So we decided to check out Universal Studios Orlando since the reopening. Partly because we wanted to check out the newest ride – Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure at Harry Potter World, but mainly because we wanted to see if this kind of experience actually felt safe enough given the park’s current safety procedures. From the parking garage, to dining at City Walk, to purchasing tickets, and getting on rides in less than 10 minutes – this visit was unlike any other. It’s only been a couple weeks since the reopening at Universal Orlando and the guests are starting to trickle in. Here’s how it went.
Parking & Ticket Admission
Parking and ticket prices are still the same, however the set up of the parking garage is a bit different from what it once was. Every other parking space is available for parking, while a yellow cone is placed in each vacant space in between.
Once you’ve parked your car, you receive a touchless temperature check. This happens before the security checkpoint, and there are many hand sanitizer dispensers located here. At this point, you begin to notice the many blue social distancing stickers on the ground each spaced 6 ft. or 2 metres apart. These kinds of stickers are throughout the park – in dining rooms, ride lines, and gift shops. In addition, there are blue A-Frame signs outlining the new safety guidelines of the park that guests are expected to follow.
The admission line to Islands of Adventure was… nonexistent. Granted this was a Thursday afternoon, so it’s possible the experience is a bit different on the weekend. The attendant pictured below is responsible for cleaning each ticket window and counter after every guest. This specific safety measure, with the reopening of Universal Orlando, gave us a sense of assurance while entering the park.
Dining at City Walk and Safety Measures
This part seemed fine since everyone is expected to eat in the outside seating area and not the dining room. While in line, we noticed the blue social distancing stickers as well and all of the staff wearing face coverings and gloves. Customers are expected to wear face coverings while ordering food, but once seated and ready to eat the face covering is no longer required. This is the only spot in the park where customers are not expected to wear them.
The Parks’ Attractions
Now for the most important and exciting part – the rides. This is where it got tricky and clear that some are not as careful nor concerned about social distancing as others. We found people were the least concerned about social distancing in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure.
This is most likely because the newest ride of the Universal parks is located here – Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure (which was super awesome by the way). There were more people in this part of the park, but the wait was not long at all thanks to Universal’s Virtual Lines. With the app, you and your party (up to 8 people) can reserve a time slot and basically walk right onto the ride. There’s multiple rides with this feature.
With the exception of Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure, all other attractions remained properly socially distanced. Even Diagon Alley at Harry Potter World at Universal Studios was near empty. Before getting on any ride, in any of the parks, a ride attendant gives you hand sanitizer.
We purchased a 1-day-2-parks ticket and were able to get on the rides we wanted in about 2 hours. The park’s hours are 9 am-6 pm Sunday through Thursday. And 9 am-7 pm on Friday and Saturday.
So Should You Go?
Well, that depends on you. Most of the time, we felt relatively safe and were truly enjoying the much desired fun we were having. On all of the rides, they separate the parties as best they can. We were a party of 2 and always had our own carts on roller coasters, and our own rows on simulator rides. Keep in mind that we went on a Thursday, just a few hours before closing, so this may not always be the case.
The staff was super helpful and friendly. They all wore face coverings and were very adamant about enforcing this rule for all guests.
The only reason you may question your safety while visiting, is because of careless or forgetful people that ignore social distancing. There weren’t as many staff members enforcing this rule as there should have been. So, overall the trip was fun, but if you can avoid going for now – that may be safest.
The post Thinking About Visiting Universal Studios Orlando Since the Reopening? Here’s a Real Inside Look. was first published on Coworkaholic.