2020 is definitely a year no one saw coming. But as we continue through this pandemic, our favorite theme parks at the Universal Orlando Resort are working their magic to open to guests and give them a safe and memorable experience. With this unprecedented time comes a lot of new questions. We have compiled some of the most common questions we've received and rounded up the answers for you here.
How are the hotels handling social distancing and are they doing a good job at it?
- We felt the hotels were doing an excellent job at keeping the guests safe! We stayed at Loews Royal Pacific and had our temperature checked upon arrival to the resort. When we went off property, they re-checked our temperature before letting us return to the resort. Once you were through the temperature check, they gave you a wristband so you could come and go freely without being rechecked. It was a very quick and easy process!
- There are markings on the ground for lines everywhere to keep everyone distanced, very similar to the parks themselves. There is also additional layers of safety with Plexiglas dividers at the front desk and hand sanitizer stations all over.
- In dining locations, tables have been removed or marked to not use to keep distance while dining.
- At the pool, the chairs have all been spaced so that you can relax and enjoy while keeping your distance. We really enjoyed the extra space to relax at the pool!
- At the elevators, there are signs reminding to social distance and we felt that other guests were being very respectful of waiting and not trying to crowd into an elevator with another party.
Is there a capacity cap at the park? Do you have to make a reservation?
- Capacity at the parks is limited, but the exact number has not been shared. We definitely felt the lower crowd levels and had plenty of space to walk around without being near anyone else the majority of the time.
- No reservation is needed to enter the parks. If you are staying on-site at one of Universal Orlando Resort Hotels, you are already counted in the capacity and will have no issues getting in.
- You can also still park hop between the two parks (and Volcano Bay if your ticket is a 3 park pass!)
Are all the rides up and running?
- Universal has done a great job making the experience as complete as possible. Some of the larger shows aren't running, but most rides, entertainment and characters are all good to go!
Are there temperature checkpoints?
- If you aren't staying at one of the on-site resorts (mentioned the temperature check information above) - you will go through a temperature checkpoint when entering Universal CityWalk which is your gateway to the parks.
What if someone refuses to wear a mask?
- Team members are doing a great job reminding guests to put on their masks if they had taken them down or weren't wearing them. You can be kicked out of line for an attraction or even out of the park if you don't comply.
- If you need a break, there are rest areas in each park and at CityWalk where you can remove your mask and rest when needed.
What’s the process for ordering food for guests with allergies or dietary restrictions?
- At the quick service locations, there is an option to go up to a register if needed to order and there are lots of team members walking around to answer questions. Just let them know when you arrive that you require assistance and they will be happy to help. Either the team members will be able to assist you from your table, or one member of the party will be able to go up to the register to order.
How is the transportation?
- Universal Orlando Resort offers water taxis, shuttle busses, walking paths and pedi-cabs depending on which resort you are staying at. All were available on our trip and social distancing was in place on each. Benches on water taxis were marked to not use to keep parties separated and masks are still required while on transportation. Everything is only about 5-10 minutes away so it's quick and easy!
What have you noticed that's different about the parks?
- There are markers everywhere to help people keep 6 feet of distance. Restaurants and bars have specific enter and exit doors to help control the flow of people and make distancing easier. For quick service, a team member will seat you at a table and encourage mobile ordering.
- There are also additional signs to the bathrooms to indicate handwashing areas!
How are wait times and do people respect distance in lines?
- Wait times have been very reasonable, with the highest time we saw being 60 minutes but the average being about only 15 minutes. Virtual lines were available for some of the bigger attractions once wait times got longer so there really wasn't any major waiting in line for us!
- For Hagrid's Magical Motorbike Adventure, we recommend checking for virtual line times throughout the day if you don't get one when you first enter the park. You never know when they will become available!
- For the most part, everyone was so respectful of personal space in lines. If there was a guest who forgot for a moment, a team member was always quick to remind them so it never became an issue.
Are rides and roller coasters full or do they space out guests for the ride?
- When possible, rides and attractions left seats or rows open to allow everyone distance. On all dry attractions, masks are required on the ride as well.
If I have to fly there, what's that experience like in a COVID world?
- This one is a bit harder to answer, because every airport and airline is different. Since the common factor is MCO, we can say that the airport was very empty and had good measures in place. Many establishments were closed, so if you plan to eat or drink there, be prepared for limited options.
What other questions do you have about the Universal Orlando Resort since reopening? Post your questions in the comments below and we will do our best to find answers for you!