What to Expect on Your Next Trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter During COVID-19
Do you miss walking the streets of Diagon Alley and the smell of butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade? Muggles don’t have the means to actually pass through the brick wall into Diagon Alley as wizards do, but the Wizarding World of Harry Potter does provide us with similar opportunities. The good news is, you don’t have to wait any longer to experience the magic again – Universal Orlando Resort theme parks are reopening on June 5.
Even though you can now walk the streets of Hogsmeade again, COVID-19, much like Lord Voldemort, never rests. This means that the experience will be somewhat different from what you’re used to. Social distancing is still crucial, and there are a few rules you’ll be subjected to when you enter the park. But not to worry – we’re here to give you a quick summary of what you can expect when you return to the magical world of Harry Potter.
Getting inside might feel like trying to go through the actual brick wall to Diagon Alley.
First of all, park attendance will be limited, and you’ll have to wear a mask and pass a temperature check before entering. The attendance limit ensures that guests can maintain social distancing inside, which would be harder to do when the theme park is operating at its full capacity. You can have absolute peace of mind knowing that the park has increased its cleaning and disinfection of restrooms, ride vehicles, food locations, and other frequently touched areas.
Fall in line.
Queues will be spread out so people maintain a safe distance from each other. Social distancing markers have been placed on the ground as a guide. Select attractions will also be using virtual lines – this means you can select a time to return to the ride you’re waiting for and explore the park while you wait. Where needed, 3D glasses will be handed to guests individually, who will need to apply hand sanitizer before boarding a ride. They will also be staggered on rides on a case-by-case basis. If you go to the park with a group of friends or family, chances are, the park’s team members will place you closer together on rides, but they will be separating different parties to ensure social distancing.
No loose Galleons, please.
Don’t withdraw those Galleons just yet. Cashless payments are highly recommended because this minimizes person-to-person contact, so make sure you have your card ready for payments at all times.
Even “wizards” need to wear masks.
If you’re feeling a bit bummed about the fact that you still need to wear a mask at the parks, you’ll be pleased to know that some character appearances at Universal Studios Florida have changed to match the current situation. Characters throughout the park will wear masks to wave to and greet guests while maintaining their distance from each other and the public.
“Scourgify” is the word of the day.
If you’ve been worried about how safe it would be to have a butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks, you’ll be happy to hear that the necessary precautions are taken to ensure you don’t come into contact with anything any of the other guests have touched. You’ll be given a single-use menu at all dining locations, or you can order via mobile at select quick-service locations. The same goes for merchandise – if you visit Ollivanders in Diagon Alley, team members will be ready to assist you so you don’t touch any of the merchandise unnecessarily. A limited number of people will be allowed inside shops like these to minimize close contact.
A completely empty Ollivander’s!! If you want to go into the store, you’ll line up and have like a personal shopper, and only 3 groups at a time. If you want to do the experience, you need to go around by Globus Mundi and make an appointment (for now anyway) pic.twitter.com/1lVBdRsdNX
— Meg/* (@megadis13) June 1, 2020
Look on the bright side.
All things considered, these rules don’t seem to be all that disruptive, and we’re pretty sure the experience will be just as magical as usual. At least people have the opportunity to visit these parks again and have some fun amid the chaos of the world.