Last week my family and I spent four days at Universal Orlando Resort. We arrived at Loews Royal Pacific Resort and headed inside. Upon entering the hotel we had our temperature checked and received our wristband for that day. These team members were wearing face masks and face shields. If you had previously had your temperature checked that day and received the corresponding colored wristband you did not need to have your temperature checked again. We then headed to the front desk to check-in. There we found plenty of social distancing markers on the ground to ensure you a safe distance in line. The front desk, concierge, bell services all had plexiglass installed to ensure safety for all. The elevators had hand-sanitizer (on each floor) and signs posted advising only one travel party per elevator. Daily room-service has been suspended, however, you were able to call for any amenities you may need - towels, trash bags, etc. The restaurants were serving the same limited menu and all tables were social distanced from each other.
Now let's head over to the parks….
Being that we were staying at Loews Royal Pacific we hopped on to the Water Taxi to CityWalk. The Water Taxi’s were clearly marked with signs notating which benches were open for seating. As you walk towards the parks entrance (either Universal or Islands of Adventure) there is a team member using a PA system reminding guests of Universal’s required face masks policy and also informing guests where to locate the U-rest areas.
Upon entering the parks guests hold up their ticket and the team member will scan with a handheld scanner. There were plenty of markers on the ground so guests knew where to stand to encourage social distancing. The lines for rides all had markings on the floor for where to stand. Each guest is given hand-sanitizer before entering the ride vehicle (you must use their hand sanitizer) and if it is a 3D ride the glasses will be given to you at that same time. All ride vehicles are social distanced as well by either a whole row of seats between parties or your own ride vehicle. I witnessed a guest take their mask off during the ride and at the end of the ride the team members took the ride vehicle out of rotation to sanitize. Each park has U- rest areas - outdoor spaces in which you can remove your mask. You can stay as long as you like and relax with reminders to remain a safe distance from other guests. Overall, I was highly impressed with their procedures.
Universals Mobile App was very helpful during our stay. You can view their safety guidelines, get a virtual line pass for select rides, mobile order food, and check wait times. Let’s talk about my experience ordering food - it was super easy. When we were ready to eat - I just hopped on the app, chose my restaurant, made my food/drink selections and paid for it. Once I got to the restaurant and was seated I just clicked the button to prepare my food and it was brought to my table. All of the quick service restaurants had team members at the entrance seat you at a table, you will also be required to use hand sanitizer at the entrance, another team member would come by and get your order number from your mobile order, then deliver you food for you. They would also get refills and anything else you might need. Team Members were also located at the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines and they would wipe down the machines after each guest.
Universal Orlando Resort has gone to great lengths to ensure their safety procedures are completely guest/team member focused, easy to follow, and enforced with the upmost respect. I am so happy to say that we felt incredibly safe, relaxed and had a very enjoyable time. As a parent of elementary school aged children I was concerned about the required face mask policy. I was worried that it would be more stressful for me to try to get my children keep their masks on, it would be uncomfortable for them, and I wasn’t sure if it would even be worth it. However, it was the complete opposite - my children kept their masks on without a single reminder from me. They never complained about the masks. That was also my experience witnessing other children throughout the parks. I was also not looking forward to wearing the mask as an adult. Florida is hot enough. But wearing the mask made no difference - I hardly knew it was even there. All Team Members were wearing their masks and I witnessed them giving gentle reminders to guests if they were not wearing the masks correctly. The crowd levels were very low with plenty of space to allow for social distancing. I sat back and watched to see if guests were following the procedures Universal Orlando has in place and I am so pleased to say that guests were following them. Guests and team members were very respectful with ensuring a safe distance between parties.
Hats off to Universal Orlando Resort for a job well done!
To learn more about Universal Orlando or to book your next vacation, reach out to Jennifer McCann at JMcCann@Starstufftravel.com and 'LIKE' her on FB by clicking HERE.
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