On the Go in the Parks: May 29-31, 2020

Make sure that you listen to me on News 95.5 WDBO on Orlando’s Evening News with Tony Marino at 6:30pm EDT to hear all of this information and more to help you plan your weekend as you are On the Go in the Parks!!!

The theme parks of Central Florida are really starting to come to life, and are about to kick into high gear as summer is here!

On the Go in the Parks May 29-31 2020

On the Go in the Parks: May 29-31, 2020

What’s New This Weekend On the Go in the Parks

Disney Springs Town Center at Walt Disney World Resort Disney Springs Reopening
Photo: Walt Disney World Resort

The First Disney Operated locations opened at Disney Springs this week, which was really cool because it was great to get a look at how the virtual queue works!

Disney Springs is utilizing this system at both World of Disney and the Marketplace Co-Op, and to enter these shopping locations when it is busy you needed to join a virtual queue. 

To join the virtual queue find the Cast Member managing the queue near the entrance to the location, give them your cell phone number, and they will send you a text when it is your time to shop.

It’s super simple!!!

The third location that opened was D-Luxe Burger for mobile orders. YUM!!!!

Fun to Experience as You’re On the Go in the Parks 

Disney Springs 

10am – 10pm

Tips and Tricks for Visiting Disney Springs

It’s really great to have Disney Springs open again for guests, and it keeps getting better because now you can find Stormtroopers about the AMC theater entrance near Splitsville and in the Town Center above Ever After Jewelry Co. & Accessories.

If you are going to make your way to Disney Springs, make sure that you:

  • Bring your mask (here’s a quick no-sew mask DIY),
  • Make any dining reservations you would like in advance online, and 
  • Take the time to be patient as Cast Members are still getting used to new cleaning procedures. 
  • Check out these helpful Tips & Tricks on where to park and more!

Universal Orlando’s CityWalk

4pm – 10pm

Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Reopening

It was so great to once again see people roaming CityWalk, but I will caution you that I expect the area to be busy this weekend so there a few things you can do to cut down on your waits!

To make your visit easier:

  • Download the Official Universal Orlando Resort App as they are encouraging cashless transactions.
  • Plan to arrive early: They are limiting the number of guests they are allowing in the CityWalk area, and there can be a back up at the parking plaza as self-parking is free.
  • Be prepared  – Have that mask on and ready as you approach the temperature check. 
  • Be patient – Mind those 6ft social distancing markers on the ground, relax, and make sure to enjoy your time once again at Universal’s CityWalk!!!

CityWalk at the Universal Orlando Resort is open daily from 4-10 pm, but please remember that the theme parks and resorts are still currently closed. 

Let’s take a look at the other attractions opening around Orlando!

SEA LIFE Orlando Madame Tussauds Orlando ICON Park Reopen May 2020
Madame Tussauds Orlando

Madame Tussaud’s Orlando

ICON Park Orlando

Wednesday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm

SEA LIFE Orlando Madame Tussauds Orlando ICON Park Reopen May 2020
SEA LIFE Orlando

SEALIFE Orlando

ICON Park Orlando 

Wednesday – Thursday: 11am – 5pm

Friday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Closed Monday – Tuesday

Gatorland Orlando Social Distancing Skunk On the Go in the Parks

Gatorland Orlando

14501 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32837

10am – 5pm Daily

Fun Spot America reopening On the GO in the Parks

Fun Spot Orlando

5700 Fun Spot Way, Orlando FL 32819

Noon – 10pm

Masks are recommended, but not required at the Fun Spot Orlando location

Fun Spot Kissimmee 

2850 Florida Plaza Blvd, Kissimmee, FL 34746

Noon – 10pm 

Please note that local ordinance requires face masks be worn at our Kissimmee location. We recommend you bring your own.

Island H20 Live reopening On the GO in the Parks

Island H2O

Sunset Walk

Saturday thru Monday: 10am – 5pm

Fun to Experience as You’re On the Go in the Parks 

The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure LEGOLAND FLORIDA
PHOTO: LEGOLAND Florida, Merlin Entertainments Group, Chip Litherland

LEGOLAND Florida

The LEGOLAND Florida Resort will initially open with adjusted operating hours daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the LEGOLAND Waterpark will be open daily from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s extensive plan of enhanced health and safety measures have been endorsed by the Polk County Commission and Winter Haven Mayor Bradley T. Dantzler and now fully comply with Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 2020-123.  

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

Check out our other posts on the other theme park reopening announcements!

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Walt Disney World Updates Reservations with Cancellation News

The Disney Parks Blog just posted an announcement regarding Walt Disney World Reservations for hotels, dining, experiences, and FastPass+ that you will want to check out if you have existing reservations.

To ensure there is no deviance from official information, I am reposting the Disney Parks Blog post here verbatim!

In case you missed it, this week we shared some big news about Walt Disney World Resort, including plans to welcome guests back to the theme parks as part of a phased reopening beginning July 11, pending state approval.

We know many of you are excited to return to the magic and make new memories with your family, friends, and loved ones. As we previously shared, as we take these next steps forward, we are introducing enhanced health and safety measures reflecting guidance from health authorities and appropriate government agencies.

