The Basics to Help Plan Your Universal Studios Trip!

This page is your guide to Universal Studios planning! Perfect for the young and the young at heart. Universal Orlando offers action-packed fun for everyone! We will explore general theme park information, planning tips, and park features, along with recent changes and safety measures implemented during the reopening of the resort after quarantine.

If you plan on booking your next vacation at a Universal Orlando, you’re in for some awesome perks. Be prepared for three theme parks and a top-notch shopping and dining district!


This Article Includes the Following Universal Studios Vacation Planning Basics:

  • Know Before You Go: Safety Guidelines
  • The Universal Studios Theme Parks
  • Universal Orlando App
  • Universal Orlando Express Pass
  • Early Park Entrance
  • Free Universal Transportation
  • Dining Plans and Perks
  • Other Popular Universal Planning Posts

Know Before You Go: Safety Measures

Are you ready to get the fun started?

It’s been a while since Universal Orlando Resort welcomed its last guests, but now they’re ready to roll out the red carpet and kick open their gates!

In order to keep everyones safety, they’ve added new guidelines throughout the resort. All guests and Team Members will have to comply with the following:


Face covering required

Everyone is required to wear a face covering during their visit.



Wash hands often

Wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds.



Floor markings

When present, please stand on the floor markings until the group in front of you moves forward.



Use hand sanitizer when required

At select locations including prior to boarding ride vehicles, guests will be required to use hand sanitizer.



Temperature check required

Temperature checks will be required upon arrival, and guests with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be admitted.



Follow Team Member direction

Please follow directions from our team members and have patience as we work through these new operational procedures.



Avoid contact with people who are sick



Social distancing

Practice social distancing and keep at least 6 feet (2 meters) between your travel party and others.

Universal Orlando Planning #1 - The Universal Studios Theme Parks

Great news for everybody, all three parks will be open beginning June 5! 

Downside is, although a reservation is not needed in order to visit the theme parks, attendance will be limited during phased reopening.

There may be times when the parks reach capacity and additional guests will not be admitted. For real-time updates on park capacity, please check or call our Guest Services team at 407-224-4233 option 4.

There is not a limit on party sizes, but please note that parties of 10 or more will be asked to break into smaller groups for seating and ridership.

Universal Studios Florida Theme Park

Universal Studios

At Universal Studios, you get to go beyond the big-screen! This park includes some of the most interactive rides and attractions at any theme park!

Universal Studios has some of the coolest and most classic rides and attractions, such as:

  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • The Simpsons Ride
  • E.T. Adventure
  • Despicable Me Minion Ride
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Universal Studios Crowd Calendar


Universal's Islands of Adventure Theme Park

Universal’s Islands of Adventure Park

Prepare for a theme park where super heroes, beasts, and magical creatures stand before you!

If you take the Hogwarts Express, you can journey right into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Hogsmeade. Or you can fly high above the streets with:

  • Spiderman
  • The Incredible Hulk

Let the Adventures Begin!

Island of Adventure Crowd Calendar



Universal's Volcano Bay Water Theme Park

Universal's Volcano Bay

Volcano Bay is the perfect beach getaway without ever leaving Orlando. Enjoy thrilling water slides and secluded waterfalls. This park has something for everyone in your group!

New Operational Procedures

  • Guests and team members are required to wear face coverings (including while on the attractions).
    For Volcano Bay, face coverings are required in restaurants, retail locations and as you enter and exit the park. Team members who have “wet” roles, such as lifeguards, will wear a balaclava when they cannot socially distance. These will not be worn on slides or in pools for safety reasons. You’ll be able to find specific areas accross the park called “U-Rest” areas, where guests may temporarily remove their face coverings for relief (social distancing guidelines will apply at each location).
  • Guests and team members are required to undergo temperature checks. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be able to enter Universal CityWalk or the theme parks.
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfection of food locations, ride vehicles and other frequent “touch points” that go beyond our already-aggressive cleaning procedures: These procedures mean that our show capacity will be limited and wait times may be longer than usual to experience the show.  All guests are also required to wear a face covering while experiencing The Bourne Stuntacular.
  • Staggered parking within the parking garage to help create distance between travel groups
  • Social distancing at all locations through the parks, within attractions and queues and at restaurants: The number of guests allowed in the queue will be limited, and there is social distancing signage throughout. Appropriate spacing between travel parties will be procured, and guests will be assisted with seating and exiting the theater to avoid congestion. Please note that some queue experiences may be slightly altered as new procedures are implemented, and wait times may be longer than usual. Universal’s Volcano Bay follows the same guidelines and procedures as the other theme parks.



