We’re LIVE in Orlando, Florida for the reopening of Universal Orlando’s CityWalk.
The shopping and dining district has been closed since March, but CityWalk at Universal Orlando is opening today with limited hours, limited offerings, and new health and safety measures in place. Follow along with us as we take you step-by-step through the new guest experience.
Universal CityWalk is currently open from 4PM – 10PM. When we arrived, there was a small line of cars waiting to enter.
We pulled around to another entrance and found fewer cars waiting to enter.
Universal has discontinued their valet parking at this time, but self-parking is complimentary.
Signs flash and mention complimentary parking, the fact that face coverings and temperature checks are required, CityWalk’s hours, and more.
Initially, they parked cars in every other spot so that guests have the opportunity to get out of the vehicle. Soon after, cars filled in the remaining empty spots.
Entering Universal CityWalk
There are a large number of signs to remind visitors of the social distancing guidelines.
As if 3:50PM quite a few visitors are also waiting to enter.
We noticed a few employees sanitizing handrails.
We asked and Universal shared that they do have a few disposable masks available in case you don’t have one. They did inform us that they were already low on them but that you wouldn’t get past security without one.
Temperature checks are currently required upon arrival. Guests with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more will not be admitted into Universal CityWalk. Employees are required to have their temperatures checked as well.
First, guests will have their temperature checked by a Universal security employee. These employees were wearing gloves, masks, and face shields.
They are using touchless forehead thermometers. Guests wearing hats or anything else that could potentially block their forehead were asked to remove that item.
The experience was super quick and friendly.
After we had our temps checked we were ushered forward to have our bags checked. The bins that guests put their belongings into were being sanitized.
Overall Shopping Experience
The retail shop of Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company, the Universal Studios Store, and select merchandise carts are currently open.
Universal Studios Store
At the Universal Studios Store, we found designated doors for entering and exiting.
Merchandise was still out on the floor like normal.
Purell dispensers are available near the doors.
There are signs spread out throughout the store that layout the social distancing guidelines.
There are dots on the floor to spread guests out at checkout.
The Universal Studios Store is also selling masks and hand sanitizer. According to Universal, “all guests will be required to wear a face covering during their visit. We will also have face coverings available for purchase. If a guest has a disability that prevents them from wearing a facial covering, they’ll be directed to our Guest Services team to discuss reasonable accommodations. Also, per CDC guidelines, children under the age of two are not required to wear facial coverings.”
There are different masks to choose from.
And the hand sanitizer has the Universal Studios logo on it.
They are still accepting cash payments at this time.
Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company
There are hand sanitizer locations near the door here as well. Markings are also on the floor to encourage social distancing.
Currently, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Margaritaville, Red Oven Pizza Bakery, and Voodoo Doughnut are open.
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels
Like most of the locations, there are little spots on the concrete to mark where to stand in line.
To stay organized and to ensure guest safety, there are bins for sanitized and unsanitized receipt trays for employees. Each payment is placed on a clean, sanitized dish. The employee passes the food and money between the window and the guest. They were accepting cash payments.
Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville
We also stopped by Margaritaville. Guests are only being seated outside and at Lone Palm and there is currently a two and a half hour wait.
They are taking names and numbers and will text you when it’s your time to come back.
The seater informed us that 50% of the tables had been removed from the patio.
Once we were sat, bussers drop a bucket off and ask you to grab your silverware. These buckets are sanitized after each use. We were also given a plastic bag for our mask.
The menus are made of paper and are thrown away after use. Specific runners handle the food and only handle one plate at a time. Our runner also pointed out that she will only be touching the bottom of the cup.
Servers are not wearing gloves, only masks.
Drinks are served in glassware with paper straws.
When we were handed our hefty plate of Volcano Nachos there was an additional plate on the bottom for handling.
Here, we waited outside first. There were markings on the ground to keep us 6 feet apart.
Once inside we lined up around the circular donut display.
We were directed on which register we should go to.
You will stay by your register and an employee will bring the donuts you purchased to you. Voodoo is accepting cash payments as well.
Mobile Ordering also is available outside of the restaurant.
Red Oven Pizza Bakery
There are spots to keep guests 6 feet apart outside of this location as well. Mobile Ordering is also available.
We placed a Mobile Order and were sat outside by a seater.
Masks were provided to the team at Red Oven Pizza Bakery by Universal.
You can actually order beer and wine on from the Mobile Order app at Red Oven Pizza Bakery.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
When we checked into Bubba Gump there was a 45-60 minute wait. They sent us a text with a link so we could check our place in line.
Hollywood Drive-In Golf
The Hollywood Drive-In Golf haunted course is open as well.
In order to maintain social distancing, if you finish hole one and there’s a group at hole two, you must wait until they move to hole three and so on and so forth.
There are signs on the doors and the walls that share that the restrooms will be periodically closed for cleaning.
There are signs above the sinks as well.
The signs are above the sinks that should be left unused so that guests can maintain social distancing when washing their hands.
We will note that we noticed many guests removing their masks to order food or to snap a few pictures.
Universal surveys are currently being conducted by scanning a QR code. The survey is sent straight to your phone after scanning the code.
The areas beyond CityWalk were pretty empty.
Isn’t this a strange thing to see? These turnstiles are usually filled with eager guests waiting to enter the park.
We will continue to update this post throughout the day, so be sure to follow along with us!
Do you have questions about CityWalk’s opening? Let us know in the comments!