Almost exactly a year since the park closed due to Covid-19, Universal Studios Hollywood will take its first step in re-opening with “Taste of Universal,” an outdoor dining and shopping experience taking place within select themed lands. The event will take place Friday to Sunday from noon to 7:00 p.m. beginning Friday, March 12.
The move comes about two weeks after Disneyland officials released announced their own very similar mini reopening in Anaheim. That limited-capacity ticketed event will be called “A Touch of Disney.” It’s worth noting that the date for Universal’s event will let it reopen before Disneyland.
Universal Studios Hollywood said it is working closely with local health and government officials to implement new health and safety procedures that include controlled capacity to enforce physical distancing and required face coverings.
This experience will allow guests to sample the park’s best culinary offerings and premium shopping options along with physically distanced photo opportunities with some of their favorite characters.
Admission tickets to “Taste of Universal” include access to select themed areas of the park along with a wide selection of nearly 70 culinary options, of which 30 are new to the event. Adults can choose five options and kids can choose three with additional food offerings available for purchase. Tickets start at $44 plus tax for adults and $25 plus tax for kids ages 3-9 years. Discounted admission tickets will be available for Universal Annual and Season Pass members.
Rides, shows and attractions will not be operational during this experience, guests will be able to take in the incredible environments that surround them as they enjoy the scrumptious food, including vegan and vegetarian options, served within these areas.
Amusement park operators have long chafed at what they considered the too-restrictive demands placed on them by Newsom’s blueprint. They argue that there has not been a single documented case at a theme park, and The California Attractions and Parks Association laid out its plan for stringent virus prevention measures.
Amusement park operators have long chafed at what they considered the too restrictive demands placed on them by Newsom’s blueprint. They argue that there has not been a single documented case at a theme park, and The California Attractions and Parks Association laid out its plan for stringent virus prevention measures.
“We should be in Tier Three, along with other industries that have proven they can reopen responsibly,” said Karen Irwin, president and COO of Universal Studios Hollywood in October. “Our employees are ready to go back to work and the fact that they won’t be able to do so until well into next year is shameful.”
In early February, two California Assembly members representing districts impacted by the closure of Disneyland and Six Flags Magic Mountain co-sponsored a bill that will place all theme parks in the “Orange – Moderate – Tier 3” of the state’s Covid-19 Industry Guidance for Amusement Parks and Theme Parks. The guidance in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy currently restricts theme parks from reopening until the county in which they are located achieves the “Yellow – Minimal – Tier 4.”
Even then, the guest limit at parks would be 25% and indoor dining establishments could only operate at 25% capacity. Disneyland, Magic Mountain, Universal Hollywood and Knott’s Berry Farm all closed in March 2020.
But Newsom, on Tuesday announced that as the state makes progress in vaccinating lower-income residents, it will in turn ease the requirements counties need to meet to advance through Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the four-tiered color-coded system that regulates the opening, closure and capacity limits for businesses based on a county’s rate of new Covid infections, health equity and testing positivity rates.
Magic Mountain in Valencia announced recently that it plans on reopening this spring.
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