Following the governor’s announcement that the state would move into “Full Phase I,” the state’s amusement parks were permitted to open following submission of a re-opening plan to the County and State governments. In an effort to make the process easier to navigate, County Manager Don Fisher and the Chamber hosted a Zoom call with our local attractions owners last Friday. Participants heard recommendations from Mr. Fisher, Department of Emergency Management Director Bill Litton, consultant Sarah Matthews, and Brett Smith with the Osceola County Department of Health.
Here are some important takeaways from that call that attractions will want to keep in mind as they open, and that guests will want to keep in mind as they choose which attractions to visit.
Advice for Reopening
Tips from Osceola County Economic Development
David Rodriguez with the County’s Department of Economic Development, recommended that attractions owners and operators check out the new WeveOpenedSafely.org site for a list of guidelines issued by a variety of industries, as well as the CDC. The CDC’s guidelines include ones specific to amusement parks. There is now a tab on the WeveOpenedSafely.org site where attractions may fill out a form and submit their plan directly. The review process will move as quickly as possible, but will depend on thoroughness of the plan submitted.
Tips from the Department of Health
Bret Smith with the Department of Health added that he is specifically looking for park capacity, signage, social distancing, and PPE requirements for guests and staff. He also offered a great tip to attractions that have been dormant for the last three months: flush your water line!. Additional guidelines attractions should provide in their plans include how they will handle sick employees, a screening process for employees, and plans for tracking cross-contamination in the case of a sick employee. The Health Department can send a consultant out to an attraction if requested.
Advice from the County Consultant
Sarah Matthews, a consultant hired by Osceola County to review attractions’ reopening plans, said that she will look at all possibilities when reviewing plans, and will help the attraction to be covered as best as possible going into the future and accounting for future possibilities.
Tips from Osceola County Emergency Management
Emergency Management Director Bill Litton advised creating a step-by-step reopening plan with a neat cover letter. Specifics are important, such as hand sanitizer and the potency of the sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should content 60%-95% isopropyl alcohol and surface sanitizers should contain 60%-80%. Disinfectants should be EPA approved. He also recommends showing research and providing a chain of supply for the PPE that will be required for guests and staff. It is necessary to show that PPE is obtainable.
Updates on our Member Attractions
That was great advice, and many of our member attractions have taken it to heart, as they have either reopened or plan to reopen soon. Please see the list below, with links, of which of our member attractions have either reopened or will open soon!
Experience Kissimmee, Osceola’s tourism gurus, have coloring pages and other fun activities available on their Facebook Page, and you can take a Virtual Kissimmee Vacation on their website.
Fun Spot Kissimmee
Fun Spot is OPEN from noon to 10:00 pm.
Gatorland is OPEN!
Gay Days has moved from June 2020 to October 27 -November 2, 2020 and will be known as Gay Days Halloween. Learn more at their website.
Island Grove Wine Company at Formosa Gardens
Island Grove Wine Company is open and also offering curbside pickup.
Island H2O Live!
Island H2O Live! is OPEN!
Museum of Military History
The Museum of Military History is OPEN!
Old Town is OPEN!
Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park
Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park is OPEN!
Osceola Arts’ 2019-2020 season will resume on July 17 with Once on this Island.
Osceola County Welcome Center and Museum
The Welcome Center and Museum are OPEN!
Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek
The Pioneer Village is OPEN!
Revolution – The Off Road Experience
Revolution Off-Road reopens May 29.
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
Some shopping and dining locations at Disney Springs are open.
Walt Disney World has proposed that Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will open on July 11 and EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15, pending approval from the governor.
Wild Florida will resume full operations on June 1.