Universal Orlando Announces New Park Hours Upon Reopening

It will be another month and a half or so until Walt Disney World reopens its gates, but Universal [...]

It will be another month and a half or so until Walt Disney World reopens its gates, but Universal Orlando is wasting no time getting things back up and running. The theme park officially opened back up on Friday morning, marking the first time it has been operational since COVID-19 caused it to close back in March. This reopening is probably sooner than many people would have predicted, given the resurgence of coronavirus in Florida, but Universal believes that the procedures put in place will make it a safe experience.

On Friday, just before the park was set to reopen, Universal shared its new hours online so folks could know when they'd be able to attend. The two main parks — Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure — are open from 9 am ET to 7 pm ET. Those hours are fairly similar to the park house before COVID-19 changed everything, so no big surprises there.

The most notable change comes by way of Universal CityWalk, the shopping and restaurant area near the parks. While the CityWalk is usually open until 2 am ET every night to accommodate the bars, it will now be closing at 7 pm ET, along with the parks. It's also surprising to see that Universal's water park, Volcano Bay, is opening up alongside the rest of the resort.

"WELCOME HOME, YOU'VE ARRIVED," Universal tweeted on Friday morning. "Remember to download our Official Mobile App to go contact-free."

There will be several new safety measures in place for guests heading to Universal Orlando during this time. According to the park website, everyone inside the premises must wear a mask at all times, including staff members. Temperatures will be checked at the park gates, and anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher won't be admitted. There will be social distancing markers throughout the park, especially in lines for rides, keeping people at least six feet apart at all times.

Are you glad to see Universal Orlando open once again? Would you rather the park wait a little longer to reopen? Let us know in the comments!