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Universal Orlando reopens for previews with new protocols

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Universal Orlando Resort has welcomed visitors for the first time since March 15 during an early preview. Blooloop got a first look at the ‘new normal’ ahead of the official reopening on June 5.

Universal Orlando opened to employees on June 1 and 2, and to invited guests on June 3 and 4. The theme park will reopen to the public on June 5.

The resort is reopening with rigorous new health, safety and hygiene procedures. All visitors and staff must follow CDC guidelines and the policies of Universal Orlando.

Blooloop attended the preview on June 3. We took some exclusive snaps of the event, which you can check out below, and on Instagram and Twitter.

Characters wear face masks at Universal Orlando

During the event, we found that lines for F&B were particularly long as outlets can only allow entry to a restricted number of visitors.

Visitors must order food and drinks on the mobile app but remain in the queue. When they enter the building, they are told to click ‘prepare order’.

At another F&B location, we were allowed inside to order, before standing outside and waiting for the food to be delivered.

Social distancing during shows in light of COVID-19

As certain attractions at Universal theme parks do not have the space for a proper queue, it makes sense to implement virtual queues.

Some rides are only using a virtual queue, including all Harry Potter rides and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, which was full before we’d even arrived.

Interestingly, even indoor attractions are open at the resort, including Poseidon’s Fury at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Restricted capacity at F&B outlets

Universal Orlando was relatively crowded, despite it being a preview with restricted capacity during a global pandemic. This bodes well for the attractions industry in the near future.

We also noted that when it began to rain, people were forced to take shelter. This prevented visitors from following social distancing guidelines to some extent.

Elsewhere, Universal Studios Japan is reopening later this month from June 8. Universal Beijing has released concept art and information for Universal CityWalk Beijing.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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