Park Attendance & Attractions

All attractions are open (including The Bourne Stuntacular), with the exception of some shows that take place within a theater, such as Fear Factor Live and children play areas such as Camp Jurassic, If I Ran the Zoo and Fievel’s Playland. Remember you’ll be required to wear face masks while on attractions.

Select food and merchandise locations, and other areas within the parks, may also be temporarily closed at this time. Check the Official Universal Orlando Resort Mobile App for updates.

For any 3-D attraction within the parks, Universal Orlando team members will individually hand out 3-D glasses instead of guests having to pick them up themselves. Each pair of 3-D glasses will be cleaned and disinfected between each guest use.

Please note Universal Orlando team members will provide guests with the hand sanitizer that is required prior to boarding a ride vehicle.


Shows & Character Meetings

Character Meets/Greets

Guests will still have the opportunity to see some of their favorite characters during their visit. Guests will be positioned in a designated spot that is six feet away from the characters for a photo opp.

Guests will not be able to make physical contact with characters at this time, but will be able to briefly remove their face covering. After the photo has taken place, the guest(s) will be required to put their face covering back on.

Shows, Parades & Tours

At this time, Nighttime shows such as Universal’s Cinematic Celebration, and Universal’s Superstar Parade will not run during this phase of reopening. However, guests will be able to see some of the parade’s characters throughout Universal Studios during the day.

Good news is, VIP tours will remain available during the phased reopening. For inquiries, guests can call (866) 346-9350.


Universal Studios Planning #2 - The Official Universal Orlando App

This is an absolute must-have for your upcoming Universal Stay. The best part is it's absolutely free! The Official Universal Orlando App will help keep your plans on track! Here’s what the app has to offer:

GPS Walking Navigation Park-Wide so You’ll Never Get Lost

Access to Ride Wait Times Park-Wide

Virtual Line™ Experience

Use the official Universal Orlando Resort app to choose a Virtual Line return time for select attractions at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Here’s to get a Virtual Line Return Time: 1. Select an Attraction 2. Set Your Pass Details 3. Head to the Attraction when it ’s Your Time to Ride. All the rides at Volcano Bay feature a Virtual Line experience. Rather than your phone, you use the TapuTapu wearable to get a return time.

Wait Time Alerts

That's right, The Universal Orlando APP will notify you when your favorite rides have shorter lines!

Mobile Food Orders at Select Dining Locations

Use the official Universal Orlando Resort app to place food and drink orders from select restaurants when you’re in the theme parks and CityWalk. Here’s how to place your order: 1. Set up a Payment Method Ahead of Time. 2. Order Food and Drinks in the App. 3. Customize Items and Add to Your Order. 4. Check out and Pick Up Your Food.

A Virtual Wallet

Link your Universal Orlando App to your credit card. You can easily make purchases throughout your trip.

Parking Reminders

Don't remember where you parked? No Problem! The app will help you find your car by section, level and row!

Universal Orlando Planning #3 - Express Pass

Maximize your time at the parks with Express Pass and Express Pass Unlimited! Included at no additional charge for guests staying at:

  • Universal’s Portofino Bay
  • Hard Rock Hotel
  • Royal Pacific Resort

With Express Pass Unlimited, each guest can skip standby lines on a huge selection rides. These rides span all three Universal theme parks. The best part is you can ride them over and over again without waiting.

For guests staying at:

  • Sapphire Falls
  • Cabana Bay

A standard Express Pass (not unlimited) is available to purchase at an additional cost of a theme park ticket. With the standard Express Pass, guests are only permitted to skip the standby line once per ride.

Phased reopening Update

Universal Express is available for purchase for theme park visits and can be purchased on, on the Official Universal Orlando Resort app or in-park.

