Florida Governor Praises Universal Orlando Resort as Theme Parks Reopen

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Credit: ITM / Universal

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis praised Universal Orlando Resort today as the theme parks begin to reopen this week.

“We wanted them to work with their local governments, submit plans, and Universal did a great job, had a great plan, and I think as you have seen they are taking safety very seriously to keep their guests safe,” DeSantis said.

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Credit: ITM / Wink News

“This is the first time I’ve been to any park since they’ve reopened,” he said of Universal. “I have a newborn, a two year old, and a three year old, and you know it’s a little bit tough lift. I can tell you if they were five, seven, and eight we’d be here this weekend probably because I think the kids would really love it.”

He also said that he’s happy Universal Orlando Resort is opening the Volcano Bay water park. “We’re really excited about this opening,” he said.

“I think that when you have places like Universal that are making sure everyone’s safe and taking all these things, that gives people confidence that they can come and enjoy themselves,” DeSantis continued. And really I think Florida’s leading the way on that, but part of it is because you have places like Universal.”

Universal Orlando Guests wearing face masks
Credit: Universal Orlando

The governor also shared that phase 2 of Florida’s reopening plan will begin on Friday, June 5. In phase 2, bars will be allowed to reopen with social distancing, and restaurants, bars, and pubs will begin to allow bartop seating. Bars and pubs will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity inside, full capacity outside, and it will be seated service to comply with social distancing. This means that the bars at Universal CityWalk — as well as those at Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs — could begin to reopen soon. He said that 64 of Florida’s counties will be able to move into the next step on Friday.

DeSantis hosted a briefing today at Universal Orlando CityWalk at the NBC Sports Grill and Brew as the Universal Orlando Resort theme parks begin their phased reopening this week. He spoke about the state of Florida reopening amid the pandemic and the actions the state has taken since March, which is when Universal Orlando Resort initially announced it would be temporarily closing.

Inside the Magic was on the scene today at an annual passholder preview of Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure as they — along with Universal’s Volcano Bay water park and the Universal hotels — reopen this week. You can read our coverage here. 

The Universal Orlando Resort officially reopens to the public on Friday, June 5.

Related: Virtual Line Experience in Universal App Glitches Upon Parks Reopening

You can watch the live stream of DeSantis’s briefing below:

WATCH LIVE: Press conference in Orlando

Posted by Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday, June 3, 2020

DeSantis previously shared his support for central Florida theme parks reopening a few weeks ago during a roundtable with Vice President Mike Pence. During that roundtable discussion with government officials and theme park leaders, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts John Sprouls spoke about the steps that Universal has taken in order to reopen.

DeSantis and Pence both praised Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resort for their efforts in reopening their theme parks. You can read our full story here.

We will continue to update Inside the Magic as more information regarding the reopening of Disney and Universal theme parks

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