When our theme parks reopen, we will manage attendance through a new theme park reservation system on DisneyWorld.com that will require all guests to make a reservation in advance for theme park entry. Over the coming weeks, we will be making some necessary updates to prepare for the launch of this park reservation system. Here’s some important information to help you plan ahead:

  • New Ticket Sales and Hotel Reservations: At this time, we are temporarily pausing new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations so we can focus on guests with existing tickets and reservations. Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make a theme park reservation before new tickets are sold; we will be reaching out to these guests soon to provide additional details. We will resume new sales of tickets and Disney Resort hotel reservations after that period of time. Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability. 
  • Dining and Experiences: In order to foster physical distancing during this time, upon reopening, our offerings, restaurants and other experiences such as behind-the-scenes tours will be limited in capacity, and other experiences may remain closed. As a result of limited capacity, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all existing dining reservations and experience bookings, including Disney dining plans included in packages, through the end of the year. We will reopen dining and experience bookings with more limited numbers closer to when the parks reopen. We will also shift from a 180-day booking window to a 60-day booking window for dining and experience bookings going forward to allow Guests to make their plans closer to their visits.
  • FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours: As a result of the COVID-19 impact, the FastPass+ service will be suspended for the time being as we plan to use additional queue space to manage capacity at our attractions and maintain physical distancing. We will automatically cancel existing FastPass+ selections and share any future updates on the service at a later date. Also, please note that upon reopening, Extra Magic Hours will be temporarily suspended.
Walt Disney World Reservation Infographic

We are reaching out to guests affected by these updates with additional information and details on options, including refunds. We understand how much excitement, thought and time goes into planning a Disney vacation and realize some of these changes may be disappointing. Please know we will be here to help you, as we remain focused on delivering a wonderful experience for everyone who visits. 

You can visit a new “Know Before You Go” hub at DisneyWorld.com/Updates, where you can find the latest updates on our operations and offerings, including details on how to modify your plans. If you booked through a third-party, we recommend you reach out directly to your travel professional or ticket seller.

We appreciate your ongoing patience and understanding as we continue to keep the well-being of guests and cast members in mind. Stay tuned for more information over the next few weeks on how to use the theme park reservation system and other tips to be aware of prior to your visit.

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SeaWorld Reopening Announcement – 411

During the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force meeting on May 27th Marc Swanson, interim CEO of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment unveiled their plan for reopening their parks in Orlando.

Let’s not waste any more time…on to the slides!!!!

SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, and Discovery Cove’s Reopening Proposal

SeaWorld Orlando Reopening Plan

SeaWorld will be holding an Employee Appreciation night on June 10 and will be reopening to the general public on June 11th with new procedures and protocols to ensure guest and team member safety.

SeaWorld Orlando Reopening Plan

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment are putting forth a comprehensive plan to enhance all aspects of park operations.

Before entering the park:

  • New signage and floor markings will be in place to communicate expectations and enhancements
  • Guest will be required to wear a face mask
  • Temperature screenings will be conducted prior to ticketing, and any guest with a temperature over 100.4 will not be admitted to the park
SeaWorld Orlando Reopening Plan

When entering the park, SeaWorld is implementing a number of new policies to increase safety by promoting physical distancing and sanitation.

  • Enhanced Cleaning protocols for arrival areas, attractions, restaurants, and retail shops
  • Increased space at turnstiles to accommodate physical distancing
  • Reduction of contact during ticketing by removing the fingerprint requirement to enter the turnstiles.

When it’s time to eat, you will notice a number of changes to restaurants and food offerings.

  • Increased access to touchless payment technology
  • Restaurants will have seating layouts modified to accommodate physical distancing
  • Tables and chairs will be sanitized regularly
  • Disposable paper menus will replace traditional menus
  • Buffets will be modified or closed
  • Additional prepackaged “Grab and Go” items will be made available

Additional enhancements will be made to retail shops to reduce guest interactions and increase safety.

  • New signage will be in place to designate entrance and exits to ensure a clear flow of traffic.
  • Queues will have floor markings for physical distancing
  • Restocking will be done after hours to reduce employee numbers in the shops when guests are present
  • Additional availability of touchless payment technology

Animal viewing areas and interactions will still be available but will be working with limited capacity or limited hours.

  • Animal viewing areas will remain open with limited capacity
  • Selected tours and interactions will be restricted to one party at a time
  • Only tours that can accommodate physical distancing will operate

SeaWorld’s water parks, Aquatica and Discovery Cove, will reopen to guests along with their other parks.

Increased cleaning and sanitation standards, limited guest capacity, and physical distancing measures are being put in place to ensure CDC recommendations for safety are fulfilled.

We will be updating you once the proposal has been approved and more details are announced.

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

Check out our other posts on the other theme park reopening announcements!

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Walt Disney World Reopening Proposal 411

During the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force meeting on May 27th, Jim McPhee, Senior Vice President of Walt Disney World presented their reopening plan for the Walt Disney World Resort.

I am excited to share everything you need to know from that proposal!

The Walt Disney World Resort will begin by opening the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom on July 11th, with EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios reopening on July 15th.

The most significant change to visiting the Walt Disney World resort will be the implementation of an online reservation system to gain access to any of the parks. Although we do not have any specifics yet, I am interested to see how this will be implemented.

