I adventured to Universal Orlando this week to feel what it was like in the parks now that there have been some big changes in procedure.
The temperature checks, just as reported, are removed. I’ll be honest, it felt a little weird. But it was nice taking a walk from my car to security without wearing a face covering. And not having to stop until getting to security.
Once at security, I put my face covering back on – as I consider this to be a “que” when there’s more than just a person or two. It doesn’t seem like Universal views it this way as that area was not enforcing.
The same was true of the Islands of Adventure and Universal entrance points. Though they did have signs and announcements through the park with the new guidelines very clearly stated for rides, ques, merchandise shops and other indoor locations. The bathrooms, ticket entry and security seem like a “grey area” to me.
At Islands Of Adventure
Once inside, it was totally wild seeing maskless faces everywhere, including myself for part of the day. I myself was a bit more comfortable with it on in certain areas where things were more congested, such as Hogsmeade (and Diagon Alley).
I did get to walk and drink, which was cool. Previously the Universal company enforced eating and drinking only while stationary. I chose to grab the NEW “Isla Nublar” Ipa beer located at three locations in Jurassic park; Burger Digs, Thunder Falls Terrace, Natural Selections, and The Watering Hole.
I chose to head to Burger Digs. The lines were pretty long for food – I waited here for my app order about 45 minutes. As you can see, there were quite a few not adhering to the face covering guidelines to keep them on inside dining locations.
On The Other Side Of The Universe
After leaving Islands of Adventure I headed straight to Universal to check out the entrance to the Jurassic World tribute store. I think this will be VERY COOL.
The performers (and other Team Members) are still required to wear face coverings. Celestine and her Banshees were out for only a few moments before it started to rain, but I had not stopped and listened to them in a while, so it was a treat!
My husband and myself stop into Moes on days we are here together. Not being able to sit at a stool at the bar inside since reopening last year has been a bummer. But I chatted with Team Members and they should be getting back the stools at the bar at the end of the month! I was happy to hear that.
There are still elements of safety guidelines left to help with physical distancing and overall cleaning procedures. The restaurants and merchandise shops still have sanitizer stations along with the announcements to stay 3 ft apart as well as wear face coverings indoors and in ques/rides echoing through the park.
I think overall, the area in Diagon Alley felt the most strange and a bit too “busy” to me. I did wind up putting my face covering back on, like a security blanket. It was more comfortable for me. But that is the beauty of the new guidelines, you have choices and ways to make yourself comfortable throughout your day.
The whole world is figuring out new ways of adjusting and “phasing” to a new normal. The theme parks here in Orlando are no different. I am curious and eager to see what kind of changes or adjustments are made in the coming weeks and months. This was already such a huge step to make.
As I always say, only time will tell. In the meantime, if you go to Universal Orlando Resort, be sure not to leave your face coverings home just yet. They are still a big part of your day!
Till next time, Insiders!
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