We braved the trip to Orlando during a world wide pandemic! While things were different and no doubt a little strange, we still had a ton of fun and created so amazing memories.
So what do you need to know?
Let’s start with the airport. The airport itself was much less crowded due to the fact airlines are operating at a lower capacity. Both Louisville and Orlando airports recommended masks but did not require them. For the most part, people wore them. There were only a few people we saw without masks on. The terminals were marked for social distancing where lines generally form. The seats were not marked, however, party’s sat together and away from other party’s.
We fly Southwest most of the time, which remained true for this trip. They did require a mask the entire time on the plane. They allowed party’s to sit together but if you were not in the same party and had to sit in the same row, you were required to leave the middle row empty. Each airline has their own regulations in place so be sure to look up the guidelines prior to you departure.
In Louisville, all the shops were closed. There were a few places open you could get snacks and drinks but as far as food and restaurants, they were closed. Orlando was a different story. Everything was open but tables and areas were marked for social distancing. Less masks were worn but people were still distancing from other party’s.
Shuttle to Universal Orlando
We went back and forth with getting an Uber or using Universal’s shuttle. We ultimately decide to use the shuttle. They were terrific. Limited capacity. At that time there were 8 people on the shuttle, one was the driver, five were part of our party. Masks were required. The driver was nice as can be. He sanitized his hands before and after loading our luggage and again when reaching our destination.
Resort Safety Procedures
We stayed at Cabana Bay. What a fun resort! Retro theme with oldies playing on the big screen in the food court area. It has a bowling alley, arcade, a large recreation room and huge fitness room. There are 2 pools, several fire pits and “sandy beaches.”
Hand sanitizing stations were spread out through the resort. You were required to wear a mask unless eating, drinking or swimming. Everyone followed the rules from what we saw and were diligent to use the hand sanitizer often. The registration area had plexiglass up as well so you were blocked from the team members.
Only one family/party were allowed on the elevators at a time. We saw them cleaning them often as well as any seating areas, rails, doors, etc. They were very good about staying on top of it. Areas were blocked off everywhere to encourage safe distancing from others.
Upon arrival and each day of your stay you had your temperature checked and answered questions about symptoms of Covid. You received a bracelet to show you had yours completed for the day. Each day was a different color. Stations were set up at each entrance and at the bus stops just in case you were missed.
Transportation to and from the parks were limited capacity. Seats were not marked unavailable but you were asked to sit with your party all together and with a seat in between your party and another. Plexiglass was up by the driver and between some of the rows on the bus. No standing allowed, everyone had to be in a seat. Buses and boats were set up the same.
Universal did an excellent job with their safety measures. Hand sanitizer is everywhere. They also had you sanitize your hands prior to getting on the ride. It was surprisingly very efficient and quick and everyone riding was given a pump of sanitizer.
Masks are required in the parks. You may remove them for eating and drinking but if walking around with a drink in your hand and your mask off, they did ask you to put your mask on unless actively eating or drinking.
All lines are marked six feet apart. They had several team members through out line making sure everyone was staying in their block and not standing too close to another party. When boarding the rides the lines were every other cue where they could and if that wasn’t possible, the lines were staggered. They did a great job accomplishing distance.
Restaurants were spread out as well. Several tables remained vacant to allow for physical distancing. Most were mobile ordering. It was easy. You could order your food while in line, click prepare my order when seated, give your confirmation number to a team member and they brought your food! It was very simple and no contact. When they brought your food out, you got your food off the tray.
Well, there really were no crowds. The busies area obviously was Harry Potter and there were still no crowds there. We walked onto most rides with very little wait time. I think the most we waited was 30 minutes. We rode every ride. We got to ride the most popular rides, like Hagrid’s Motorbikes, 3 times. It was mind blowing to say the least.
The spacing was actually nice. The lines were not overcrowded. You were able to move around without having people on top of you. While walking through the parks you weren’t dodging people to keep from a collision. Everyone for the most part followed the rules and kept their distance. People want to be able to go. We felt very safe, more so than most areas locally.
Volcano Bay had very little crowd. You do not have to wear a mask while swimming. If ordering food or picking up a mobile order, however, you must wear a mask. Lines were very short here as well. Most rides you could walk up and get on.