Hotel guests staying at Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort will be also able to take advantage of their Universal Express access benefit on any day of their visit.

Universal Studios Planning #4 - Early Park Entrance

Alohomora! Universal unlocks the doors to both Wizarding World’s of Harry Potter exactly one hour early for hotel guests. Take advantage of this!  Just remember, there are restrictions in order to ride the Hogwarts Express. You’ll need to have two park passes for Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

Universal Orlando Planning #5 - Universal Transportation

No rental car, no problem! Universal Orlando Resort has a super convenient transportation system. All hotel guests can take advantage of complimentary transportation via shuttle bus, van service and water taxis. These shuttle buses are available from Universal’s CityWalk to all three theme parks (and even SeaWorld!).

Universal Orlando Planning #6 - Universal Dining Plan & Perks

Universal’s CityWalk is home to some pretty amazing restaurants. From casual to upscale dining, there’s something for every type of crowd. Universal currently has two dining plan options. They both allow you to prepay your party’s meals in exchange for dining credits. Dining plans are exclusively available for pre-purchase with a vacation package. Or you can visit a Universal Ticket Center upon arrival. Here’s a quick glance at the two dining plan options available:

Quick Service Dining Plan:

Includes one quick service meal, one snack and one non-alcoholic beverage per day. You can add this dining plan at any time during the course of your stay. Plus if you don’t use all of your credits in one day, you can carry them over to the next.

Full Service Dining Plan:

Includes 1 full service meal,1 quick service meal, 1 snack and 1 non alcoholic beverage per day. This dining plan must be added at the time you book your Universal Orlando vacation package.

Universal Dining Perks:

For guests staying at Hard Rock Hotel, Portofino Bay or Royal Pacific Resort, you receive priority seating. This is a fantastic perk that places you at the top of a wait list for a table from the moment you arrive! The best part is you do not need a reservation!



Universal’s Hotels During Phased Reopening

General Information


The phased reopening of the hotels includes Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal’s Aventura Hotel and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites. Plans for Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites will be announced at a later time.

Guests who have booked reservations at these two hotels through Universal Orlando or Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations will be contacted to modify their reservation if it has been affected.

Amenities & Dining Locations

The availability of some offerings at our resort hotels may be temporarily limited. You should check with the front desk for more details.

Hotel Benefits

All hotel guests can take advantage of Early Park Admission as well as other hotel benefits during their visit. Guests who stay at Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort (Premier Hotels) will receive Universal Express access to select attractions as well as their other hotel benefits.

Resort Transportation

Guests can still utilize water taxi and resort shuttle transportation to visit Universal CityWalk and the theme parks. Face coverings will be required for all guests using resort transportation. All shuttles and water taxis have limited capacity, so wait times may be impacted. Cleaning and disinfecting procedures have been increased on all forms of resort transportation.


New Operational Procedures

  • Guests, team members and vendors are required to wear face coverings in public areas.
  • Team members and vendors will be required to have temperature checks upon arrival. Those with temperatures of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be allowed to work.
  • Guests will be asked to self-screen for COVID symptoms and quarantine orders prior to arrival/entrance
  • Hand sanitizer stations in public areas and elevator landings
  • Enhanced cleaning of guest rooms, meeting rooms and public areas with an EPA-approved cleaner and disinfectant
  • All guest rooms will be serviced after checkout. When possible, guest rooms will be left vacant for 24-48 hours upon checkout, before thoroughly cleaning and checking in a new guest.
  • Frequent cleaning of high-touch areas such as telephones, remote controls, door handles, light switches, elevators, and table tops, among others
  • Food & Beverage outlet capacities limited based on latest recommendations and guidelines
  • Guests and staff are required to practice social distancing; social distancing signs and reminders will be in high-traffic areas
  • Several contactless experiences for guests, including hotel texting-services, express checkout and contactless room deliveries.



  • Will hotel guests be turned away if the theme parks reach capacity?
    Hotel guests will be given priority entrance to theme parks during our phased reopening. Hotel guests are encouraged to take advantage of their Early Park Admission benefit to access the parks prior to the daily opening to the general public, and they’ll accommodate hotel guests on a priority basis in the parks throughout the day.
  •  Can I plan an event or meeting at the hotels or in the theme parks?
    Universal Orlando Resort is currently finalizing plans for future hotel meetings and in-park events. If interested in planning a meeting or event at Universal Orlando Resort, please contact 1-888-331-9108.
  • Are housekeeping services available during my stay?
    Contactless housekeeping service is currently being offered. Upon request, fresh linens, towels and bathroom amenities will be delivered to your guest room door.


