10 Tips for Universal Orlando’s Reopening

Universal Orlando Resort is officially open! We’re excited to take you on a walk with us as we show you what you can expect from line queues to meet and greets to dining and more in this first phase of reopening. Read on for 10 Tips on what to expect!

Universal’s Iconic Globe / Photo Credit Derek Funk

1) Whether you travel to the park via resort buses or personal car, social distancing space is always maintained (even in the parking lot by skipping a space between cars).

2) Upon arrival, you’re greeted with new and clear signage as well as ground markers to enforce the new guidelines for all guest’s health and safety.  It’s at this point ALL guests are required to pass a temperature screening before heading into the security area and through the metal detectors!

Universal’s New Signage / Photo Credit Derek Funk
Universal’s New Floor Signs / Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

3) All of the line queue have also been updated with social distancing markers to ensure guests are 6 feet apart. Here is how Hagrids line looks; these markers continue throughout the queues for all attractions.

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

4) Hand sanitizer is being given out by a Team Member before experiencing an attraction.

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

FUN FACT: Hagrids carts are actually 6 feet apart so they will NOT be skipping every other cart and from what we have been reassured, it’s very easy to ride a coaster with a well fitting mask. Don’t worry if you lose yours, Universal has complimentary, disposable masks they will supply you with!

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

5) Many attractions are being added to a new Virtual Line Pass, which is a nice surprise especially for fans of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure!

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

Don’t have access to the Universal Mobile app? They’ve got you covered! You’ll notice the creation of Virtual Line Kiosks:

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

6) While the parks were closed, Universal has been very busy! You’ll notice some upgrades, such as the new Raptor Encounter, including a new baby friend who can’t wait to meet you! ♥

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk
Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

7) Speaking of meeting our friends, everyone loves greeting their favorite characters and Universal has, thankfully, found a creative way! You’ll have to wear a mask and take a selfie within social distancing guidelines (notice the ground marker) but you’ll still have a great new photo op with your pals!

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk
Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk
Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

We ♥ the Spongebob Photo Op and give it 2 fins up!

8) As for dining, upon entrance you’re greeted with a hand sanitizer dispenser and will be seated for social distancing. Ordering and paying will be done from the mobile app.  Eventually, the mobile app will be updated with the dining plan but until then (and if you don’t have a mobile phone) ONE person from your party will walk up and go through the line to order and pay at the register (with your mask on, of course). This is a photo of Louie’s:

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

UPDATED 6/5/2020:
9) Another important detail to know: if a ride has a virtual line available, that is the only way you can currently experience that attraction. So, if you do not have a virtual line reservation you will not be permitted to ride. Currently we are also being told you will not be able to book more than TWO  virtual line time at once but we’ll keep you updated if that changes! (Previously, it was said to be one.)

Photo Courtesy of Derek Funk

10) We have a list of all of the most pertinent details regarding operational procedures from screening to sanitization. Please visit our website for more information by clicking here!

We hope you enjoyed our virtual tour and tips.  Are you ready and excited to visit? Contact Vacations with Character® and let’s talk about your next amazing getaway to Universal! We have some special savings to tell you about including discounts on tickets, plus we are EXPERTS when it comes to Universal vacations. Visit us at our main website for a free quote: https://universalvacationplanners.com/ or reach out and drop us a line!

Authorized Universal Orlando Travel Professional
Vacations with Character is proud to have the distinction of being an Authorized Vacation Planner for Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood

Wizarding World ‘Dark Arts’ Light Show Debuts at Hogwarts Castle

Voldemort, Death Eaters and other creepy creatures from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are coming your way to bring you the darker side of magic in this nighttime display!

"Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle," the new light projection show at Universal Orlando, will open this weekend, running on select nights through Nov. 15. [Universal Orlando]
Photo: Universal Orlando

“Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle,” which launched on Saturday at Universal Orlando, is set inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Islands of Adventure theme park. The nighttime display will continue on select nights through November 15.