Prior to entering any of the Walt Disney World theme parks, new health and safety protocols, similar to what has been implemented at Disney Springs, will be in place in each park including:

  • Temperature Checks prior to entering the park, no one admitted with a temperature over 100.4
  • Face coverings will be required for all guests
  • Social Distancing guidelines to ensure parties remain 6 feet from other guests

In order to facilitate the new health and safety policies, Walt Disney World has increased the guest-facing communication to include:

  • New content in the Disney World App
  • New signs throughout the parks
  • Floor markings indicating where to stand when in queues to facilitate social distancing policies
  • A “Physical Distancing Squad” made up of cast members available to answer guest questions and encourage safety.

Once inside the parks, guests will also find additional safety protocols including:

  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitation including disinfection of common guest and cast member touchpoints throughout the park
  • Additional handwashing and sanitizer stations in ride queues, restaurants, and merchandise locations
  • No-Contact ordering and payment wherever possible
  • Managed capacity in rides, shows, and restaurants

In addition to existing safety enhancements, all Parades and Fireworks shows as well as character meet and greets will be suspended until further notice.

Although no specifics were given as to the reopening plans for the hotels, the Disney Parks Blog shared in a post:

Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World will reopen to members and guests and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin to reopen on June 22. Disney Vacation Club resorts in Vero Beach, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, will also open to members and guests starting on June 15.”

We will be updating you once the proposal has been approved and more details are announced.

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Tips and Tricks for Visiting Disney Springs

Tips and Tricks for Visiting Disney Springs

Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort is now open, and currently operating in Phase 1 of their reopening strategy.

I was really excited to be there to see what everything was like, and to share my experience with you!

Here’s what I learned from my visit to Disney Springs that you might find helpful for your next visit!

Parking 411
Disney Springs Reopening Phase 1 Tips and Tricks

Disney Springs is managing their parking a little differently than you would expect from their initial announcement.  

The Orange and Lime garages will both open however, they are opening the orange garage first to help manage the flow of guests into Disney Springs.

Upon entering the garage be sure to pay attention to new signs and to watch for additional directions from Cast Members. 

Currently they are not staggering parking spaces, so be prepared to park as normal.  

Pro-Tip:  If you want to avoid the crowds, your best access point will be the Hotel Plaza Boulevard Walkway as it has the least amount of foot traffic entering Disney Springs.

Don’t be intimidated by Temperature Check
Disney Springs Reopening Phase 1 Tips and Tricks

After you have parked, it’s time to make your way to your Disney Springs pre-admission health check.

Advent Health employees are administering temperature checks at all points of entrance to Disney Springs, and any guest with a temperature over 100.4 will not be granted entrance.  

Pro-Tip: This is where they will have disposable masks if you do not have one. You will have to sign a form to receive one, but they are available. 

Wearing a mask takes some getting used to
Disney Springs Reopening Phase 1 Tips and Tricks
Want to make a mask like this one? I’ve got you covered with a no-sew mask DIY!

Here’s the truth…

I visited Disney Springs from 9 AM until 3 PM, and it was a pretty hot day (it got up to around 97 degrees).  

I wore my mask the entire time, aside from the hour I was eating my lunch, and while it did get a little uncomfortable at times I walked for a while without stepping into a store I wouldn’t say it was unbearable.

The best thing you could do is listen to your body, and if you are getting overheated or overwhelmed step into a store or carry a small fan with you to get a little extra cool air on your face.

Wearing masks reduces the spread of germs, but it only works if everyone participates. Let’s start to change the paradigm of wearing a mask to an act of kindness! Think of it as your way to help others stay safe and healthy.

Pro-Tip: Don’t carry a drink or wear your mask incorrectly, because not only could you be stopped by security…other guests aren’t shy about speaking up. Just wear the mask. Don’t be that person!!!

Disney Springs Reopening Phase 1 Tips and Tricks
THEY HAVE THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING!!! Look how the lids of the trash can have been secured so you don’t have to touch them.
Speaking of Food
Disney Springs Reopening Phase 1 Tips and Tricks

One of my favorite parts of visiting Disney Springs is grabbing a bite to eat because they have so many great options!

If you are planning to have a meal, make sure you make a reservation for full-service dining locations in advance to ensure you have a table as seating is limited.

Also most dining locations are not offering their full menus, so be sure to check in advance online to make sure that they have the dish you have been craving.

Disney Springs Reopening Phase 1 Tips and Tricks

If quick service is more your thing, be patient as there have been long lines, especially at Chicken Guy. If you want to cut down on your wait, try eating an hour before or after a ‘typical’ mealtime.

Pro-Tip: Disney is waving 24-hour cancellation fees for missed reservations, so if you change your mind about going out or aren’t feeling up to it you can cancel up to the last minute.

Shopping
Disney Springs Reopening Phase 1 Tips and Tricks

Many shopping locations are open for business, but there are a few things to keep in mind before you start your shopping spree!

First is that you will need to be be prepared for cashless transactions, since they are encouraging customers to pay with apps like Apple Pay over cash transactions.

If you do make a purchase, be a little extra patient as you are waiting in line as most locations are taking extra time between transactions to wipe down keypads between uses.

Make sure that you pay attention outside of stores for queues and social distancing markers. Busier stores, like Sugarboo & Co., are having their employees help regulate the flow of guests in their stores.

