The last time Disney fans heard from Patrick Spikes, he sarcastically said, “I’m going to Disney World.”

Months after pleading no contest to charges that he stole and sold items from Disney parks, the man who gained infamy for the BackDoorDisney social media accounts sounded more contrite in speaking to Gabrielle Russon of The Orlando Sentinel.

“I don’t think I’m as bad a guy as people think I am,” Spikes said. 

In the interview, Spikes denied stealing Buzzy, the animatronic star of Epcot’s shuttered Cranium Command attraction that was reported missing sometime in November 2018. The theft remains unsolved. 

While Spikes told the Sentinel that he believes Disney simply misplaced the animatronic, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office has investigated rumors that the figure remains on Disney property. A search of Disney’s Central Shops complex found no sign of Buzzy, according to public records obtained by Orlando Rising in November 2019.

Read the Sentinel’s full story here

Universal Orlando CEO hints at new procedures during COVID-19 pandemic

Orlando theme parks were represented at Wednesday’s meeting of the Re-Open Florida Task Force, with Universal Orlando CEO John Sprouls mentioning several options the resort is considering in slowly reopening the parks.

Those options largely align with what Universal previously revealed in a guest survey. The measures include spacing out guests to adhere to social distancing principles, using virtual line systems and disinfecting ride vehicles throughout the day.

A key point to all of these efforts: making guests feel safe to venture out to the parks. 

“If they don’t feel safe, they won’t attend,” Sprouls said. 

Disney World is represented on the task force by the resort’s president, Josh D’Amaro. 

Universal is scheduled to remain closed through May 31. Disney World is officially closed until further notice. 

As of April 23, more than 28,000 cases of COVID-19, and 960 deaths, have been confirmed in Florida. In Orange County, 1,274 cases have been confirmed, ranging in age from under 1 to 101. 29 people have died of COVID-19 in the county.

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