Universal Studios Orlando to Partially Reopen Thursday

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Universal Studios Orlando

The update comes a few days after the Walt Disney Co. announced it would reopen its Disney Springs shopping and dining complex on May 20.

NBCUniversal on Tuesday announced that Universal Studios Orlando would partially reopen later this week. The Florida destination, along with the Hollywood theme park, has been shuttered since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The CityWalk portion will reopen on Thursday with select venues operating from 4 to 10 p.m. daily. All visitors will be required to wear masks and are subject to temperature checks on arrival, the company said.

The Universal Studios park and Islands of Adventure will remain closed at least through May 31. Universal Studios Hollywood is also closed through that time.

Tuesday's update comes a few days after the Walt Disney Co. announced it would reopen its Disney Springs shopping and dining complex in Orlando on May 20. However, the rest of the theme park will remain closed. There is no current date for its reopening.

In related news, Shanghai Disneyland Park completely reopened on Monday with strict new measures in place. The Chinese destination had been closed since late January due to the pandemic.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek on Monday said he was pleased by Shanghai Park ticket sales, the first week completely selling out.

"We're very encouraged by what we see in Shanghai," Chapek said. As of now, the capacity for that park is 27,000 people, which is a government stipulation. Chapek noted the park is allowing far fewer than that now, but will increase by 5,000 every week to ensure it can be handled, saying it was better to be "slow and steady."

The exec said it was still unclear when the domestic parks would reopen, as the decision would rely on state and local restrictions being lifted: "We want to open up as soon as we can across the world, but we are going to do so in a responsible way. We want to get our cast back to work as soon as possible."

Once the Disneyland and Walt Disney World parks do reopen, Chapek all but guaranteed guests (and employees) would have to wear masks, which he said would not go over well with some. "So that will be something that will be a little trying for some of the guests, particularly in the hot, humid summers that we tend to have," he said.