Pro-Tip: If a store you want to visit has a long queue to get in, enjoy a walk around D Springs visit when people would typically be eating. 

I had an amazing time at Disney Springs, and I’m excited about more stores & restaurants to open!!!

Disney Springs Reopening Phase 1 Tips and Tricks

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Announces Opening Date

Leadership at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex announced that the visitor complex will reopen to guests effective Thursday, May, 28, 2020 with reduced admission, attendance limits, and some attractions unavailable.

During the initial reopening phase, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will begin new measures and procedures in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Reopening May 28 2020

To reinforce guests’ health and safety:

  • A limited number of attractions and services will be available during this initial, reopening phase.
  • All guests will undergo a temperature screening upon arrival.
  • The Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour will not be available due to social distancing guidelines.
  • Face coverings will be required for employees and guests. Face coverings will be available for purchase at the front entrance.
  • New physical-distancing measures will be in place.
  • All guests are required to have a timed ticket, including annual passholders.
  • Advance ticket purchases are strongly encouraged to ensure entry due to limited capacity.
  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will continue the comprehensive and extensive availability of hand sanitizer throughout the park, as well as the increased routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces in the workplace and at workstations, countertops, doorknobs, and ticket counters.

These precautions are temporary and are subject to change at any time based on the recommendations of the CDC, State of Florida, and Brevard County. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex management continues to work closely with local, state, and federal experts to ensure that we are up to date on the situation as it evolves.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Reopening May 28 2020

Guests will also be able to purchase a space expert-led walking tour through Heroes & Legends featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, the Rocket Garden, Nature and Technology, Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted, NASA Now, Space Shuttle Atlantis®, Astronaut Training Experience®. This tour, which will be limited to small groups, costs $49.99 and includes admission and a boxed lunch.

During the initial reopening, a limited-time “Explore Today, Explore Tomorrow” package, which will include daily admission, parking and a complimentary ticket to return to the visitor complex in 2021,  will be $29.99 for adults and $24.99 for children.

The operating hours will be 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Leadership will continue to assess the situation and make adjustments to the availability of exhibits, tours, and experiences as deemed safe and appropriate. To help protect against the spread of COVID-19 and help ensure guest and employee safety, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has taken and will continue to take action to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus based on the guidance of the CDC. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present.

Additional details are available online.

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On the Go in the Parks: May 22-25, 2020

On the Go in the Parks May 22-25, 2020

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!!!

It’s been a crazy busy week for theme park fans!!!

The opening announcements, including the Universal Orlando Resort and LEGOLAND Florida Resort, have been flying in so let’s get to it!!!

What’s New This Weekend On the Go in the Parks

On the Go in the ParksWordless Wednesday Walt Disney Madame Tussauds Orlando iDrive360 Orlando

Madame Tussaud’s Orlando

ICON Park Orlando

Wednesday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Monday: 11am – 6pm

Tips for Staying Cool in the Theme Parks Tips for Beating the heat in the Theme Parks ICON Park Play Pass

SEALIFE Orlando

ICON Park Orlando 

Wednesday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm

Monday: 11am – 6pm

As part of the reopening, SEA LIFE Orlando and Madame Tussauds Orlando will honor the tireless work of local medical professionals by providing complimentary tickets to healthcare heroes.

For every guest who shares a photo of their visit and tags the attraction in a social media post during their visit, SEA LIFE Orlando and Madame Tussauds Orlando will donate one ticket to a local healthcare worker from a health care partner to be announced soon.

On the Go in the Parks Starflyer ICON Park

Starflyer Orlando

ICON Park

Saturday: 2pm – 10pm

The times for operation vary per day, so make sure to check out their website before you go!

Gatorland Orlando Social Distancing Skunk On the Go in the Parks

Gatorland Orlando

14501 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32837

Saturday: 10am  

Just make sure you stay on the lookout for their Social Distancing Skunk Ape!!!

Fun Spot America reopening On the GO in the Parks

Fun Spot Orlando

5700 Fun Spot Way, Orlando FL 32819

Friday: 2pm – 10pm

Saturday and Beyond: Noon – 10pm

Officials said masks are not required but encouraged. 

Island H20 Live reopening On the GO in the Parks

Island H2O

Sunset Walk

Saturday thru Monday: 10am – 5pm

Fun to Experience as You’re On the Go in the Parks 

Disney Springs 

Daily, 10am – 10pm

Disney Springs Reopening

It was really great to have a portion of the Walt Disney World Resort open again for guests, and even better that I had the opportunity to visit!!!

If you are going to make your way to Disney Springs, make sure that you bring your mask, make any dining reservations you would like in advance online, and take the time to be patient as Cast Members are still getting used to new cleaning procedures. 

Universal Orlando’s CityWalk

Daily, 4pm – 10pm

Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Reopening

It was so great to once again see people roaming CityWalk, but I will caution you that I expect the area to be busy this weekend so there a few things you can do to cut down on your waits!

  1. Download the Official Universal Orlando Resort App – Cashless 
  1. Plan to arrive early: They are limiting the number of guests they are allowing in the CityWalk area, and there can be a back up at the parking plaza as self-parking is free
  1. Be prepared  – Have that mask on and ready as you approach the temperature check 
  1. Be patient – Mind those 6ft social distancing markers on the ground, relax, and make sure to enjoy your time once again at Universal’s CityWalk!!!

