Pack your wands and face masks: Universal Orlando will reopen on June 5

May 25, 2020

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After more than two months, the gates to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter — and the rest of the Universal Orlando Resort – are officially reopening on June 5.

On Thursday, May 21, Universal Orlando received unanimous approval for its reopening proposal from the voting members on the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force. All that was needed was approval from Gov. Ron DeSantis, who signed off on Universal’s plans to reopen on Friday, May 22, making Universal the first Orlando theme park to welcome back guests after unprecedented closures.

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The Universal Orlando website now says, “We’re getting ready to re-open!” with a list of the new safety guidelines and a warning of the “inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19” in public spaces.

Just like the Universal City Walk shopping and dining area that partially reopened last week, guests who wish to enter the Universal Orlando theme parks will be required to wear face masks and pass temperature screenings. Guests will need to have a temperature below 100.4 degrees to enter and will be provided with a disposable face mask, if necessary.

Related: When will Disney World reopen?

(Photo by Paul Hennessy / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
(Photo by Paul Hennessy / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Universal Orlando told the committee it plans to manage capacity and ramp up slowly, though the company says that it’s still working through the details of this on its FAQ page.

The park proposes to not only limit capacity for the park, but also within each restaurant, attraction and show. As an example of some changes that will be made, the single rider lines will be eliminated, as only party groups will be placed on rides together. Virtual queuing, which was already in use at some Universal Orlando rides and Universal’s Volcano Bay waterpark, will be expanded.

Related: How to use points to visit Universal Orlando

Social distancing will be used to manage parkgoers in lines — probably similar to what we’ve seen at the recently reopened Disneyland Shanghai.

Disneyland Shanghai (Photo by Hu Chengwei/Getty Images)
Disneyland Shanghai (Photo by Hu Chengwei/Getty Images)

In the parking lot, expect to see staggered parking, so you aren’t loading or unloading too close to others.

While cash will still be accepted at the theme park, there will be an emphasis on mobile ordering and payments whenever possible. At Universal’s restaurants, all menus will be single-use.

Universal’s interactive play areas will remain closed due to the challenges involved in distancing children in a play structure. Water features on rides and mists will also remain shut down in case water increases the virus transmission rate.

Universal Orlando hotels, including the Aventura Resort and Loews Royal Pacific Resort, are currently accepting reservations for stays from June 4 and onward.

Related: Choosing the best Universal Orlando hotel for your trip

Bottom line

Universal Orlando can officially proclaim an early June reopening, but things will most definitely look different than we remember.

Featured image courtesy of Universal Orlando
Additional reporting by Liz Hund.
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