Universal Orlando Resort’s first day of being open to the general public on Friday was much like another dress rehearsal, as it was on Wednesday and Thursday for Annual Pass Holders, with modest crowds and team members all wearing masks.
Parking on Friday was managed in the same way by Universal as it has been with City Walk, and the Annual Passholder-based Wednesday and Thursday openings, with guests parking in ‘every other spot” in order to better manage the stream of guests who would be entering the parks. The temperature taking of every guest prior to entering seem to go without issues, and without causing much of a backup.
The weather played no favors, with the threat of rain and hot, muggy weather throughout the day, but in general. park guests were in good spirits and found some normalcy in perusing the streets of Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and the Volcano Bay water park fully opened Friday after closing on March 16 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Universal has set up “U-rest zones,” where guests can remove their masks and sit at tables and chairs that are widely spaced apart to provide some relief time. Outside of those, Universal employees are tasked with reminding attendees that mask rules are in force pretty much everywhere else except for on Volcano Bay rides.
Social distancing markers to spread park goers six feet apart in lines are “just about everywhere,” and Universal used its official app as a reservation system, called “Virtual Line” for some of the very popular rides like Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. That presented a bit of a challenge Virtual Line spots filling up quickly for the day.
If you want to see how Universal has re-opened this weekend — dodging raindrops of course as it could be a wet weekend — Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Volcano Bay is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.