CityWalk at the Universal Orlando Resort is open daily from 4-10 pm, but please remember that the theme parks and resorts are still currently closed. 

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LEGOLAND Florida Creates New Mini Golf Scenes

LEGOLAND Florida Miniature, Golf Tournament, Legos
LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Four of the biggest names in sports are hitting the greens in Florida this weekend in support of COVID-19 charities, and LEGOLAND Florida Resort wanted a sneak peek at what’s happening on the links.

To commemorate this mega matchup of Tiger Woods with Peyton Manning and Phil Mickelson with Tom Brady, Master Model Builders at LEGOLAND Florida Resort created a series of LEGO “mini” golf scenes in Miniland, USA with its resident “Minilanders.”

Standing only four inches high and weighing less than a golf ball, the Minilander version of the four all-star sports greats includes scenes of them paired off on the putting green, competing against their longtime rivals, cheering alongside their match partners and facing some unexpected encounters with Florida wildlife.

The Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Charity will be played this Sunday, May 24 at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida, and is expected to raise $10 million from both player and sponsor donations for coronavirus relief.

LEGO Movie World News
LEGOLAND Florida Resort

LEGOLAND Florida Resort, the theme park built for kids, is reopening on June 1.

“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. In addition, we have also sought guidance from our partners at AdventHealth,” said General Manager of LEGOLAND Florida Resort Rex Jackson. “We’re ready to play, and we look forward to reopening LEGOLAND Florida Resort as a safe and memorable place for families to play again.”

Along with the park and waterpark’s reopening, the all-new LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel will debut on June 1. Reservations are available for travel dates June 1 or later for both LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel and LEGOLAND Hotel.

Guests can stay informed about the Resort’s reopening as well as its health and safety protocols at legoland.com/florida/

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LEGOLAND Florida Announces Reopening Info

LEGO Movie World News
Photo: LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Let’s not waste any time…I am so excited to let you know that LEGOLAND Florida Resort will officially reopen on June 1!!!!!

The Resort will initially open with adjusted operating hours. LEGOLAND Theme Park will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and LEGOLAND Waterpark will be open daily from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s extensive plan of enhanced health and safety measures have been endorsed by the Polk County Commission and Winter Haven Mayor Bradley T. Dantzler and now fully comply with Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 2020-123.  

As the health and safety of guests and employees at LEGOLAND Florida Resort continues to be paramount, the plan includes reduced capacity, cashless payments, social distancing practices, and enhanced cleaning regimes.

The plan has been developed with measures based on government advice and the requirements of health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“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. In addition, we have also sought guidance from our partners at AdventHealth,” said General Manager of LEGOLAND Florida Resort Rex Jackson. “We’re ready to play, and we look forward to reopening LEGOLAND Florida Resort as a safe and memorable place for families to play again.”

Here is a look at what guests can expect with the reopening of LEGOLAND Florida Resort on June 1, 2020:

PLANNING

Guests are encouraged to download the LEGOLAND mobile app and review the website in advance of their arrival, for a full outline of the parks’ new arrival and attractions procedures, as well as details on the enhanced cleaning measures.

Tickets and vacations should be booked in advance online, when possible.

Guests should be prepared to make on-site payments using a credit or debit card as cash will no longer be accepted on property. Guests experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19 should refrain from visiting the Resort.

ARRIVAL

At the time of reopening, the Park will operate at 50 percent of its capacity.

If guests are arriving by car, they should expect to leave spaces in between vehicles and follow additional spacing instructions.

All park employees and guests will be required to undergo non-invasive temperature checks. Those with a temperature of 100.4 F will not be allowed entry, nor will those in their party.

THROUGH THE RESORT

Every employee at LEGOLAND will wear a facial covering, and we will provide complimentary masks to encourage all our guests, ages three and above, to do the same.

Brick-themed spatial markers and kid-friendly, parkwide signage will help remind guests of social distancing recommendations and hygiene practices.

More than 200 hand sanitizing stations have been added throughout the park. Guests can view these locations on the LEGOLAND mobile app while traversing the park.

Character meet and greets and other select attractions will be suspended at the time of reopening.

Enhanced cleaning measures throughout the day will disinfect high-frequency touchpoints, including ride restraints, tables and chairs, service counters, handles and door handles.

Guests will also see enhancements in our mobile app over the coming weeks that will allow them to reserve their spot in queue lines for major attractions directly from their own devices.

Along with the park and waterpark’s reopening, the all-new LEGOLAND

Pirate Island Hotel will debut on June 1. Reservations are available for travel dates June 1 or later for both LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel and LEGOLAND Hotel.

Guests can stay up-to-date, with operational changes, as well as health and safety enhancements online by visiting:

legoland.com/operations-update  

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Universal Orlando Reopening Plan Submitted

During the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force Meeting on May 21st, Universal Orlando’s Chief Administrative Officer John Sprouls and Rich Costales, Executive Vice President of Resort Operations, Universal Orlando submitted a reopening plan that would begin June 1, 2020.

Here are the highlights from the Universal Orlando Reopening plan presented during the call:

Universal Orlando Resort Reopening Presentation 5 21 2020

Universal Orland Reopening plans shows that the park will open in a gradual managed way starting June 1st and 2nd for team members, June 3rd and 4th will be open to selected invited guests in order to test the new procedures, and on June 5th, the parks will be open to the general public.

