Last week, we shared the experiences of one of our agents as she returned to Universal Studios Resort for the first time since it reopened. Her visit gave us tremendous insights on changes but also a personal perspective on returning to theme parks for vacation purposes. We had so much fun at Universal last week, we’re going back again this week.
Remember last week when we talked about the growth of our team during the pandemic? One of our bright new additions is Jana Lovins! Jana thought it would be best to start off her career by getting a first-hand experience to share with her clients. She was kind enough to be interviewed and answer questions we all have had on our minds lately.
The Trip Basics
What parks did you visit and when were the dates? We visited all three Universal Parks, June 30-July 2
What made you decide to risk going back so soon? I didn’t feel as if I were “risking anything.” My husband was singing in Florida near Orlando so we just decided to swing on over. I would have went to Disney if it had been open.
What modes of transportation did you use to get around? We used our personal car to get to the parks but they shuttle everyone over to the water park on a bus and they were spreading groups apart and making everyone sanitize before and after they got on the bus.
The Park Basics
Was there a certain ticket/package you purchased and what was the process of purchasing (different or the same)? We purchased the 3 day park to park ticket package.
How was wearing a mask in Florida in the summer? Masks were everywhere except for the water park. There, you only needed masks to be in line for food or drinks. We brought masks from home but found that the Universal masks for purchase were much more breathable in the Florida heat. It was hot but it was totally doable. We took breaks for water often and when we sat down to eat/have coffee, we took them off.
Did you enjoy the virtual line system? The rides with usually long lines had virtual queues where you sign up for a time to come back. The longest wait we had all week was 25 minutes!
How was the crowd size? The crowd size was 1/10 of what I’m used to seeing at Universal. It made the wait times so small. We walked on every ride except Hagrid’s! The stores in Hogsmeade had small lines outside to reduce capacity inside.
Were there any attractions/experiences that were closed due to health precautions? Nothing was closed when we were there except that the entire park closed earlier than normal. I didn’t feel like there was anything we “couldnt” do that we could previously do before. Characters were out on platforms that you could stand in front of and get pics and they had small floats with characters going through the parks all day long!
What was the attitude like of the employees? The entire attitude of the park was happy, positive, and welcoming! So many people told us they were glad we were there!
What was the attitude like of the guests? Most guests were positive. We had to ask a couple of times for people to step back to their marker when in line behind us but they were fine about it!
The Final Advice Basics
What advice do you have for post-COVID times at theme parks? My advice is to go! Shorter wait times, less people than ever! Wash your hands often and enjoy!
Did you ever feel unsafe? We never felt unsafe! They were constantly wiping things down and reminding people to wash hands and sanitize! There were taped lines for all rides and attractions (including water slides), hand sanitizers before and after each attraction (required by the workers), cashless transactions for all things, etc.
Do you think they opened too early or was it fine for what it was worth? I do not think they opened too early. If you feel like you need to wait, then wait!