Update as of March 30, 2020
Universal has starting the reopening process and offered annual passholders to ability to make advanced reservations for admission to a special “Park Reopening Preview” to Universal Studios Orlando, Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay for June 3rd and 4th which is a day in advance of the public reopening.
Although there were technology issues (we presume the servers were overloaded) which caused the on-line reservation process to crash a number of times, the Endless Summer Florida family were able to secure reservations for June 4th with a check in time of 11:00 AM. We will of course post and update when we return for our visit.
It is been indicated that some of the typical benefits provided to Universal Orlando Annual Passholders are not available at this time. These include valet parking, the UOAP Lounge (temporarily closed) and button distribution. Additional, standard discounts on food and merchandise for Premier and Preferred passholders will apply on the June 3rd and 4th preview days.
The new “Virtual Line” ride reservation system now appears on the Universal Orlando app and it allows guests the ability to make reservations from anywhere in the Universal Orlando Resort including CityWalk and the Universal on-site hotels. According to the app, the following attractions are available for a Virtual Line.
- Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
- Fast & Furious – Supercharged
- Pteranodon Flyers
- Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
- Revenge of the Mummy
While the Virtual Line is not new for the Fast & Furious as well as the Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon, the other three rides are new to this system and we anticipate that Universal will continue to add additional rides going forward.
Universal has also announced that it will be reopening six of their on-site hotels as of June 2nd and hotel guests will be able to visit the theme parks on June 3rd and 4th which is prior to the public reopening on June 5th.
Which of the Universal Orlando Resort hotels are opening on June 2nd?
- Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando
- Loews Royal Pacific Resort
- Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
- Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
- Universal’s Aventura Hotel
- Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites
The reopening dates for the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites (Grand Opening) will be be announced soon.
Universal has indicated that the hotel properties will undergo enhancements to their standard protocols which include:
- Face coverings for guests and team members in public areas
- Temperature checks for team members and vendors.
- Hand sanitizer stations in public areas and on elevator landings
- Enhanced cleaning of rooms and public areas
- Frequent cleaning of high touch areas
- Limited capacity in food and beverage offerings
- Social distancing reminders
- Contactless experiences for checkout and room deliveries (hotel texting services)
Guest will be asked to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms and comply with quarantine orders prior to arrival.
Florida Governor Ron DeSanits has approved the reopening plan submitted by Universal Orlando. Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay will open to the public in a limited capacity as of June 5, 2020.
Before officially opening to the public June 5th, Universal has announced that they are opening on June 1st and 2nd for team members and June 3rd and 4th for special guests and select annual passholders. Emails starting going out to passholders with the announcement indicating “Special Passholder experiences will be announced soon”.
Hours of Operation starting June 5th are:
- Universal Studios Florida: 9:00am to 6:00pm Daily
- Universal’s Islands of Adventure: 9:00am to 6:00pm Daily
- Universal’s Volcano Bay: 10:00am to 5:00pm Daily
- Universal CityWalk Orlando: 8:00am to 10:00 pm Daily
Universal will work with health & safety experts as well as local officials to ensure they are doing what is necessary to make sure guests are safe. Some of things that are being done include:
- Limited attendance
- Social distance guidelines on attraction, shops and restaurants
- Improve cleaning and disinfection procedures
- Temperature checks and face coverings for team members
- Team member training
In addition to the team members, there are a number of new guidelines and requirements that guests will have to abide by when visiting. These include:
- A required face covering
- Temperature check at entry inside the parking structure prior to the security checkpoint (guests with temperatures 100.4 degrees or greater will not be admitted).
- Practicing social distancing (6 feet or more) between travel parties and abiding by floor markings
- Increased frequency of hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer when boarding ride vehicles
- Following team member directions and avoiding contact with those who are sick.
Universal has set up a web page for frequently asked questions and can be accessed by clicking here.
What are you looking forward to do when you visit Universal?
Universal closed more than two months ago on March 15th and if you follow some of the social media groups on-line, you know the “withdraw” that many folks are having from not being able to visit the parks on a regular basis.
We here at Endless Summer Florida typically visit the Orlando theme parks (Universal, Walt Disney World or SeaWorld Orlando) on a monthly basis and are very much looking forward to the reopening.
Here are three things that we are are looking forward to do once the park opens.
Ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure:
Since we hardly ever wait on lines at Universal with having the Universal Express after 4:PM benefit with our Premier Annual Pass, we have never toughed out the wait to get onto Hagrid’s. So at this time we will stay on that line as long as it takes to make sure we get a full ride.
Ride the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit:
One of the most exciting coasters in all of Orlando is the Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket so this will be on the list for our next visit.
Men in Black Alien Attack:
We have to try and get the magic 999,999 since it’s been a number of years since hitting that score. Check out our POV video of the experience.