Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland have both closed their doors to guests for the past year. However, as the world is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, both parks have done a soft reopening, offering “a taste of” amusement park experiences.
“A Taste of Universal” opened to guests on March 12 for a limited time before the park officially reopened on April 16 to California residents. The experience offered a glimpse into the future of amusement parks while the world returns to the new normal after the pandemic.
Universal Studios enforced safety guidelines and made sure all guests practiced social distancing. Before anyone could enter the CityWalk or go into the park, they had to do a temperature check in the Jurassic Parking structure.
The Universal Studios’s website states “anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be able to enter Universal CityWalk or Universal Studios Hollywood.” Guests and staff are required to wear masks at all times, unless they are in designated eating areas.
The website also states “we are implementing procedures and practices that are in line with CDC guidelines for the safety and health of our Team Members and guests and are adhering to government guidelines. These include managing capacity within our theme park.”
Because Universal Studios is operating at a reduced capacity, the park feels very open. At no point did anywhere in the park feel unsafe or like it was too crowded.
On the April 10 “A Taste of Universal,” most of the rides were operational, with the exception of the Studio Tour. Ride operators were ensuring different parties were well separated from one another and regularly sanitized the carts.
Every line for the rides and food vendors had clear floor markings to ensure guests were practicing proper social distancing and maintaining six feet distance from one another at all times.
While “A Taste of Universal” was likely a different experience from the park’s official opening, it did provide a good example of what is to come from Universal Studios Hollywood while the world continues to recover from the pandemic.
The staff at Universal Studios Hollywood is clearly working hard to ensure all the guests had a safe and fun experience while finally revisiting the park. Universal Studios has adapted their operations to these unprecedented times amazingly and did not have to sacrifice anything that makes the experience fun in the process.
It is exciting to see amusement parks finally able to reopen their doors to guests safely after a year of being in lockdown. The future of how amusement parks will operate is uncertain, and we likely won’t see parks at full capacity for a long time, but “A Taste of Universal” provides a glimpse into what the new normal is going to look like.