Have you been wondering what it's like to visit the theme parks since the reopening of Universal's Islands of Adventure? Today we'll take you on a photo tour through the park to see what's changed.
You'll notice one of the first changes to park touring before you even enter the theme park. We arrived at the Port of Entry turnstiles about 20 minutes before park opening and we saw social distancing in full effect. Universal Team Members were there to remind guests to remain socially distant and to help direct the flow of traffic as the lines grew. We were very pleased to see that the majority of guests were doing their best to adhere to the new guidelines and were also wearing their masks properly.
|Guests socially distancing in line to enter the park|
|Another big change: Park maps are unavailable and guests are encouraged to |
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You'll find one of the three U-Rest locations at the Port of Entry Landing. This U-Rest area is where you can take a break and remove your mask. You still must remain socially distant from other guests while in the U-Rest area but it's a nice spot to take a break without having to wear your face covering. We took several breaks at the U-Rest areas and found them to be a great opportunity to remove our masks safely.
We found crowds to be very manageable in most areas of the park. The most crowded areas tended to be in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade.
|Marvel Super Hero Island|
You'll notice much more guidance being provided at the locker areas outside of attractions. Team Members are standing by to help manage the line as well as the locker storage areas so it's only one party per area. There is also additional signage at the rental entrance and locker retrieval entrance to try to keep groups socially distant.
|Locker area outside The Incredible Hulk Coaster|
|Boarding areas were staggered where one party would be asked to stand by the gates and one party would stand on the numbers towards the back of the boarding area.|
|We were given the option on the water rides to take off our masks during the ride.|
|You'll see a lot of signs encouraging social distancing and signs at some areas that are closed like this sign at Me Ship, The Olive play area.|
Most attractions are operating at reduced capacity by boarding every other row or only seating one party per row to follow social distancing guidelines. At some attractions, like Skull Island: Reign of Kong, they are seating every row but they have added Plexiglas partitions between the rows in the boarding area and on the ride vehicle. They are still seating only one party per row so you don't have to worry about being seated next to a stranger.
|Plexiglas partition at Reign of Kong boarding area|
You'll see a lot of signage throughout the park reminding guests that face coverings are required. There are also social distancing markers in all of the attraction queues, gift shops and dining locations.
Wait times for the Hogwarts Express seemed to be longer than I would have thought based on the crowds but once we rode it was very clear why. The train is limited to one party per compartment so where each compartment would normally seat eight guests from various parties, it now seats one party regardless if it's one person or eight people. This limited capacity per train increased the wait times quite a bit however, I would much rather wait than be seated in a small compartment with complete strangers during a pandemic.
|Social distancing signage outside Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure|
|Mask selfies are a must|
|Social distancing markers and signage at the entrance of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey|
At Honeydukes, we saw signage at the candy dispensing stations encouraging guests to see a Team Member to place an order.
|Honeydukes sweet shop in Hogsmeade|
We were pleasantly surprised to see some of the stage shows were still available. In almost all of the shows, the performers were wearing masks and were spread out on the stage to remain socially distant. There were markers on the ground indicating where guests could stand to watch the show. On several occasions I saw a Team Member ask guests to move away from other parties and find a more socially distant spot for viewing.
|Triwizard Spirit Rally|
|Over at The Lost Continent stadium is where you'll find another U-Rest Area|
Character entertainment and photo opportunities were available with social distancing markers placed on the ground. Guests are allowed to take off their masks briefly for a photo opp as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines and are at least six feet away from other travel parties and the characters.
|King Julien from Madagascar|
|Seuss Landing is where you will find the third U-Rest Area|
|Dr. Seuss character meet and greet|
What questions do you have about Universal's Islands of Adventure since it's reopened? Have you been and do you have more tips to share? Let us know in the comments.
*Photos were taken in September 2020. Please note that safety guidelines may have changed since our visit and this posting so please review Universal's Important Safety Guidelines for updates to their policies.
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