Since the theme parks in Orlando have reopened, the Universal Orlando Resort has implemented some new safety guidelines in response to the coronavirus pandemic. I'm sure you're wondering what it's like to take a Universal vacation right now and you might not be sure if you'd like to visit with the safety guidelines in place. We visited in September to see for ourselves and to report back to you on our experience.
In accordance with CDC guidelines, Universal has enhanced their sanitization procedures and implemented additional measures to encourage social distancing. Universal is asking that all guests and Team Members comply with the following guidelines:
- Face covering required - Everyone is required to wear a face covering during their visit except for children under the age of 3, when actively eating or drinking, and when at a designated U-Rest area.
- Wash hands often - Wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds. (This seems like a no-brainer even in non-COVID times!)
- Floor markings - When available, please stand on floor markings to keep 6ft of distance between you and the party in front of you.
- Use hand sanitizer when required - At select attractions, guests will be required to use hand sanitizer before boarding ride vehicles.
- Temperature check required - All guests will be required to have their temperature checked upon arrival. Guests with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be admitted.
- Social distancing - Practice social distancing and keep at least 6 feet (2 meters) between your travel party and other guests.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Follow Team Member direction - Please follow directions from the Universal Team Members and have patience as they work through all these new operating procedures.
So what can you expect from touring the parks with these guidelines? Here are some of our biggest takeaways from our experience.
You'll see a lot of signage around the resorts and theme parks that remind you of the safety guidelines. So don't worry about memorizing any guidelines because you will be reminded by signage and by Team Members throughout your stay. You'll also see plexiglass partitions at check-in counters, between rows on some attractions and between booths at some dining locations.
Hand sanitizing stations were plentiful! I brought my own travel size container of hand sanitizer to the parks but it was almost unnecessary. Occasionally I would find a dispenser that was out of sanitizer but it was very rare. We were given hand sanitizer by Team Members before some attractions and there would often be hand sanitizing stations as we exited the attractions.
We found that it was very easy to go through the temperature screenings. I was worried it might delay us getting to the parks but we never experienced any delay. There are actually several options for temperature screenings. If you are staying at a Universal Orlando Resort Hotel, you can get your temperature checked in the lobby or before you board the water taxi to the parks from your Premier or Preferred hotel. If you use the walking path from your resort to Universal CityWalk, there's also a temperature screening area before you enter CityWalk. Guests traveling by complimentary shuttle bus from their resort or car will get temperature screenings before they enter CityWalk.
|Temperature screening at Loews Royal Pacific Resort|
During this unprecedented time, there are many new things to consider when planning a Universal vacation. We at Kingdom Konsultant Travel are staying up to date with the latest safety guidelines to keep you informed and help reduce some of the stress you may be feeling in this new environment. Make sure to contact your Kingdom Konsultant Agent to start planning your Universal Orlando Resort vacation.
If you have additional questions on what it's like at the Universal theme parks right now, check out our FAQ for a 2020 Universal Orlando Resort Vacation post. Also, make sure to review Universal's website for updates to their important safety guidelines before your visit.
We were pleasantly surprised seeing the safety guidelines in action and with the level of guest compliance. Although we felt comfortable and safe visiting, it's up to you to decide your own comfort level.
Have you visited Universal Orlando recently? Let us know in the comments your experience with the new safety guidelines.
*Photos were taken in September 2020. Safety guidelines were accurate at the time of this posting in November 2020 but are subject to change as the pandemic continues. Please refer to the Universal website for up to date guidelines before your vacation.