You will probably have already seen this, but if you haven’t, Universal Orlando is to reopen beginning June 5. We understand that Annual Pass holders will be allowed early access on June 3 & 4, but have not as yet received the details.
The first guests are going to encounter a significantly different experience compared to before the resort’s closure. However, all parks will be opening on June 5, including Volcano Bay. CityWalk is already operating select venues. However, an announcement on the reopening of Universal Orlando Resort Hotels has not yet been made.
Key safety measures introduced by Universal Orlando ahead of reopening are:
- Guests and team members are required to wear face coverings
- Guests and team members are required to undergo temperature checks. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be able to enter Universal CityWalk or the theme parks
- Staggered parking within the parking garage to help create distance between travel groups
- Limiting and reducing daily park attendance and attraction ridership in Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay
- Increasing cleaning and disinfection of food locations, ride vehicles and other frequent “touch points” that go beyond our already-aggressive cleaning procedures
- Social distancing at all locations through the parks, within attractions and queues and at restaurants
- Having Virtual Line™ experiences available for select attractions
- Offering cashless payments and “no touch” policies where possible
As you would expect during this initial phase of opening, procedures are subject to change. Universal have created a FAQ and some important safety guidelines you should read before you plan to visit. During the initial phase of opening, we understand there will be parades, and self-service buffets will not be open.
Universal is keen to stress that visits are not without risk, and it is up to guests to assess that risk individually. It is worth highlighting two statements in the important safety guidelines:-
- “Note that any public location where people are present provides an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 and we cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed during your visit.”
- “Please note the CDC advises that older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Guests should evaluate their risk in determining whether to attend. People who show no symptoms can spread COVID-19 if they are infected, any interaction with the general public poses an elevated risk of being exposed to COVID-19, and we cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed during your visit.”
It is fantastic news that Universal will shortly be reopening, but visits are likely to be significantly different than before. However, that does not mean you can’t have fun, and the reduced park capacity will undoubtedly be appealing.
Universal has stated that the majority of attractions will be open, but there will to be some closed attractions. It is also likely that queue experiences will be altered including the closure of single rider lines.
Universal is the first of the big resorts to announce a reopening. It has been rumored that Disney was caught by surprise by Universal’s reopening date. There has been no confirmed date for the reopening of Walt Disney World, but expect announcements shortly. Announcements are also awaited from Sea World, but Legoland has confirmed a June 1 opening.
If you are planning to visit Universal Orlando, check out our recently updated Guide to Universal Orlando. Our guide is full of planning tips and tricks.