Summer in Florida just doesn’t seem complete without a staycation at one of our world-class theme parks, and thankfully, after months of pandemic-related closures, our favorite local parks are finally opening their gates to a highly anticipated summer of fun.
Universal Orlando Resort
When Universal Orlando announced their plans to reopen on June 5, theme-park fans nationwide began to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. Whether you decide to take the post-pandemic world one small step at a time and begin by simply visiting Universal Citywalk, or you want to jump right back into the fun with Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, or Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando is longing to make your summer one to remember with just as much thrill as before. Perhaps even book a weekend getaway at one of Universal’s luxurious hotels and resorts.
Whatever Universal locale you decide to visit, there are new safety guidelines that you will need to follow in order to ensure that your stay is as carefree as possible. All guests are required to wear face coverings, as well as undergoing temperature checks. You will notice staggered parking and limited ridership to the parks’ attractions, as well as increased cleaning and disinfecting of ride vehicles, dining locations, and other park areas. As of now, you’re probably a pro at social distancing, and your new six-feet-apart skills will come in handy, as this is a must for all guests. Select attractions even have Virtual Line experiences.
Plan your stay today by visiting universalorlando.com.
Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World has invited guests to once again experience the magic that only Disney can bring as early as July 11, when Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will reopen. Following closely behind, Hollywood Studios and EPCOT will allow entrance beginning July 15. If you’re not planning on entering the parks but still want to enjoy the wonder of Disney World, you can now visit Disney Springs, which has once again opened its exciting restaurants and shops.
As you begin to make more magical memories, you will need to be aware of Disney’s new safety procedures. Due to the limited capacity for the theme parks and resorts, Disney World will manage attendance through a new reservation system. New ticket sales and hotel reservations will be temporarily paused so that Disney can focus on those with existing vacation plans. All guests at any park or Disney Springs must wear masks or face coverings and expect temperature checks, and intense cleaning procedures will take place to ensure your safety during your visit.
Although large-group events such as parades and nighttime spectaculars may not return for some time, many rides and attractions will still be available to the public. Unfortunately, Mickey and Minnie may be careful about shaking hands and posing for pictures, but don’t worry! The famous couple and their Disney character friends will still make appearances throughout the parks.
You can find more details at disneyworld.disney.go.com.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Tampa’s very own Busch Gardens is open again and ready for you to experience the joy of this Floridian theme park. Come spend an afternoon enjoying the park’s amazing attractions and rides, as well as getting up-close views of some of the most beautiful wild animals in the state.
Before planning your visit to Busch Gardens, be sure to pay attention to the theme park’s COVID-19 guidelines. All guests over the age of two must be wearing a face covering before entering the park; however, there will be designated relaxation areas where guests may remove their face covering. Busch Gardens has also implemented enhanced cleaning protocols at high-contact areas, such as arrival turnstiles, dining locations, and ride vehicles. Be sure to maintain your six feet, whether you are waiting in line for your favorite attraction, viewing the animal exhibits, or checking out in one of the gift shops.
For more information, visit buschgardens.com/tampa.