Moments ago, a round table took place in Florida with State Governor Ron DeSantis, as well as United States Vice President Mike Pence, discussing the reopening of state businesses, including the major Theme Parks. Shortly before this round table, the CDC issued guidance towards the operation of aquatic venues which was also brought up during the round table.

What’s Happening:

  • Moments ago, a round table took place at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida consisting of representatives from Central Florida industries, including the major theme parks, as well as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.
  • Shortly before the round table took place, the CDC issued new guidance regarding the operation of public aquatic venues, which DeSantis was very excited about as this means that Water Parks could now consider reopening.
  • He cited that the CDC noted that there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted in water, and that the outdoor nature of a water park would be helpful in minimizing risk.
  • Present at the round table were three representatives from the major theme parks in the area:
  • The Governor and Vice President asked and listened to each of these representatives.
  • Sprouls reinforced the new procedures that were implemented when CityWalk was reopened recently, referring to the procedures as swiss cheese, saying that with enough layers, all the holes will inevitably be covered.
  • Sprouls also mentioned that these new procedures will also carry over into the parks, but certain attractions like interactive play areas will not be available at the beginning of the reopening process.
  • George Kalogridis, former Walt Disney World President, was asked about the reopening of the Shanghai Disneyland Resort, adding that there was a great response with tickets selling out in minutes, emphasizing there was a cap on attendance at 20% of capacity in the first week, with plans to meet a maximum of only 30%, with more added over time. He also briefly mentioned the reopening of Disney Springs earlier today.
  • After DeSantis mentioned reopening water parks again, specifically naming Blizzard Beach, Kalogridis said that reopening the water parks will now be something that they discuss tonight.
  • Vice President Mike Pence verified with Kalogridis that this was the longest the parks had ever been closed, and commended Disney, as well as all the parks, for making the unprecedented decision to close the parks.
  • Mark Swanson of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens was asked about plans, and said that there was not a monopoly on safety, with the different parks sharing their protocols. He added that Seaworld and Busch Gardens are more of an outdoor park than anybody, and if they get the approval after submitting reopening plans,  they anticipate 3-4 weeks to get everyone back and ready, with a reopening sometime in June.
  • The entire round table can be viewed on C-SPAN.