Universal Orlando Resort Reopening Presentation 5 21 2020

The Universal Orlando Resort also announced their plans for Team Member health screenings, additional breaks, and safety.

Guests will receive pre-arrival communication ensuring they understand what measures are being put in place for safety as well as what will be expected of them upon entering the park. 

Universal Orlando Resort Reopening Presentation 5 21 2020

Additional communication will be delivered via the Universal Orlando App, new signage, and ambassadors throughout the park.

In addition to the existing social distancing measures put in place at the entrance of City Walk the parking lot will have staggered spaces, and the valet service will be suspended until further notice.

Universal Orlando Resort Reopening Presentation 5 21 2020

Temperature checks and face coverings will be required for all guests and team members.  If guests do not have masks, they will be provided by Universal Orlando.

Team members will begin training on new procedures beginning May 23rd in preparation for reopening.

Universal Orlando Resort Reopening Presentation 5 21 2020

A number of modifications will be made to attractions and play areas including:

  1. Interactive play areas will be closed
  2. Water effects and misters have been disabled on attractions
  3. Access to virtual queue technology has been expanded to include additional attractions
  4. Single Rider lines will be closed to stop comingling of parties
  5. Ride queues have been updated to allow for social distancing with markers

Entertainment will continue, but there will be no up-close character or performer meet and greets.

Dining locations will offer disposable paper menus and expanded mobile ordering.

All attractions, merchandise stores, and dining locations will have hand sanitizer stations at all entrances and exits.

Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Mobile Ordering
Universal Orlando Resort

Digital payments through ApplePay, GooglePay, or the Universal Orlando App will be accepted at all locations.  Cash will not be refused, but additional precautions are in place to ensure the safety of guests and team members with these transactions.

Representatives from The Orange County Recovery Task Force as well as The Florida Department of Health did an onsite inspection of the steps put in place by Universal Orlando, and were satisfied with the results.

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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SEA LIFE & Madame Tussauds Now Open

SEA LIFE Orlando Madame Tussauds Orlando ICON Park Reopen May 2020

SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium and Madame Tussauds Orlando at ICON Park have officially reopened to guests for an enjoyable escape.

A range of new health and safety measures have been introduced in line with government advice and the requirements of local health authorities.

Safety measures such as social distancing signage, contactless payment, and enhanced cleaning will be clearly visible to guests from the moment they arrive.

Interactive experiences including touch tanks at SEA LIFE Aquarium and photo props at Madame Tussauds have been temporarily removed.

Capacity will also be restricted to no more than 25 percent of permitted occupancy.

SEA LIFE Orlando Madame Tussauds Orlando ICON Park Reopen May 2020
Madame Tussauds Orlando

“The health of our guests, staff, and sea animals is of utmost importance. We are taking proactive steps to provide visitors with a safe, comfortable environment,” said General Manager of SEA LIFE Orlando and Madame Tussauds Orlando James Paulding. “We will continue to adapt our operations to adhere with health and safety guidelines while offering guests the chance to create magical memories.”

As part of the reopening, SEA LIFE Orlando and Madame Tussauds Orlando will honor the tireless work of local medical professionals by providing complimentary tickets to healthcare heroes.

For every guest who shares a photo of their visit and tags the attraction in a social media post during their visit, both locations will donate one ticket to a local healthcare worker from a health care partner to be announced soon.

SEA LIFE Orlando Madame Tussauds Orlando ICON Park Reopen May 2020
SEA LIFE Orlando

For a limited time, guests who are the “First To Play” will get a specially discounted ticket that includes free digital downloads. Entry to both SEA LIFE Orlando and Madame Tussauds is now available for $30 per adult and $25 per child. Single attraction tickets are discounted to $20 per adult and $15 per child and also include free digital downloads.

Families are encouraged to visit the SEA LIFE ORLANDO website and Madame Tussauds Orlando website to purchase tickets and review safety protocols ahead of their visit.

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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On the Go in the Parks: May 15-17, 2020

On the Go in the Parks may 15 2020

IT IS GOOD TO BE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It has been far too long since we have been On the Go in the Parks!!!

Don’t forget to tune into News 96.5 WDBO this evening to hear me talk about these events and more on Orlando’s Evening News with Tony Marino!!!

Are you ready? Let’s Go!!!

On the Go in the Parks: Universal Orlando’s CityWalk

Let’s Start over at the Universal Orlando Resort for the reopening of CityWalk!

Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Reopening

CityWalk was really the ‘Epicenter of Awesome’ this week as they opened with limited operations. 

It was so great to once again see people roaming CityWalk, but I will caution you that I expect the area to be busy this weekend so there a few things you can do to cut down on your waits!

  1. Download the Official Universal Orlando Resort App – Be ready to make those Cashless purchases and make sure to link your Universal Orlando Resort Pass for discounts!
  2. Plan to arrive early: They are limiting the number of guests they are allowing in the CityWalk area, and there can be a back up at the parking plaza as self-parking is free.
  3. Be prepared  – Have that mask on and ready as you approach the temperature check so security can pass you as quickly as possible.
  4. Be patient – Mind those 6ft social distancing markers on the ground, relax, and make sure to enjoy your time once again at Universal’s CityWalk!!!

