ORLANDO, Fla. - After shutting down during the coronavirus pandemic, Universal CityWalk has officially reopened to guests, becoming the first major Orlando attraction to do so.
Dozens of cars lined up before its opening to get inside.
Then once inside, lines built up as people waited to go through security.
Temperatures checks were performed at security as guests and employees wore masks.
SKYFOX also flew over as people began to pass through security and into CityWalk.
MOBILE USERS: Click here to watch SKYFOX fly over Universal's CityWalk
CityWalk has strict safety measures while Disney Springs will open a week later with limitations. Theme park expert Seth Kubersky says the resorts are experimenting with protocols in these more controlled areas, with smaller crowds.
“This is really about testing procedures before they can open the theme parks and really start letting volumes of people in,” said Seth Kubersky, Theme park expert/writer.
Here are some of the procedures visitors have to follow:
- Temperature checks are required upon arrival and guests with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be admitted.
- Masks will be required during the visit.
- Capacity limits at each business.
- Social distancing.
- Frequent disinfecting.
Only select restaurants and shops have reopened on Thursday. Those include:
- Auntie Anne’s Pretzels
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.™ Restaurant & Market
- Jimmy Buffett’s® Margaritaville® (outside seating and Lone Palm area only)
- Red Oven Pizza Bakery
- Voodoo Doughnut
- Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company™ (retail only)
- Universal Studios Store
- Select merchandise carts as well as Hollywood Drive-In Golf.
Other venues, like Blue Man Group, all nightclubs, and Universal Cinemark, will remain closed.
CityWalk is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. The theme parks will remain closed until at least May 31.
As far as Disney Springs, it won’t reopen until May 20.
“Their reopening announcement was very vague,” said Kubersky.
Here’s what Disney Springs will be doing:
- There will be capacity limitations.
- Parking limitations.
- Hours will be limited.
- Cleaning procedures increased
- Still unclear if face coverings will be required.
Kubersky says mask requirements may be the biggest test for the resorts.
“It’s one thing to not let people in from the garage without a mask but it’s another thing to make sure people continue wearing masks when they’re walking around with their families,” said Kubersky.
Orlando mother Erin Harper says she’ll wait until the kinks are ironed out.
“Just a little more time, I want to see what happens before we venture out,” said Erin Harper, Orange County resident.
Kubersky expects only a handful of businesses to open at each of the entertainment districts, initially.
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