Thursday, June 04, 2020

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Reopens Admist Coronavirus Lockdown

As the Coronavirus still lingers around the world, the virus is not entirely gone but is believed to have subsided. Even though most cities remain in lock-down throughout the United States, Florida governor Rick Desantis gave the all-clear for several tourist-related locations to re-open.

Before summer passes by us all like Harry Potter chilling out at The Burrows, Universal Orlando Resort is re-opening its theme park. 

With new safety precautions set in place for both team members and guests, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure re-opened on June 3rd to a small number of registered passholders to test out and explore the new changes. The park will continue to open in stages to minimal capacity starting June 5th.

To keep everyone as healthy as possible while eating at the park's restaurants and enjoying the rides, Universal Orlando Resort has put a number of new guidelines in place that adhere to social distancing:
  • Guests are required to wear a face mask of their own or for purchase
  • U-Rest Areas are designated areas where guests can remove their face maks while maintaining social distancing
  • Markers around the park signify how and where to keep at least 6ft apart
  • Temperatures will be checked upon arrival at City Walk. If it's over 100.4 degrees, the guest(s) and workers will not be allowed to enter.
  • The parking lot as well as ride queues will be used with staggered marking / loading
When it comes several attractions, a Virtual Line has been implemented and is the only way to enjoy the attraction. You will have to use the Universal Orlando app to set a time, and then return to the attraction when it's your turn to ride.

As of June 3rd, the rides included: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, Pteranodon Flyers, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Skull Island: Reign of Kong.

You can join several virtual lines for multiple attractions, but you cannot have multiple virtual lines for the same attraction. If you do not want to use the app, you can also scan the QR code with your smartphone.

Other procedures have also started - interactive play areas and valet operations are closed, water and mist elements have been eliminated from attractions, and single rider lines are temporarily unavailable. 

Photo-ops and meet-and-greets with characters have been temporarily suspended - characters such as Scooby Doo and Beetlejuice are still appearing around the park but from a stage or designated area to wave at guests and entertain as much as possible.

As for eating in the park, there is a preference for mobile ordering and cashless payments. Some restaurants have seating areas blocked off, and limited menus and hours of operation.

Employees will also have their temperatures checked and will wear a face mask. All chairs and tables will be disinfected after each seating.

Universal Orlando Resort's sister parks Sea World and Disney World have yet to announce when they will open with similar precautions in play. 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter transitions into handling a Coronavirus era of operations, stay tuned to PotterTalk for more information.

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