Universal Orlando has reopened the first of Orlando’s major theme park resorts, allowing annual pass-holders to return to its three parks. It has been open to the general public for the first time since mid-March.
With social-distancing and other precautionary procedures in place against the coronavirus, it will be a different experience since the last time muggles visited in Harry Potter’s world or enjoyed a ride in the Incredible Hulk roller coaster.
Due to precautionary measures taken to help curb the spread of COVID-19 inside the theme park, a limited number of people are allowed at a time. In order to maintaining social-distancing, blue circles have been made on the ground that visitors are required to stand in to maintain 6-feet distance.
A temperature check has been set up at the top of the escalator on the entrance, with a few additional temperature checks inside the park as well.
A recording in English and Spanish is played in a loop over loudspeakers at the entrance, reminding the visitors to wear face masks and keep their distance. Park workers with spray bottles and cloths can be seen cleaning the handrails of flat-escalators leading into the parks and Citywalk.
A different experience
Implementation of safety measures against the virus is bound to provide a slightly different experience in the theme park. It will be weird seeing mandatory face masks added to optional robes, cloaks, and wands.
Wait times for rides and tickets will be longer than usual due to social-distancing precautions. There is only one person allowed in a row on the rides. Universal has also expanded its virtual line system, which is available in the Universal App, to control the number of people in many for many rides.
Characters will still be dressed as Beetlejuice, the Scooby-Doo gang and Marvel heroes, standing around the park to greet and wave from a distance. Visitors will not be able to have personal contact with performers dressed up as characters such as Captain America or the Goblins working in Gringotts from the Harry Potter movie series.