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Legoland Florida Resort, a major tourism site, is reopening its gates on June 1, effectively ending a nearly three-month shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, like most of its theme park competitors, it won't be business as usual.
The park, owned by British theme park company Merlin Entertainments, plans to introduce a range of safety measures from limiting operations and encouraging cashless payments to enhancing cleaning regimes in an effort to build a safer environment for guests, the company announced.
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Merlin runs eight Legoland parks and 20 Legoland Discovery Centers, as well as other sites like Madame Tussauds wax museums across the world. It estimates that about 67 million people visit its sites every year.
Legoland in Winter Haven, Florida on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
“As part of Merlin Entertainments, our leaders across the globe have been sharing best practices daily, and we’ve been able to apply what we’ve learned from other successful Merlin attraction reopenings to be confident with our Resort’s reopening plan," said General Manager of LEGOLAND Florida Resort Rex Jackson told ClickOrlando ."In addition, we have also sought guidance from our partners at AdventHealth."
The Florida park, sitting just southwest of Orlando, shuttered its gates in mid-March to stem the spread of the virus. However, earlier this month most of Florida's counties entered a modified Phase 1 reopening stage, reopening restaurants and retail at limited capacity. South Florida, which has been hardest-hit by coronavirus cases, was added to Phase 1 earlier this week.
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As it eases into operations, the company detailed what guests should look take note of upon their return.
The company encourages park guests to bring and wear masks while inside. For those that don't have masks, the company will have disposable one available. For the water park, however, masks are recommended for use only when they are dry.
The company cautioned that children under two years of age, people who have trouble breathing and anyone who is unable to remove a face covering without assistance, should not wear one.
2. Temperature checks
All guests, children and employees will be required to undergo "non-invasive" temperature checks prior to entry. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above will not be allowed to enter.
3. Shopping and dining
There will be limited capacity inside the resort's stores, restaurants and guest services.
"Self-service buffets have also been reconfigured to reduce the number of high-frequency touch points," the company said. Additionally. cutlery and condiments will be provided with each meal or upon request rather than sitting in an open area.
Tables and chairs at the theme park and water park restaurants will also be "reconfigured" in order to safely seat guests.
4. Social distancing
There will be markers placed throughout both the theme park and water park to remind guests to stay at least 6 feet away from each other. Employees will monitor the ride lines in order to make sure the health guideline is being followed. Height checks will also be done at the entrance to the park. Children will be given wristbands to identify which rides they can safely go on.
Additionally, guests will be spaced out on rides in between empty seats and rows.
Guests are asked to follow the company's parking instructions and should plan to leave space on either side of the car.
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Employees will be tasked with disinfecting high-frequency touchpoints throughout the day such as tables and chairs, service counters, LEGO bricks, ride restraints and door handles.
The company is also implementing a large number of hygiene stations and hand sanitizer dispensers around the resort for guests. The park's LEGOLAND mobile app can be used to find the location of each station.
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