A major rollback of social distancing restrictions and a rapturous reception for the new VelociCoaster lead our May 2021 monthly updates to the Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando.
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 can find pages archiving all these updates at theunofficialguides.com/universal-orlando-updates and touringplans.com/unofficial-guide/universal-orlando-updates.
COVID-19 AND UNIVERSAL ORLANDO
As of May 6, Universal Orlando has removed or reduced many social distancing precautions throughout the resort. Temperature checks are no longer being conducted for arriving guests at the parking garages or hotels. Social distancing markers at Universal Orlando have been reduced from every 6 feet to every 3 feet throughout the resort.
Extra spaces are no longer being left between cars in the parking garages.
Finally, all ride vehicles at Universal Orlando are being filled to maximum capacity, and single rider queues are once again available at select participating attractions.
PLANNING BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME
Ollivanders in Hogsmeade does not operate during early park admission at Islands of Adventure. Spider-Man may operate instead of Incredible Hulk during EPA (seasonally).
As of May 3, early park admission returned to Universal Studios Florida only. Ollivanders in Diagon Alley does operate during EPA.
Endless Summer Resort Surfside Inn and Suites is anticipated to reopen June 1, 2021.
ARRIVING & GETTING AROUND
The pedestrian bridge over Kirkman Road at Major Boulevard is finally officially open.
Prime Self-Parking at Universal Orlando’s garages was lowered back to $40 (from $50) following the spring break season. The higher rate may be charged again during peak attendance periods.
DINING & SHOPPING
Fusion Bistro Sushi & Sake has permanently closed in CityWalk
The Hello Kitty and Betty Boop stores in Universal Studios Florida now stock a selection of Funko figurines and Loungefly bags representing various Universal-affiliated franchises.
Marvel Super Hero Island’s Comic Book Shop is once again stocking a good selection of single issues.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA
Ollivanders may distribute free return time reservations when the standby wait becomes excessive, which can all be claimed by midmorning on busy days. Ask an employee at the attraction entrance for details.
Kang & Kodos’ Twirl n’ Hurl in Springfield is no longer seasonal and now opens daily at 10 a.m.
Mardi Gras 2021 at Universal Studios Florida concluded on May 2.
ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE
Camp Jurassic has reopened, but some portions of the playground (including the net climbs) are still off-limits.
The Jurassic World VelociCoaster officially opens in Jurassic Park on June 10. Previews for employees and selected annual passholders have been completed, and intermittent technical rehearsals for the general public are expected in the weeks leading up to the grand opening. See our VelociCoaster review for more details.
If I Ran the Zoo has reopened, but some elements of the playground (such as the water features) are still disabled.
The former Dippin’ Dots kiosk in CityWalk has become the Riverfront bar, serving craft cocktails and appetizers.
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.