A special area was designated and monitored for visitors to take a break from wearing face masks at Universal Studios Florida. Performers are seen on stilts and wearing face coverings at Islands of Adventure . Experience the epic adventure of Universal Orlando Resort for your next family getaway. Before the ride even departed I knew this wasn’t going to work; you have to choose bending the rules and pulling your mask down a bit or enjoying the ride with fogged glasses. Today was a very light crowd day as a bit of a soft open, so I see simply having enough space to queue people up as becoming a problem unless park capacity is severely limited. The passes are good for specific 30-minute windows and your two passes cannot overlap time periods. Workers were seen cleaning seats and hand rails between shows at Universal Studios. What once was a lively park of hour-long waits and children running free, is now a desolate area with families donning masks, gloves and other protective gear. The process to order and pay was simple enough, but when I got to the restaurant, I had to wait for a table as if I hadn’t already ordered.

I wanted to see how the first major theme park in the U.S. to reopen would be able to operate in a new socially distanced world. However, the CityWalk portion of Universal Orlando -- featuring shops and dining -- partially reopened on May 14.

Featured image by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images, CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners. Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun. Visitors wanting to take pictures with characters must stand 12 feet away, including outside The Simpsons Ride where Sideshow Bob is seen. Once in the actual ride line, social distancing was constantly enforced and queues with relatively few people in them looked much larger than they really were. After 80 days of closure due to coronavirus concerns, the Universal Orlando theme park complex reopened on June 3 to those with Univeral Orlando annual passes or travelers staying at Universal Orlando resort hotels. State pensions will rise 2.5% next year - but the pressure is on to... Covid-19 vaccine could be ready before the end of winter but the virus will keep circulating 'for evermore',... NHS hospital in Bradford becomes latest to cancel operations amid spike in Covid-19 patients. The buses did not arrive until 7:30 a.m. — when four buses arrived all at once, which turned out to be a good thing since only 18 people or so were allowed on each of the first few buses that I saw load. A few other rides switched back and forth throughout the day. Spoiler alert: The theme park and resort hotel experience was just as different as you’d expect it to be, and both angst and excitement were in ample supply. Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. June 3 was a mild, mostly cloudy Orlando day. As of Thursday, Florida had officially reported more than 47,000 novel coronavirus cases, and more than 2,100 fatalities, with the number of new cases daily starting to drop. All menus will be single-use, mobile ordering will be available for select venues and spacing will be implemented in ride vehicles and lines. Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay all opened with limited capacity restrictions on June 5, 2020. Gavin Newsom’s administration traveled to Florida last week to inspect COVID-19 protocols at Disney World and Universal Orlando.

Meanwhile, Walt Disney World cracked open its doors on Wednesday, offering dining and shopping to masked customers but leaving the beloved rides closed, as Florida begins to slowly get back to business after a coronavirus lockdown. Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations hit two-month peak, Restaurateur uses pandemic downtime to fly at-risk dogs and cats to safety. Related: What it’s like on a $3,000 Universal VIP tour. After you use one, you can select another. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel. Excited team members welcomed everyone back, reminded us to maintain separation and, right on time, the theme park was again open. Anyone heading to the park will be required to wear a face mask. As soon as I got off Hagrid’s Motorbike, I celebrated by finally ordering a renowned butterbeer via mobile ordering from the popular Three Broomsticks restaurant in Hogsmeade.

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This functionality isn’t new, but it is greatly expanded from pre-coronavirus. Please view our advertising policy page for more information. Universal is the first Florida theme park to announce reopening plans, A sign explaining the requirements of face coverings, temperature checks, and social distancing greets guests as they approach the entrance to Universal Orlando's CityWalk, People were asked to undergo temperature checks as they entered, and face masks are mandatory - grim stuff for 'the happiest place on Earth. This may be a normal early park access procedure, but you could not access Hollywood, KidsZone, the Simpson’s Springfield or the World Expo areas. The park will have masks available for purchase onsite, of course. ; What’s going on: Select venues at the CityWalk portion will reopen on Thursday.

Patrons walk outside the Hard Rock Live Orlando at Universal Studios Florida. If you think you’re going to sneak a few minute breaks from the mask, you’re pretty much wrong. Walt Disney Co., Comcast Corp.’s Universal Studios and SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. are taking another step toward reopening their massive theme parks in Orlando, Florida. Masks will be required on rides, but not on "attractions that include significant amounts of water as part of the experience, as well as Volcano Bay’s slides and pools." Universal is slated to make its presentation on Thursday, with the others coming at a later date. Additionally, all parkgoers will have their temperature taken upon arrival, and "guests with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be admitted." 'With a record high of 4,049 new COVID-19 cases in a single day on June 20, 2020, we are now backtracking from where we originally were.'. Characters did make appearances, but they were kept on stage or behind barriers where you couldn’t get close to them for encounters.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more travel news, tips and advice. (Thus the prevalence of those expensive and, unfortunately, worthwhile "Fast Pass" tickets.). It’s hard to spend $178 per person on tickets (plus all other travel and lodging expenses) to have no idea if you’ll get on Hagrid’s Motorbike or other popular rides. People are seen watching a show while social distancing and wearing face masks at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley attraction. View our latest valuations here. Signage with the new mask and social distancing guidelines is abundant, as are Universal team members repeating the new rules and keeping a watchful eye out for rule-breakers. Would the Wizarding World of Harry Potter still feel otherworldly when mandatory face masks were added to optional robes, cloaks and wands? Related: How to choose the right hotel for your Universal Orlando vacation. Beginning with my check-in at Universal’s Surfside Inn and Suites, to the Universal’s CityWalk dining and shopping complex, and into the park entrance, it was obvious that Universal is taking the new park experience very seriously.

Parking was limited, barriers have been erected to encourage social distancing, visiting hours have been reduced and staffers repeatedly disinfected high-touch surfaces. Wake up where the action is with amazing attractions like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and three theme parks including Universal Studios Florida. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. But, there’s still work to do to make the new normal a bit more functional. Many rides allowed riders in every other row or only allowed people in the same party in a vehicle. There are scattered reports across die-hard online theme park groups that people refusing to wear a mask were given a wrist band and had their own ride vehicle on every ride, but I did not witness a single mask incident. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a smooth rollout today. As to how hard it was to wear a mask all day in the Orlando heat — I lucked out. One can select the virtual passes for their whole party. Going into my eight hours at Universal Orlando, I knew the theme park was facing an almost impossible task. Details are still being sorted on certain policies, and there are vague details that haven't been confirmed yet. I was imagining a small army of people ready to enter the second the theme park reopened after months of closure, but to my surprise at 7:50 a.m. with 10 minutes to go, I was easily in the first batch of people waiting to enter Universal Studios. Everyone aged 3 and up must wear a face mask. I had the perception of safety during my day in the park and some doses of fun along the way. Wake up where the action is with amazing attractions like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and three theme parks including Universal Studios Florida. Would normally impatient theme park goers follow all the new rules? There is no basis to this.' But there is no date yet for the reopening of Disney World.