The latest edition of the Unofficial Guide has only been available for a few weeks, but the changes never stop at the Universal Orlando Resort. Here’s the first installment in our new monthly series of updates to The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando 2021.
Since The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando 2021 went to press, there have been a number of new closures, changes, and other adjustments to operations at Universal Orlando’s theme parks. You’ll be able to find pages archiving all these updates at theunofficialguides.com and touringplans.com/unofficial-guide/universal-orlando-updates.
COVID-19 AND UNIVERSAL ORLANDO
Some shows are again seating guests in every row, with empty seats still left between unrelated parties.
The extra-cost climbing wall at Islands of Adventure’s Jurassic Park has reopened; the one in New York remains closed.
Sapphire Falls Resort is scheduled to reopen on May 18, 2021.
The Mandara Spa at Portofino Bay reopened on December 1, 2020.
ARRIVING & GETTING AROUND
Cash is no longer accepted for tolls on the Florida Turnpike north of Orlando; either transponder or pay-by-plate is required.
The American Express kiosk in the parking hub, where guests could receive a bonus by applying for a credit card, has been removed.
New outdoor lockers at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey have greatly reduced overcrowding at the attraction.
UNIVERSAL & KIDS
A Day in the Park with Barney has permanently closed, and the Barney characters no longer appear in the Kidzone.
DINING & SHOPPING
Most restaurants at the Universal Orlando Resort now accept dining reservations 180 days out.
Souvenir Cup Drink Packages at Endless Summer Resort now cost $9 each for 1 day, $12 for 2 days, $15 for 3 days, $18 for 4 days, and $3 for each additional day.
Ben & Jerry’s next to the Starbucks in New York has closed.
Brisket Philly Tots (with onions, peppers, and cheese) has been added to the menu at Green Eggs and Ham Cafe. S’mores are no longer available.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA & ISLANDS of ADVENTURE
Free same-day reservations are no longer available for Ollivanders in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley; the show is now standby only.
The Horror Make-Up Show’s lobby exhibits have reopened to guests.
In 2021, Universal Orlando will present a modified version of their Mardi Gras celebration from February 6 through March 28. The big-name concerts and nightly parades have been canceled.
Parade floats will become static displays around the park, and stilt-walkers and street musicians will perform intermittently. International food and drink will be sold from booths around the park, and a Mardi Gras Tribute Store will be located in the New York area. Visit Universal’s Mardi Gras page for more details.
Blue Man Group has permanently closed at Universal Orlando.
For all there is to see and do at Universal Orlando, check out The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.