ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County strike teams are visiting Central Florida theme parks to make sure they're following the county mask mandate and CDC-recommended coronavirus safety precautions.
What You Need To Know
- COVID strike teams still visiting theme parks to monitor compliance
- Walt Disney World, Aquatica, SeaWorld, and Universal have been in-compliance
- Strike teams to continue visits through the start of 2021
These are the same strike teams that have visited about 5,000 businesses in the county since July, catching multiple restaurants and bars not following the rules.
These teams are looking for the same compliance in the theme parks.
After months of unannounced visits to our Central Florida theme parks, the results are in, and for the most part, the parks have been in compliance.
Walt Disney World parks, Aquatica, SeaWorld, and Universal Orlando have all been in-compliance after multiple visits, according to the strike team report.
At the end of October, Fun Spot was found not in-compliance because some guests were not wearing masks. About a week later on a follow-up visit, Fun Spot was then found to be in compliance.
A Fun Spot spokesperson said they provide masks to those who don't have one, and they're putting even more of an emphasis on the mask requirement when greeting guests at the front gate.
Strike Team lead Tim Boldig said teams come in uniform and meet with park management.
"Making sure that you have signage for face coverings, which is required, and that all staff and patrons are wearing masks. We also look for social distancing," Boldig said.
Morgan Rooks recently moved from Tampa to ChampionsGate to be closer to Disney World and friends. She's visited about 20 times since the parks reopened over the summer.
"There's a lot more clarity that you do need to have your mask over your mouth and nose," Rooks said.
With rising coronavirus cases in Florida and the county, Rooks said she still feels comfortable going to Disney World. She feels Disney is doing a great job with safety precautions, and is setting the standard.
"Looking at recent cases rising, it does give me a slight bit of pause, just because there are a lot more guests that are traveling from other areas that do have very high numbers,” Rooks said. “We're also seeing very high numbers within the state, but ultimately I feel very comfortable at Disney.”
Sierra Turner and Daniel Paredes met at work and bonded over both being Universal Orlando passholders. They've also visited the park multiple times during the pandemic.
"Everyone once in a while you'll see someone with their mask pulled down, but the team members are quick to address the situation," Turner said.
The strike teams are encouraged by the parks’ compliance so far, and hope it continues through the pandemic.
"We're in a critical time right now where we see the numbers spiking a little bit so I think it's more important that we adhere and maintain vigilance," Boldig said.
Boldig said after Governor Ron DeSantis' phase 3 reopening plan in September, allowing normal capacity at parks, strike teams picked up the pace with visits, although many parks are still doing limited-capacity.
Right now, there's no penalty for theme parks not complying because the governor's executive order doesn't allow for it, Boldig said.
Strike team visits will continue into 2021 to try and keep guests and theme park employees safe.
STRIKE TEAM REPORT SO FAR:
September 2 – Aquatica - In Compliance
September 2 – SeaWorld - In Compliance
September 4 - Discovery Cove – In Compliance
September 9 - Universal Orlando - In Compliance
September 9 - Islands of Adventure- In Compliance
September 11 - Volcano Bay- In Compliance
September 15 - Magic Kingdom - In Compliance
September 17 – EPCOT- In Compliance
September 18 - Hollywood Studios - In Compliance
September 21 - Animal Kingdom – In Compliance
October 16 - Magic Kingdom – In Compliance
October 20 – SeaWorld – In Compliance (Recommended Guidance - "Post signage reminding patrons and employees to observe the social distancing requirements")
October 22 – Fun Spot - Not In Compliance with Orange County Mask Mandate
October 28 – Fun Spot – In Compliance