Welcome to today’s blog, and our guest Blogger, my husband……… If you have been following this blog, you know The Goofy Five are fans of Theme Parks! We are also fans of living, and as such we have been following social distancing by not going out much, ordering all our food on-line, and always wearing masks if we go out. So going to check out the Universal Orlando CityWalk reopening was a big step.
My daughter and I decided to go check it out on the Sunday night of the reopening weekend. We were ready to bolt at the sign of any overcrowdedness or weakness in following social distancing rules. Right from the start at parking, Universal Studios is doing it right. They have sectioned off the parking to only one parking lot and space each car with an empty spot in-between. They use simple cones to block the unusable spots.
On the way to the entrance, there are clear signs on where to go, and floor graphics to make sure each group stays 6 feet apart. Before getting through security, they checked your temperature which was quick and easy.
The only area which had congestion was the bag check. It is a large open area where crowds could gather. So, as an intro to me, I’m 50+ and have raised three kids, so basically, I have no patience. And this area was very slow. Universal did try to keep people spaced and had floor graphics as you got to the security line, but not before. They also only had 2 security screenings, so it was slow going. Hopefully, as crowds grow, they will open more. This, I will say, was the only negative experience we had this evening.
Once we were through security, it was easy to see the Universal has done their homework and are taking social distancing seriously. There were signs and announcements letting guests know to maintain 6 ft, wash their hands, and wear a face mask. There was even an employee at the end of the people walker continuously disinfecting the handrail.
As we walked around we were pleasantly surprised that most (95+%) of guests were following the face-covering rules. We spoke to one of the staff, Scott, and he let us know that Universal is taking this very seriously. If they catch someone not wearing a mask they provide a warning to that guest. If there is a second infraction, Universal will kick that guest out of CityWalk. Universal gift kiosk near security was selling face coverings (1 for $6.00 and 3 for $15.00) in case a guest forgot to bring one. The masks were generic. I’m guessing that they will be Universal specific in the near future (which will surely cost more).
Social distancing was evident everywhere. Each of the quick-serve eating establishments had floor graphics on where to stand outside. There were Universal Team Members at the front monitoring guests going in and out to make sure there are only a few people inside at one time. The Universal store had only one way in and one way out, a lot of communication about social distancing and the store was selling hand sanitizer ($3.00) and also sold the face covering. There was signage letting people know where the restrooms were, and inside the restrooms, the sinks were labeled to only use every other sink.
A few interesting things we noticed as we walked around was that the kids splash pad was open. There was also a photo opportunity next to Voodoo Doughnut which was open, but be aware, take the pic at your own risk. There is no disinfecting after each guest. Finally, we noticed at the stage area (near Margaritaville, social distancing stickers were placed on the ground so if there is a concert or show, guests will need to follow social distancing rules.
So it’s really hard to go to CityWalk and not stop by Voodoo Doughnut. While the line was long, and they made sure only a few families were allowed into the store at one time, it was worth the wait. A few pics below shows our selection, but you can go wrong with any choice.
At the end of the day, if you feel it is time to go out and spend some time in the sun, Universal Orlando CityWalk is a great place to go.
To find out the lastest of what is opened, and the current social distancing guidelines during the Universal Studios Orlando CityWalk Reopening click here