By Charly SHELTON
The first steps toward reopening theme parks in America are underway in Florida.
The shopping centers at the two major Florida theme parks have partially reopened. Both CityWalk at Universal Studios Orlando and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World have reopened to some limited traffic. New rules are in place for visitors to follow during their visit and there are street-sign-based liability waivers agreed on by visitors entering the premises. Guests age 3 and over must wear a face covering over the nose and mouth at all times except when eating; markers on the ground show measured out social distance spaces to meet requirements; enhanced sanitization practices are undertaken by employees; capacity in the shopping districts as well as within each business respectively is to be capped at 50%; and temperature checks are performed on each guest entering from the parking structure.
In the muggy Florida summer heat, high temperatures are expected so guests registering a temperature of 100.4° or higher upon entering Disney Springs are sent to a cool-off tent that provides fans, water and hand sanitizer to cool body temperature. Once sufficiently cooled, they are welcome to try the temperature screening again. If the temperature is still up above 100.4° in the second screening, the guest and their party will be denied entry for the safety of other guests.
This stringent screening is meant to keep only completely healthy guests in the area and, with social distancing and mask usage as well as washing hands frequently at available public restrooms, the risks of infection are significantly reduced. That being said, a sign notifies guests as they enter that there is still a major risk of illness and death by entering any public space and the shopping villages are not held responsible for any infection.
This is a trial run to see how well the rules are followed and enforced thereby setting the stage for possible other openings in the near future.