According to a Universal Orlando news release, “Guests will be asked to summon their inner strength and bravely face the Dark Arts and the visage of the powerful Dark wizard Lord Voldemort, until the Patronus spell — one of the most famous, difficult and powerful defense of the Dark Arts charms in the wizarding world — is cast”.

RELATED: Universal’s Harry Potter vacation package includes a letter from Hogwarts, keepsake luggage tags and more

The show uses high-tech projection mapping and drones to bring the castle — and Harry Potter’s Patronus stag — to life. “Experience the fire-engulfed army of Inferi, the soul-draining breath of Dementors™ and the haunting image of Lord Voldemort™ as you stare in awe at the castle’s takeover. This powerful spectacle is accompanied by an atmospheric musical score created by John Williams.”

If you’re a Potter fan, this is something you won’t want to miss. BUT don’t delay…Universal Orlando’s holiday celebration, which includes the “Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” show, starts November 16!

Contact us to book your Universal vacation to see the amazing Wizarding World along with this amazing experience!

Authorized Universal Orlando Travel Professional

Universal’s Epic Universe – a First Look

Look up the the definition for “epic” and you’ll find the following related words:

  • colossal, monstrous, prodigious, stupendous, tremendous
  • kingly, lordly, princely, queenly
  • awesome, cosmic (also cosmical), sublime, wondrous
  • formidable, impressive, prepossessing, redoubtable

Although not all of the details were revealed in yesterday’s big announcement from Universal Orlando Resort, the first look certainly makes us believe Epic Universe will live up to it’s bold moniker:

Epic Universe Moniker ~ Courtesy of Universal Partner Community

Mark Woodbury, Vice Chairman of Universal Parks & Resorts and President of Universal Creative, beautifully sums up what we have to look forward to in the future as a fourth park is added to this already amazing playground:

Universal’s Epic Universe will offer an entirely new level of experiences that will forever redefine theme park entertainment. Guests will venture beyond their wildest imagination, traveling into beloved stories and through vibrant lands on adventures where the journey is as astounding as the destination. The new location will feature a theme park, an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more. Ultimately, this expansion will create more space and freedom to let loose and create lasting memories with the people you love.

That certainly sounds “epic” to us!

Here’s a peek of the concept art shared at yesterday’s announcement:

Concept Drawing of Epic Universe ~ Courtesy of Universal Partner Community

In looking at what’s being presented so far, it’s clear to see some amazing details such as the classic, arched entrance (similar to Universal Studios), new coaster, what appears to be an amphitheater, and yet-to-be named lands or areas. The large building is also indicative of an attraction the likes and size of Forbidden Journey or similar dark rides…how exciting! It’s also hard not to miss the beautiful resort hotel that will surely provide guests with easy access to this new park as well as amazing views. Last but not least, who could miss the fireworks! Is this a hint at a new nighttime offering?

The new location for Universal’s Epic Universe is said to be a quick ride from the current parks and resorts. Permits suggest new roads with special lanes for buses are in the works as well to make for a seamless journey for all guests:

Universal Orlando Resort Area Map ~ Courtesy of Universal Partner Community

Although it will be years before Epic Universe comes to fruition, this is VERY exciting news and we are looking forward to sharing all the updates and details with you in the future, so stay tuned!

And as they say, “time flies when you’re having fun”, so as we wait for this new addition, there’s never been a better time to visit Universal Orlando Resort’s 3 current, A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. theme parks. We have a few special offers to help save you money — money you can spend on other things like Butterbeer, a wand like Harry Potter’s, or to put in your piggy bank for your next vacation!

Visit our website for all the details about Universal Orlando Resort and to request a free, no-obligation quote. We are an Authorized Universal Travel Professional and although our services are 100% FREE to our clients, our expertise and experience are priceless!

Authorized Universal Travel Professional

Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ Exclusive Vacation Offer

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Exclusive Vacation Package, Keepsake Potter Box, and Magical Muggle Extras from Vacations with Character®

Sample Itinerary with Starting Prices at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort

Calling all Muggles and Wizards alike! We have a new special offer we are beyond excited to share with you!!