CityWalk at the Universal Orlando Resort is open daily from 4-10 pm, but please remember that the theme parks and resorts are still currently closed. 

On the Go in the Parks: Disney Springs

While I know it is a bit early…let’s look ahead to the opening of Disney Springs on May 20, 2020!

Disney Springs Reopening

There is so much to look forward to, and new information is coming out everyday!

Disney Springs dining locations opening May 20th include:
  1. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill
  2. STK Orlando
  3. Wine Bar George
  4. Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC
  5. YeSake
  6. The Polite Pig
  7. Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Co.
  8. 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck
  9. Sunshine Churros
  10. Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream
  11. Earl of Sandwich – Just Announced
  12. Planet Hollywood Observatory – Just Announced
  13. Chicken Guy – Just Announced
  14. The Boathouse – Just Announced
Disney Springs shopping locations opening May 20th include:
  1. American Threads
  2. Anthropologie 
  3. Crystal Arts by Arribas Bros.
  4. Free People
  5. Pele Soccer
  6. Pop Gallery
  7. Ron Jon Surf Shop
  8. Uniqlo
Disney Springs Reopening- More Restaurants Opening Soon
Disney Springs dining locations opening May 22nd include:
  1. Pizza Ponte
  2. Morimoto Asia
  3. Morimoto Asia Street Food
  4. Vivoli il Gelato

We are still waiting on a lot of details about the opening of Disney Springs, so make sure to follow @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Update

Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Reopening

CityWalk, at the Universal Orlando Resort, will begin limited operation of select venues on Thursday, May 14 from 4-10 pm daily as they take the first steps toward reopening the destination.

Let’s talk about what you will find once the area begins its limited operations!

5 things to know about Universal Orlando’s CityWalk Limited Operations

1. What safety measures will be in place for guests?

The Universal Orlando Resort is working closely with local health officials and their own health and safety experts and adhere to CDC guidelines. 

Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Reopening Safety
Universal Orlando Resort

Here are specific safety measures you will find when Universal Orlando’s CityWalk begins limited operations:

  • Team Members will undergo temperature checks and will wear face coverings.
  • Temperature checks for each guest will be taken upon arrival. If a guest has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater, they will not be able to enter CityWalk.
  • The Universal Orlando Resort will require guests to wear face coverings during their visit, and they will have complimentary disposable face coverings as well as face coverings available for purchase at cost. If a guest has a disability that prevents them from wearing a facial covering, they’ll be directed to the Guest Services team to discuss reasonable accommodations.
  • Each venue will limit the capacity to help enforce social distancing, and all chairs and tables will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each seating. High-touch surfaces throughout CityWalk will be frequently cleaned and disinfected as well.
  • Cashless payments will be available at all venues.

Please note the CDC advises that older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Guests should evaluate their risk in determining whether to attend.

People who show no symptoms can spread COVID-19 if they are infected, any interaction with the general public poses an elevated risk of being exposed to COVID-19, and the Universal Orlando Resort cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed during your visit.

2. Where can I park?
Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Parking

During the limited operations of Universal Orlando’s CityWalk, self-parking is complimentary and is subject to change.

Valet parking will not be available at this time.

3. What entertainment venues will be open?
Hollywood Drive-In Golf Golf at Universal Citywalk

You can take advantage of the lovely weather and take a swing at Hollywood Drive-In Golf™.

However, you will want to keep in mind that Blue Man Group, all nightclubs, and Universal Cinemark will remain temporarily closed at this time.

4. What restaurants will be open?
Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Mobile Ordering
Universal Orlando Resort

Select full-service restaurants and quick-service food locations will be open including:

It is important to note that each restaurant will have a limited menu and limited seating available, and reservations are recommended for full-service restaurants.

Guests are also encouraged to go contact-free with the Official Universal Orlando app, available for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.

5. What shopping locations will be open?
Orlando CityWalk Universal Orlando -

While additional shopping locations may open, currently the following CityWalk locations are scheduled to open May 14, 2020:

To prepare for your visit, you can find more information on the CDC guidelines here and more information about Universal Orlando’s policies during this time here.

Again, please keep in mind that Universal Orlando’s theme parks and hotels as well as Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk Hollywood remain closed through at least May 31, 2020.

Shelley at Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Entrance February 2020

I am soooo excited to see locations begin to reopen, and I can’t wait to visit Universal Orlando’s CityWalk!

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Disney Springs Reopening – 5 Things to Know

Yesterday the Walt Disney World Resort announced that Disney Springs will begin a phased reopening on May 20, 2020.

Disney Springs Reopening

A phased reopening of Disney Springs will begin on May 20. Following the guidance of government and health officials, a limited number of shopping and dining experiences that are owned by third-party operating participants will begin to open during this initial phase. The rest of Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed, including theme parks and resort hotels.

As we continue to monitor conditions, and with the health of guests and Disney cast members at the forefront of our planning, we are making several operational changes. Disney Springs will begin to reopen in a way that incorporates enhanced safety measures, including increased cleaning procedures, the use of appropriate face coverings by both cast members and guests, limited-contact guest services and additional safety training for cast members. 

While the announcement wasn’t full of details, there were 5 key takeaways to note.

