal Studios Florida explained to Pence what steps his company has taken in reopening its CityWalk area, including temperature checks and masks.

“If people feel safe, if people feel we’re doing it responsibly, they’ll come,” Sprowls said.

Universal is expected to submit its reopening plan to Orange County's reopening task force on Thursday. 

Meanwhile, SeaWorld Orlando said it was planning to reopen at the end of June. 

Dr. Alan Fyall, the associate dean of Academic Affairs at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida, thinks Pence will be impressed with how things are going so far in our region.

George Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort, shared with Pence who seemed surprised that the only time Disney had ever closed before this pandemic was one day for 9-11 and due to a hurricane.

Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld have been closed since mid-March.

Interim CEO Marc Swanson of SeaWorld hinted during the roundtable that the park may reopen in June.