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Legoland's Reopening Gives Look Into The Future Of Florida's Theme Parks

Host Matthew Peddie (on right half of the screenshot) speaks with Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel.
Host Matthew Peddie (on right half of the screenshot) speaks with Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel.

Legoland officially reopened Monday and it offered some clues about what theme park fans might expect in the post-pandemic world.

Reporter Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel visited the Winter Haven park and says it's a lot like other businesses that are trying to minimize the spread of coronavirus.

“When you walk up, you have to get your temperature checked to get in, you see employees wearing masks and some are wearing gloves,” Russon said. “Some have shields over their faces. You know, it's different. And they're trying to manage crowds, and there are certain places where you can stand.”

Russon was a guest earlier today on The State We're In - a Facebook Live show from WUSF and WMFE in Orlando.

She said she saw families having fun, despite social distancing guidelines that limited people on rides, or in lines.

"But I think there are just a lot of people who are really excited to go to a theme park,” Russon said. “I think there are people nervous about wearing a mask, you know, in the summer, but theme park fans are excited to go on a roller coaster again."

People who visit Legoland are not required to wear masks, but other parks like Disney and Universal will be asking patrons to do so when they open in the coming weeks.

Russon said that fewer than 900 of Legoland's 2000 workers are back on the job.

Floridians will see the state's larger theme parks open in the coming weeks, starting with Universal parks on Friday. Sea World Orlando and Busch Gardens in Tampa open next Thursday. And Disney World announced it will reopen its parks starting on July 11.  

For more content, visit The State We're In Facebook page.

This story is produced in partnership with , an initiative using community engagement to inform local journalism. It is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Copyright 2020 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7