Universal Orlando has officially reopened, rides are running and people are having fun. As of the time of publishing, that skin is still rubbed raw. The operators will begin submitting their plans to a reopening task force on Thursday, a spokesperson for Florida’s Orange County said in an email. In a roundtable discussion with Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday, SeaWorld’s interim chief executive officer, Marc Swanson, said that the company could open its Florida parks “probably sometime in June. Universal's theme park will reopen on June 5, A security employee checks the body temperature of a guest before allowing her to enter at the Universal Orlando's CityWalk as sections of the entertainment and retail district reopen. Over Memorial Day weekend, Universal announced that the Orlando theme park, which includes Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure, and Universal's Volcano Bay, will open again on Friday, June 5. Universal will implement guest temperature checks, and guests with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will not be able to enter, according to the fact sheet. 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. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said last week that theme-park operators could begin reopening once they submit plans and win approval from local authorities. 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. Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group. Activate by 12/31/21. The additional temperatures checks went from puzzling to dangerous as more busses were emptying and there was no more space at the top of the escalator for the arriving people. 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. United Airlines tests potential solution on London-Newark flight, Silver Airways expands to another new city in South Carolina, plans 3 routes to Florida, Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.
Universal Orlando plans to reopen to the public on June 5. Most beaches in south Florida also remain closed. A few other rides switched back and forth throughout the day. However, the announcement states that there will be "select locations including prior to boarding ride vehicles" that revelers will be required to apply hand sanitizer. People are seen socially distanced and wearing face masks at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley attraction at Universal Studios. Paul Hennessy/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images. Masks will be mandatory, and the park will initiate staggered parking lots, temperature checks and mobile food ordering. Details are still being sorted on certain policies, and there are vague details that haven't been confirmed yet. There were not designated mobile order pick up lines, except at a few of the quick-service food stands. Cleaning staff wiped down the seats and handrails after each performance. Florida began to slowly reactivate its economy two weeks ago in an uneven manner, with different rules in the state's dizzying patchwork of counties and cities.

Lines into the restaurants with mobile ordering were often out the door as every other table in each restaurant has been designated as an empty table, so it takes a while even to get a limited number of people in and served. 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. Wake up where the action is with amazing attractions like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and three theme parks including Universal Studios Florida. 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. Many rides allowed riders in every other row or only allowed people in the same party in a vehicle.

Many scientists say the United States isn't in a place where it should be reopening major gathering places as thousands of people continue to die daily from COVID-19.

The reopening proposal was first presented on Thursday at a virtual meeting of the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force. Which of the two parks will be opened early is announced a few days in advance. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. The Points Guy will not sell your email. But, when we got word on June 2 that those in Universal resort hotels could get into the June 3 soft opening for passholders, we quickly changed those plans and I was wheels up a few hours later on a brand-new Delta flight. I was in line at 7:15 a.m. at Surfside Inn and Suites for the five-minute bus ride to the parks thinking it’d be in plenty of time for the 8 a.m. early park access given to Orlando resort hotel guests.

Related: Tips for making the most of one day at Universal Orlando. We are no longer accepting comments on this article. Would the Wizarding World of Harry Potter still feel otherworldly when mandatory face masks were added to optional robes, cloaks and wands? 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. A delegation of state officials are visiting Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood this week to review reopening plans after a team from Gov. Workers were seen cleaning seats and hand rails between shows at Universal Studios. However, during transit around the park, people don’t maintain six-foot distancing, making it a curious exercise to have such stringent requirements only in the queues. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. My KN95 mask was great for filtering out pathogens, but by lunchtime, the elastic loops around my ears had sufficiently agitated my skin. Would my mask fly off on a roller coaster? It was very difficult to decipher where you were supposed to walk at times. On Men In Black Alien Attack, Escape from Gringott’s, Hagrid’s Motorbike, Harry Potter’s Forbidden Journey, Transformers 3D and the Simpson’s rides, I was the only one allowed in the ride vehicle, made in some cases for up to eight people. 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. Florida's first phase of reopening does not include hotels, gyms, bars or movie theaters. That requirement is waived for children under the age of two. Excited team members welcomed everyone back, reminded us to maintain separation and, right on time, the theme park was again open.

That includes theme parks, some of which will be opening to the public in June.

The social distancing measures are extreme and well-defined in ride lines, around lockers and in restaurants.

There's a perfect beach for every week of the year. So, as we enjoy our parks together again, everyone will need to follow CDC guidelines and the recommendations of health officials, and Universal Orlando's policies," the resort said in a statement released on Friday. Continue following Universal Parks News Today for re-opening … I originally had purchased a $178 Universal theme park ticket, a flight from Atlanta to Orlando using. Characters did make appearances, but they were kept on stage or behind barriers where you couldn’t get close to them for encounters. At least on day one, team members were constantly watching for guests and giving kind, but stern reminders that masks need to cover both the mouth and nose at all times. It's worth checking with the park prior to going if you decide the risk is worth it. Disney and Universal have already taken steps in the process, including reopening shopping centers near their Florida theme parks, with masks and other virus-protection steps required. Masks will be available for purchase for those guests who don't have a face covering. When times did display, I’d end up with an error message that something went wrong.

View our latest valuations here. All menus will be single-use, mobile ordering will be available for select venues and spacing will be implemented in ride vehicles and lines. Capacity at the park will also be limited to avoid the kind of packed scenes that are a hallmark of the theme park experience.

The new chains and ropes created locker queues right next to the new virtual pass and standby lines. For enclosed attractions, including performance shows, guests were seen spaced out in the audience and performers wore face coverings. Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. An additional step Universal has taken to decrease person-to-person contact is to expand their mobile food and beverage orders.

What you will — and won’t — get to ride right now feels like a crapshoot since you can’t plan ahead or know for sure which rides will require a virtual pass or permit a traditional line. The process of social distancing began at the on-property hotel. Related: Use points to save money at Universal Orlando. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear).

A special area was designated and monitored for visitors to take a break from wearing face masks at Universal Studios Florida. © 2020 THE POINTS GUY, LLC. After a few hours, the mask began to become almost unnoticeable, save for the irritated skin from the elastic loops. ©2020 Group Nine Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The passes are good for specific 30-minute windows and your two passes cannot overlap time periods. Universal Studios made the announcement during an Orange County, Florida Economic Recovery Task Force meeting attended by county and health department officials and community leaders. My overall impression was that Universal did as well as can be expected and will likely quickly iron out a few wrinkles in the coming days and weeks. Related: What Disney will be like when it reopens. There was mention that some special effects would be turned off, but in my experience, all the rides had their usual fog and water effects. Even going at roller coaster speeds, the mask didn’t make any noticeable difference to the experiences other than muffling a few excited screams and yelps from guests. It remains to be seen how many people think it's a good idea to hit a theme park during a pandemic, but the home of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is putting new procedures and requirements in place in an attempt to protect parkgoers. Note that there are no single rider lines for any ride. Guests will be required to use hand sanitizer prior to boarding rides. 'It's a hit job!' As the park welcomed people to the Disney Springs shopping strip in Orlando, the new reality of life in the COVID-19 era was stark. Universal Studios Orlando theme park will reopen to the public at reduced capacity on June 5 after shutting down in the coronavirus pandemic, the company said on Thursday.

I was within a second of yelling for someone to hit the emergency stop button when the security guards recognized the situation and moved the barriers to allow for more space. 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.

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