Over a year after California theme parks first closed amidst the global pandemic, we are BACK and visiting Universal Studios Hollywood for a look at all things rides, dining, shopping, and more!
What exactly does a reopened theme park look like in California? We stopped by Universal Studios Hollywood to find out!
Upon reopening, Universal Studios Hollywood is located in a county (Los Angeles County) that is situated in the Orange tier, meaning that the parks can operate at 25% capacity. In addition, attendance is currently limited to California residents, and travel parties must contain no more than three households.
Signs were placed around the park reminding guests to keep to social distancing guidelines.
There were markers on the ground at attractions and restaurants telling guests where to stand to maintain appropriate social distancing.
There were also places set up to keep guests to the right of pathways and roads.
Crowds were relatively light, due to limited capacity.
That was the case even going into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
In the Orange tier, indoor dining is allowed at theme parks with limited capacity. Universal Studios Hollywood has already been open to guests through their ticketed “Taste of Universal” event, similar to Disneyland’s “A Touch of Disney.” Outdoor dining, though, is also readily available.
Hand sanitizing stations are easily accessible and the floors have markers and directional arrows to show guests where to go and where to stand.
There are signs marking designated dining areas, too.
And entrances and exits are clearly marked.
Planning a trip to Disneyland’s reopening? Here’s a list of the restaurants currently scheduled to be available!
Queue Areas for Rides
For the time being, all ride and attraction queues must be located outdoors.
The queue areas are roped off to form lines that sort of snake around the area.
Rides and Attractions
Waiting in line is barely half the fun! What does riding a ride look like right now at the newly reopened California theme parks? Like what we saw at first when the Florida theme parks reopened, physical distancing is definitely in full swing! Some rides require signing up for a virtual line, including the new The Secret Life of Pets ride.
We got in line for the Universal Studios Tour and noticed that guests were being loaded on every other row.
We also rode The Secret Life of Pets: Off The Leash. According to state guidelines, California theme park queues must be outdoors and indoor rides must be limited to no more than 15 minutes.
But we did get a chance to go through the inside portion of the queue here.
Like Florida’s theme parks, Universal Studios Hollywood and other California parks have strict face mask policies in place. The use of proper face coverings is required at all times. Signs around the park reminded guests to keep their masks over their noses and mouths.
Many of the protocols are ones we’ve already seen at Disney World, and the policies are similar. It will be interesting to see how this translates in a few weeks when Disneyland officially reopens.
Click here to read about California’s restrictions on who can visit their theme parks when they first reopen.
Stay tuned for even more coverage from the grand reopening of Universal Studios Hollywood, and in the coming weeks be sure to follow along for the historic reopening of Disneyland!
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Are you a California resident who’s planning on visiting one of the state’s theme parks in the near future? Let us know in the comments!