Information for Passholders

Expiration Dates

All Annual and Seasonal Pass expiration dates have been automatically extended by three (3) months to account for the theme parks’ previous closure. No further action is required from you.

To confirm your new expiration date, you may call the Passholder hotline at 1-866-PASS-4-FUN or view in your wallet on the Universal Orlando Resort mobile app.


Blockout Dates

There have been some adjustments to blockout dates for the year. For the most up-to-date blockout date information, please visit


UOAP Button Program

Due to the temporary park closure, the UOAP button program was impacted. From June 8 - June 30, 2020, a new button will be distributed, while supplies last. The previously announced April button has been delayed to August for Passholder Appreciation Days.


UOAP Lounge

The UOAP Lounge is open at limited capacity. From June 8 – July 5, 2020, Lounge hours will be extended from park open to park close. Space is limited and is first come, first served.


Passholder Discounts

  • Premier and Preferred Passholders will receive their standard food and merchandise discounts at participating locations. Additional limited-time offers and discounts for all Passholders are available.
  • To receive your Passholder discount when using Mobile Food Ordering, simply scan your Pass barcode or enter the number manually on the “My Order” screen. Excludes alcohol. Please note that some Pass types do not receive food discounts.
  • There are no valet parking discounts as valet paking is temporarily unavailable. However, Premier Passholders receive free Prime self-parking in the Universal Orlando garage every day.





CityWalk and Parking During Phased Reopening

New Safety Information

From the time you arrive, you’ll notice some changes—like staggered parking in the garages to help create distance between travel groups.

Capacity at CityWalk venues will also be limited.

What new operational procedures are in place an CityWalk?
  • Guests and team members are required to wear face coverings.
  • Guests and team members are required to undergo temperature checks. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be able to enter Universal CityWalk or the theme parks.
  • Staggered parking within the parking garage to help create distance between travel groups.
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfection of food locations and other frequent “touch points” that go beyond our already-aggressive cleaning procedures.
  • Offering contactless payments and “no touch” policies where possible.



  • How is social distancing being implemented at Universal CityWalk?
    Some of the measures taken include:
    • Staggering cars throughout our parking structures
    • Signage and floor decals around CityWalk and within venues and queue lines to help guests maintain social distancing
    • Limiting capacity at all open venues
    • Placing tables at restaurants six feet apart
  • Will I have to pay for parking?
    Standard parking fees apply. Valet parking is not available at this time. Parking garages will open at 7:30 a.m. daily. Parking is free after 6 p.m. Additional restrictions may apply and are subject to change without notice.
  • Can I make a dining reservation?
    Restaurants are accepting walk-ups only and reservations are not available at this time. Please note that wait times may be longer as we are limiting capacity at all open venues.
  • I already had my temperature checked. Why do I have to have it checked again at Hard Rock Café?
    The Hard Rock Café is an independent business not operated by Universal Orlando and has established its own protocols.
  • What happens if a guests has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above when they try to enter Hard Rock Café?
    If a guest enters the Hard Rock Café and has an elevated temperature, they will ask them to leave CityWalk or the Resort.
  •  When will clubs and Universal Cinemark reopen? What about Blue Man Group
    Universal Cinemark is currently open. All nightclubs remain closed and opening dates for these venues will be shared when available. Blue Man Group shows will remain closed through August 31, 2020. Guests who have purchased tickets for a show during this timeframe will be automatically refunded. Please allow up to 14 business days for the return to process back to its original tender.
  • Will they have hand sanitizer available for me to use?
    Yes, you’ll find hand sanitizer stations at various locations for you to use during your visit. You can also purchase hand sanitizer at select locations in Universal CityWalk and the theme parks.
  • Are Passholder discounts still available at CityWalk?
    Premier and Preferred Passholders will receive their standard food and merchandise discounts at participating locations.



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