If you’ve been waiting to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it’s time to bring the books and movies to life! Follow in his footsteps and walk through the streets of London and Diagon Alley™ where you’ll find many of the wizarding world’s most famous establishments. Dine at the Leaky Cauldron™, see a wand choose its wizard at Ollivanders™, and travel deep below Gringotts™ bank for an amazing ride.

Board Hogwarts™ Express to explore Hogsmead™ Village where you’ll find  Hogwarts™ castle. Explore the corridors and classrooms, then take off with Harry Potter™ and friends on a journey like no other. Go far beyond the school grounds with Hagrid™ to brave the Forbidden Forest on the all-new Hagrid’s Mystical Creatures Motorbike Adventure (now open).

In between thrills, practice your wizarding skills, enjoy muggle treats like Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans (we don’t recommend the ear wax!) and Pumpkin Juice. Sample Butterbeer™ in the villages while you enjoy special performances throughout your day, and celebrate the four Hogwarts™ houses by night as they are brought to life in a stunning spectacle of dazzling lights and music (subject to change for seasonal events – TIP: Christmastime is even more magical!)

If you think this sounds amazing…IT IS! There’s so much to see and do in this story-come-to- life in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal Orlando Resort. It’s time to experience it for yourself (or relive your memories) and we’re excited to share a NEW EXCLUSIVE Vacation Package for you!

When you book this exclusive package you’ll receive a very special keepsake “Potter Box” and more!

Potter Box Keepsake
Courtesy of Universal Orlando Travel Partners

Your Amazing Exclusive package includes:

  • 5-Night Hotel Accommodations
  • 3-Park 2-Day Park-to-Park Ticket with 3 Days Free1 to Universal Studios Florida™, Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ AND Universal’s Volcano Bay™ (Booking window extended now – 7/31/19 and travel now –  12/20/19)
  • Early Park Admission2  to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and Universal’s Volcano Bay™ one hour before the park opens (valid theme park admission required, select attractions).
  • Special Themed Keepsake Box§ with items to get started, including:
    • Welcome Letter
    • Travel Planning Guide
    • Set of Luggage Tags featuring Harry Potter™, Ron Weasley™ and Hermione Granger™ – one set of three (3) per package
    • Hogwarts™ Railways Lanyard – one per person
  • Delicious Breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron™ in Universal Studios Florida™ – one per person
  • Scrumptious Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks™ in Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ – one per person
  • One (1) A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Shutterbutton’s™ Photography Studio8 session in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley™ that includes one commemorative DVD photo album and one exclusive designed 8” x 10” photo print
  • Access to select live entertainment venues1 at Universal CityWalk™

AND THAT’S NOT ALL! When you book  your Universal Orlando vacation with our agency, you’ll receive these Muggle Extras too:

Universal Park Map, Tip Sheets, and More provided with every package by Vacations with Character®
Universal Park Map, Tip Sheets, and More provided with every package by Vacations with Character®

Your Universal Orlando Vacations with Character® Package also includes:

  • Free Park Maps for Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida
  • The Universal Orlando Destination Brochure – the all-encompassing guide to Universal Orlando Resort™
  • A special, Comprehensive Map – an overview of the three theme parks, and the attractions that you will absolutely want to check out while you’re enjoying your Universal Orlando vacation
  • Tip Sheets – our tried and true tips, tricks, and recommendations when visiting Universal Orlando Resort, including a a special guide for little ones
  • Our EXPERT advice on where to stay, where to eat, best parks for each day — and more — as you work with your own personal Authorized Universal Orlando Travel Professional from our agency at no cost to you!

Are you ready to take your vacation to the next level?  We absolutely adore Universal Orlando Resort and want you to experience it too! Contact your favorite Vacations with Character® Agent today to book this special offer or ask about other available packages and travel dates as well: vacationswithcharacter.com

Authorized Universal Travel Professional