Disney Springs Reopening:

5 Things to Know

1. What we know about the locations opening on May 20, 2020…

When Disney Springs reopens guests will find, “a limited number of shopping and dining experiences that are owned by third-party operating participants will begin to open during this initial phase. The rest of Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed, including theme parks and Disney Resort hotels.”

Disney Springs Town Center at Walt Disney World Resort Disney Springs Reopening
Photo: Walt Disney World Resort

So when it initially reopens, Disney Springs guests will not be able to shop at stores or dine at locations operated by Walt Disney World.

While not listed in this announcement, examples of these Walt Disney World operated locations include stores like World of Disney and the Co Op as well as dining locations like Jock Lindsey’s and D-Luxe Burger.

2. What we know about planning your trip to Disney Springs in the initial reopening phase…

When you think about planning your trip to Disney Springs in this phase, it is important to note that there will be limitations on capacity, parking, and operating hours.

Photo: Walt Disney World Resort

While no specifics were given in this initial announcement about any of these three important details, it will be important to watch for these details to make planning easier.

3. What will be different when Disney Springs begins reopening…

Disney Springs did note in their announcement that they would be making several operational changes that would include enhanced safety measures including increased cleaning procedures, limited-contact Guest Services, and additional safety training for Cast Members

Disney Springs Reopening
Photo: Walt Disney World Resort

We will apply learnings and ideas from leaders in the health and travel industries, and we’re also talking to our unions as we prepare for some Cast Members to return to work.

Safety is ALWAYS at the forefront of operations at the Walt Disney World Resort, and I am beyond confident that they are going above and beyond to ensure the safety of guests and Cast Members.

4. What will guests need to have to visit Disney Springs…

Included in the many safety measures that Disney Springs is taking is, “…the use of appropriate face coverings by both Cast Members and Guests…”

Disney Springs Reopening
Photo: Walt Disney World Resort

This isn’t meant to spark debate…just know that you will need to wear a face covering to visit Disney Springs in this phase of reopening.

5. More Information

As we get closer to May 20, 2020, more specific information will be coming out, but I would encourage everyone to stay patient, understanding, and most of all kind as we continue to figure this out together!!!

Disney Springs Reopening
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

We are really excited about the reopening of Disney Springs, and will be sharing information as it is released!

You can find more information about theme park news and tips by subscribing to our YouTube Channel and following @onthegoinmco on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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Universal Behind the Scenes: Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

Discover the Behind-the-Scenes Story of the Toys at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

Two years before the orange doors of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes officially opened in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida, Maria Kazaros and her team were already hard at work to bring novelty jokes and pranks inspired by those of Fred and George Weasley to life.

As a senior buyer on Universal Orlando Resorts’ merchandise team, Maria essentially is involved with product development, taking the idea of something and turning it into something tangible. Or, as is the case with her role developing merchandise for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, taking the idea of something and turning it into something magical. 

“One of the hardest parts in the beginning was just, how do you bring things to life from Harry’s world,” Maria explains. “We spent many months watching the movies, reading the books, brainstorming, doing work sessions. And we brought in some of the fans to see what they liked. Those fans care and they know what they want, so that helped us all in figuring out what the merchandise in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter would be.”

Of course, while the source material for the Wizarding World (as seen in the Harry Potter film series) is plentiful and rich in detail, it can be tricky taking something you see in a movie and figuring out how to make it into an operational toy. 

“One thing that I do is I rely on my product partners who are experts in the industry and know how toys can go from nothing to something,” Maria says. “I ask a lot of questions or just come to them and say, ‘I want to make this, can I?’ And then we’ll sort of reengineer it and I get to create my vision, so to speak.” 

Maria has been with the company since 1999, starting out as a store manager in a handful of merchandise locations until joining the merchandise development team in 2001. Maria says she enjoys working with toys because it allows her to be a problem-solver.

“It’s challenging to take something non-magical, like a pen, and make it magical,” Maria says. “Or something that is magical, like The Monster Book of Monsters, and make it something real for people to interact with.” 

Walking through Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, there is a lot to interact with. From the toilet-in-the-front-window flushing at the flick of your interactive wand, to all the Extendable Ears and Skiving Snackboxes your heart desires, the entire shop is packed to the ceiling (which, be sure to look up at for a surprise) with Weasleys-inspired items and tie-ins to the movies.

“I still watch the movies over and over because there’s so much that you can still catch from them that you haven’t seen,” Maria says.

To be honest, I also watch the Harry Potter movies over and over, so what’s the difference when Maria does? When I watch a scene with the Marauder’s Map, I am simply enjoying the magic of it all. Maria on the other hand…

“The Marauder’s Map was a fun one to figure out,” Maria says. “You hit it with the wand and the footprints go around, just like in the movies.”

One of Maria’s top priorities when developing merchandise for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is ensuring everything feels authentic — taking the notch up on what people expect from an everyday toy. And as for the merchandise in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, there is a unique chaos she aims to capture.

“When you think of that scene in the movie, everything is moving. Dolores Umbridge on the unicycle moves in their store and moves in ours. So that’s one we actually created and brought to life from the movies.” 

What’s your favorite piece of Wizarding World merchandise? Let us know in the comments below and show it off by tagging us on Twitter @UniversalORL and Instagram @UniversalOrlando.

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