Universal Orlando is Back and Here Are 12 New Ways and Tips to Experience It All
Universal Orlando Resort has reopened with great success! The parks are clean, the adventure is there, and all they are missing is you! Although the experience may seem a little different given the new operational guidelines, it’s still the same fun we all know and love. Take a look at some of the new ways and tips to experience it all!
1. The Universal Orlando Resort App is Your New Best Friend
I’d bet you’re likely reading this on your phone right now. Well, take a minute if you haven’t already to download the Universal Orlando Resort app. This will be the most useful thing during your next visit. It helps navigate around the crowds, trim down yourtime waiting in queues, minimize physical interactions, and so much more! Here are the top features that are most beneficial in my opinion.
- Virtual Line experience for attractions
- Mobile food and drink ordering for select restaurants
- Interactive park map
- Virtual wallet where you can purchase and house your park tickets, Express passes, and also set up your TapuTapu for your visit to Volcano Bay
- Wait time alerts that you can set for when the times drop
2. Dodge Crowds with the Virtual Line Experience
Want to avoid crowds AND get a place in line faster on your favorite rides? The Virtual Line experience is the answer and it’s now available for even more attractions than before. You can access it via the app under “Virtual Line Experience” in the menu or per attraction on the interactive map. You then select your “Return Time”, show up, and ride. It’s that easy! The Virtual Line experience for attractions open throughout the day, so make sure to check the app often to see what is available. And while you’re waiting, you have free time to experience other rides, shows, or grab a bite to eat. Heads up, you have to be in-park to access the Virtual Line experience feature on the app.
I recommend trying to reserve your Virtual Line return time for this ride as soon as you’re in the parks as it does get busy! It not only guaranteed us a place in line to get on the ride, but also made for a smooth process accessing the lockers and walking the queue with minimal interaction with other guests.
3. Order Your Food Ahead of Time with Mobile Order
If you haven’t tried mobile order, prepare to have your theme park life changed. When your stomach is rumbling, jump on the app and select “Order Food and Drinks” from the menu. Then you select the venue and order your food. You can either do this for a quick pick-up and go, or for a quick-service restaurant where you will be seated in a special section for mobile orders. Plus, if you’re a Premier or Preferred Passholder, you can now apply your discounts when you mobile order.
4. Make a Game Plan Beforehand
This is always one of my top recommendations for coming to the parks. Do your research and create a must-do list with all of the attractions, shops, shows, etc. you definitely want to do. Planning out where to start and using the app to navigate wait times and the Virtual Line experience will allow you to do everything during your visit.
5. Get a More Personalized Experience With Social Distancing
One of the things we are all most curious about is to see was how social distancing is going to be maintained for the attractions. Yes, it may slow down the queue for wait times temporarily, but is makes the rides and show elements even more special. Let me explain. Not having people right next to you in the queue will actually allow you to hear and have better conversations with your group as you wait. The spaced seating on the ride vehicles will feel like you have rides to yourselves.
6. Take a Break in the U-Rest Areas
In addition to planning out what you want to do, make sure to slot in time to take breaks. There are new U-Rest areas sprinkled throughout our destination, where you can recharge with a drink or snack with your face covering off. You can find them in the following locations:
- Universal CityWalk
- Down by the waterfront in front of Hard Rock
- Universal Studios Florida
- Fear Factor Live Theater
- Central Park by the lagoon
- Universal’s Islands of Adventure
- Port of Entry Landing by the waterfront
- The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad Stunt Show Theater in Lost Continent (the show is no longer available)
7. Take All the Photos!
I’m all about the photos, and since I miss the parks so much, that’s all I will be doing once I return. Finding new ways to express your excitement while taking a selfie in front of the globe with a face covering will be interesting. With more time saved with the Virtual Line experience and plenty of people-free space around you, you can capture some really great memories!
8. Early Park Admission = More Time and Fewer Crowds
Staying at a Universal Orlando Resort automatically grants you Early Park Admission. This magical experience holds even more meaning and value today. Here’s what it is: if you stay at one of Universal’s hotels, you get exclusive access to the parks one hour before normal guest park hours with little to no crowds. Um, sign me up. Plus, when staying at the hotels, you don’t have to go through the check-in process at the entrance of CityWalk. You get a special wristband that shows you already had your temperature check and can go directly to the parks.
9. Your Bae This Summer is Volcano Bay
I don’t know about you but I’m craving a relaxing day at the beach, but preferably with minimal crowds of people right next to me. Look no further than Universal’s Volcano Bay. They have the same new and helpful operational guidelines in place at our water theme park. Now, you may be asking yourself, “How do they expect us to wear face masks at Volcano Bay?” Good question, because I had the same one. I discovered you don’t have to wear a mask while you’re in the pools, slides, or eating/drinking. However, they should be worn when not doing these activities. Catch me poolside this summer with a Waturi Fusion ice cream and working on that stylish new trend of face-covering tan lines.
10. New Guidelines Aren’t the Only Things That Are New
The parks may have been closed for a couple of months, but select Team Members have been hard at work creating new experiences for you to come back to. There are new “Love is Universal” and anniversary merchandise to snatch up (have you seen the themed face masks!?); new food and beverage offerings that will be rolled out soon (there’s a new anniversary Voodoo Doughnut!?); and even new entertainment attractions with The Bourne Stuntacular and the new Raptor Encounter (the baby raptor Sierra is the cutest, am I right!?).
11. Here’s What to Bring
With our current situation and operational guidelines, it may be a challenge to figure out what you must pack for your next vacation. Here are some recommendations:
- A face covering with a light and breathable fabric. This isn’t just my recommendation, it’s a requirement when visiting the parks, CityWalk, and hotels. Major kudos to those with fun themes and designs. You’ll look awesome as you’re rocking out on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit (yes, they’re required to be worn on rides, too). The good news is if you forgot your face covering, you can ask a Team Member for a replacement.
- Your own personal hand sanitizer on a keychain. There are hand sanitizer stations when you first enter through CityWalk, when you’re about to board a ride, and at restaurant entrances. However, I found having my own personal one for easy access when needed brought peace of mind. We also sell them in-park in case you need to stop and grab one.
- This has always remained true, but bring water to stay hydrated! I find myself being especially thirsty when wearing my face covering, so make sure to bring a water bottle with you.
- Bring a small bag or carry a lanyard for your belongings. You’re still going to need to put items in lockers for certain attractions that require them. Team Members pulse the locker queues for social distancing and regularly clean them, but try to only bring the essentials if you want to minimize using them and save time.
12. We’ve Got All the Hacks
Here are some more ‘hacks” for the perfect Universal vacation!
- 5 Vacation Hacks for Avoiding Crowds at Universal Orlando Resort
- 7 Vacation Hacks for Staying Stress-Free at Universal Orlando Resort
- 7 Vacation Hacks for Getting the Most Out of Attractions at Universal Orlando Resort
- 7 Vacation Hacks for Saving Money at Universal Orlando Resort
Are you excited to get back to the adventure? Let us know in the comments!
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Source: Universal Orlando Resort Blog