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Is it worth it to go to Universal in 2020?
If you’re considering visiting Universal and are wondering is it’s worth it to visit Universal in 2020, this post is for you. As a Universal Travel Agent and Annual Passholder at Universal, I want to share my thoughts on visiting Universal in 2020 and whether it’s worth it for you.
Please note that I am not going to be discussing whether you should travel or not due to what is going on in the world. Travel is a personal choice. If you’re uncomfortable traveling now, by all means, wait! However, if you’re ready to travel and wondering if it’s worth it to visit Universal right now, this post might help you decide.
I also have a video version of this post on YouTube. Check it out!
What’s different at Universal since reopening?
#1. Masks are required at Universal
The biggest and most noticeable difference at Universal since reopening is likely the face coverings. Face coverings are required for all guests over the age of two. If you have a medical condition and are unable to wear a mask, talk to guest services. We were told that guests unable to wear masks can wear face shields instead.
Masks can be removed in U-Rest areas, while dining or drinking (just step away from any crowds,) on water rides, and in most parts of Volcano Bay.
Face coverings are required in Universal hotels but can be removed while swimming or lounging at the pool and while dining in resort restaurants.
#2. Physical Distancing at Universal
I’ll be honest, I like this one! It’s hot in Orlando, and some of the queues can get claustrophobic. If you’ve read my problem with Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure post, you know this was my only problem with Hagrid’s! However, this probably doesn’t exist with distancing measures in place.
The one downside the distancing measures is that some of the pre-shows are different or removed entirely. At rides like Escape from Gringott’s and Men in Black, the “fake elevator” elements are removed as distancing could not be maintained. Other attractions have modified or completely removed pre-shows.
Guests are distanced from other parties on rides and in the queues. The only place where I noticed people being pushed together were some exits.
#3. Cleaning and sanitizing at Universal
Universal has done an incredible job of keeping everything squeaky clean. Ride vehicles are often cleaned between guests, and guests are required to use sanitizer before every ride.
#4. Temperature Checks
Universal Orlando is requiring temperature checks for all guests. Hotel guests can be checked at their hotel daily and will receive a wristband. All other guests will be checked when going through security at City Walk.
#5. Ride wait times
Now for the good stuff, the wait time for rides and attractions is very low! With fewer visitors at Universal right now, there are virtually no waits for most rides. Even with physical distancing measures in place, most rides at Universal are walk-ons.
One notable exception was The Incredible Hulk, which had a short (less than 60 minute) wait during most of our visit. The other exception was Hagrid’s which required a Virtual Line. However, we were able to snag virtual ride times on Hagrid’s many times!
#6. Character Meet-and-Greets at Universal
The character meet-and-greets are different, but they are happening! Most characters are on a platform or something in order to stay 6 feet from guests. No more hugs from Poppy and Branch!
You can take your mask down during photos, I just forgot 😉
#7. Halloween Horror Nights is NOT happening!
Universal has confirmed (to guests directly, not officially) that Halloween Horror Nights will be happening. After the announcement from Disney that Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party could be canceled, this was good news for Halloween fans!
It was recently updated that Halloween Horror Nights would not be happening in 2020.
Is it worth it to visit Universal in 2020?
So, is it worth it to visit Universal in 2020? My opinion is that, yes, it is worth it! There are definitely upsides and downsides. I’ve had several people express that they wanted to wait until the mask requirement was dropped which I do understand. It’s very hot but fortunately, Universal is offering U-Rest zones throughout the parks.
The only other downside is the modified rides and attractions. If it’s your first visit, it may be a little less magic without the pre-shows but if that doesn’t bother you, it’s a great time to visit Universal.
Visiting Universal in 2020
That’s my opinion, what do you think? Will you be visiting Universal in 2020? Let me know in the comments. If you are heading to Universal Orlando soon, check out my other Universal Travel Tips:
- 15 Genius Universal Studios Hacks
- 7 Best rides at Universal Studios Orlando
- 7 things to buy at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- 25 Wizarding World of Harry Potter Tips
- 7 things to buy BEFORE going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- 20 things to know before going to Universal Studios
- Rip Ride Rockit Secret Song List
Are you planning a Universal Vacation?
I know that it can be overwhelming, especially with three parks, new resorts almost every year, and a HUGE new park coming in a few years! I am a graduate of the Universal Orlando Resort Travel Agent Training Program, and I’ve love to help plan your Universal vacation! Contact me now for more info.
If you plan to DIY your vacation, I understand that too! I highly recommend buying your tickets through Undercover Tourist if you choose not to use a Travel Agent.
There are a lot of really scammy sites out there, so make sure you’re booking through an approved partner (like Undercover Tourist,) or an approved Travel Agent.
I always recommend staying onsite if you can. Universal Orlando now consists of Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and Universal CityWalk. Universal Orlando is also home to eight resorts; Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Loews Royal Pacific, Aventura Hotel, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, and Universal Endless Summer Resorts – Dockside Inn and Suites and Seaside Inn and Suites.
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