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Universal Studios Florida turns 30 during pandemic

All 3 Universal theme parks in Orlando are back open this weekend.
Credit: AP Photo/John Raoux

ORLANDO, Fla. — 30 years ago today, Universal Studios Florida opened for the first time in Orlando. The theme park gives guests an immersive movie experience through rides, characters and shows.

All three Universal theme parks, Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay are back open this weekend. The parks have been closed since March 15 because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Now Universal is changing park hours along with implementing health and safety measures.

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"We are inviting our guests back to our theme parks in a cautious and thoughtful way," said Tom Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts. 

"We have put new health and safety procedures in place for both our team members and guests. And we have worked hard to make sure our guests can enjoy their time with family and friends. Doing this the right way will take all of us -- and we need everyone's help."

Guests and employees have to wear face coverings at all times. Everyone has to practice social distancing - you'll see staggered parking, spaced out seating at restaurants and less people allowed on rides at time. Each person will have their temperature taken before going inside. The park is also cutting down on the number of people allowed inside at a time. Some areas, attractions and shows may still be shut down.

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Other theme parks around Florida are reopening with similar safety measures. Legoland in Orlando is already back open. SeaWorld in Orlando along with Busch Gardens and Adventure Island in Tampa reopen Thursday. Disney won't start reopening it's Florida parks until the middle of July.

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