Universal Orlando Resort has been open for a few weeks and we couldn’t be happier with how the parks are welcoming back guests! There is something so exciting about being back in the magic at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or having an incredible time on Super Hero Island on the HULK! I will admit to getting a little emotional when I stepping inside Diagon Alley again…
Things are a little different when you arrive with new operational guidelines the resort is operating within, but, It is still the same Universal Orlando you love! There are just new ways to experience the fun! Take a look at 11 ways you can enjoy your Universal Orlando Resort vacation.
11- Virtual Line Experience
What are wait times? Who needs those? Many rides at Universal Orlando Resort offer virtual queues you can access it via the app under “Virtual Line Experience” in the menu or per attraction on the interactive map. You then select your “Return Time”, show up, and ride. The whole process is so easy. The Virtual Line experience for attractions open throughout the day, so make sure to check the app often to see what is available. And while you’re waiting, you have free time to experience other rides, shows, or grab a bite to eat. Keep in mind you have to be in-park to access the Virtual Line experience feature on the app.
10- Mobile Food Ordering
Mobile ordering is a game-changer. If you haven’t tried it at Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Resort, you don’t know what you’re missing. Simply jump on the app and select “Order Food and Drinks” from the menu. Then you select the venue and order your food. You can either do this for a quick pick-up and go, or for a quick-service restaurant where you will be seated in a special section for mobile orders. Plus, if you’re a Premier or Preferred Passholder, you can now apply your discounts when you mobile order.
9- Plan Ahead With Your Travel Advisor
While it is still possible to go last minute or “on the fly” and still have a great time, it is my advice to plan ahead with a travel advisor/agent that specializes in Universal Orlando vacations. They do a lot of research and can create a must-do list with all of the attractions, shops, shows, etc. you definitely want to do. Planning out where to start and using the app to navigate wait times and the Virtual Line experience allows for you to do everything you are looking to do during your visit. I’d also recommend carving out a few days for your trip!
8- Take Advantage of Social Distancing
One of the biggest complaints we see about the parks being open is the fact there will be longer lines and waits due to the new social distancing guidelines for ride queues and attractions. While the queue itself may be spaced out quite a bit, we didn’t wait long at all. the lines moved quickly and we never felt crowded. (This is a huge win for someone that doesn’t like people in my space during non -covid times).
Not having people right on top of you in the queue actually allowed us room to stretch and relax in the air conditioning(in most cases). The spaced seating on the ride vehicles made it feel like we had the ride to ourselves. Smaller groups and spaced standing through shows allows for a more intimate show. And having more space around character meet and greets allowed for no unexpected-guest photobombs in the background.
7- U-Rest Areas
In addition to planning out what you want to do, make sure to slot in time to take breaks. There are new U-Rest areas sprinkled throughout our destination, where you can recharge with a drink or snack with your face covering off. You can find them in the following locations:
- Universal CityWalk
- Down by the waterfront in front of Hard Rock
- Universal Studios Florida
- Fear Factor Live Theater
- Central Park by the lagoon
- Universal’s Islands of Adventure
- Port of Entry Landing by the waterfront
- The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show Theater in Lost Continent (the show is no longer available)
6- Take Lots of Photos
There is still a lot of fun to be had while in the parks. Social distancing means no one will photobomb your selfie. There are still the same great photos opps there were before. Characters are still out and about in the parks. You just have different ways to take photos with them now! So, snap that pic! Create some memories.
5- Early Park Admission
When you book at a Universal Orlando Resort you have one of the best perks available to you! Early Park Admission! This magical experience holds even more meaning and value today. Here’s what it is: if you stay at one of Universal’s hotels, you get exclusive access to the parks one hour before normal guest park hours with little to no crowds. Plus, when staying at the hotels, you don’t have to go through the check-in process at the entrance of CityWalk. You get a special wristband that shows you already had your temperature check and can go directly to the parks.
4- Mask Free at Volcano Bay
A day at the beach sounds amazing right now! You know what doesn’t sound nice? The crowds at the beach! Universal’s Volcano Bay has the tropical vibe of a relaxing beachside resort with all of the fun of a water park! The best part, you are able to enjoy most of your time mask free. You don’t have to wear a mask while you’re in the pools, slides, or eating/drinking. However, they should be worn when not doing these activities.
3- Enjoy What’s New
The parks may have been closed for a couple of months, but select Team Members have been hard at work creating new experiences for you to come back to. There are new “Love is Universal” and anniversary merchandise to snatch up; new food and beverage offerings that will be rolled out soon; and even new entertainment attractions with The Bourne Stuntacular and the new Raptor Encounter (the baby raptor Sierra is the cutest, am I right!?).
2- Come Prepared
With our current situation and operational guidelines, deciding what to bring is a challenge Here are our recommendations:
- A face covering with a light and breathable fabric. it’s a requirement when visiting the parks, CityWalk, and hotels. The good news is if you forgot your face covering, you can ask a Team Member for a replacement.
- Your own personal hand sanitizer on a keychain. There are hand sanitizer stations when you first enter through CityWalk, when you’re about to board a ride, and at restaurant entrances. However, having a personal one for easy access when needed brought peace of mind.
- This has always remained true, but bring water to stay hydrated! I find myself being especially thirsty when wearing my face covering, so make sure to bring a water bottle with you.
- Bring a small bag or carry a lanyard for your belongings. You’re still going to need to put items in lockers for certain attractions that require them. Team Members pulse the locker queues for social distancing and regularly clean them, but try to only bring the essentials if you want to minimize using them and save time.
1- Take Advantage of the Universal Orlando Resort app
It is pretty likely you are reading this post from your phone right now. If so, take a moment to download the Universal Orlando Resort app. This app has everything you need to navigate around crowds, cut down your wait times, and minimize physical interactions, and more. Take a look at just a few things you can do on the app below:
- Virtual Line experience for attractions
- Mobile food and drink ordering for select restaurants
- Interactive park map
- Virtual wallet where you can purchase and house your park tickets, Express passes, and also set up your TapuTapu for your visit to Volcano Bay
- Wait time alerts that you can set for when the times drop
Now is the time to plan your perfect vacation! Having a travel advisor means someone there to have your back in any occurrence! There is no additional cost to you and you have peace of mind knowing that your vacation is in good hands. Contact our friends at Key to the World Travel® for a free, no-obligation quote for your next trip. Click here.
Source: Universal Orlando Resort