Universal Orlando hotels are offering prospective visitors to chance to visit the theme park ahead of its official public reopening. The park will open to the public on June 5th and so far, only employees have been allowed in to prepare for new social distancing guidelines. It was previously announced that VIPs would be allowed in before June 5th and now hotel guests will also get a shot at seeing the new version of the park before anyone else.
Universal Orlando, along with theme parks across North America have all been closed since the middle of March. The Florida location will be the first major park in the United States to open and all eyes are going to be on them. Disney World has revealed that they will be opening up again on July 11th. On June 2nd, Universal Orlando will open their hotels to the public. They say, “reopening of the hotels will be carefully managed and phased, and includes a wide range of new and enhanced best-practice health, safety and hygiene procedures.”
Universal has the Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort listed as participating locations to begin the phased reopening. Guests staying at the hotels “will be able to visit the theme parks on June 3 and 4, prior to the public reopening on June 5.” Universal Orlando assures everyone that their new park guidelines have been substantially ramped up to ensure the safety of guests and employees. While this is certainly exciting for some, it remains unclear if people are going to be jumping into lines with hundreds of others.
Disney World is anticipating large demand when the reopen in July. Disneyland Shanghai recently reopened and sold out of their first week of tickets in minutes. Granted, the park is at reduced capacity, but it shows just how hungry some people have been to get back to some form of normalcy, though the new theme park experience is going to be a lot different from what we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. For one, the capacity is enough to make going to these parks a lot more difficult.
Temperature checks are also a new element of normal, as are face masks. Hand sanitizer stations will be everywhere and guests are encouraged to pay with credit cards instead of cash to limit human contact as much as possible. Whatever the case may be, Universal Orlando is ready to let people in as the rest of the world watches to see how it goes. Disney World will be watching very closely to see how it all pans out, though they have already opened up their outside of the park dining areas and shops to massive crowds. They had to bring in Stormtroopers to enforce social distancing, which Universal Orlando will not have. The Orlando Sentinel was the first to report on the Universal hotels reopening early.