Gov. Newsom has announced today that forty-seven of the fifty-eight counties in California are now able to enter Phase One of Stage 3. This initial phase includes hair salons, barbershops, in-store retail, and religious services.
In those counties if hospitalizations and ICU numbers are stable or decreasing, they can move further into Stage 3. Deeper into Stage 3, higher risks services like movie theaters and theme parks will be able to reopen. That includes Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Knott’s, Legoland, Sea World, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Six Flags Magic Mountain. This also includes all water parks and theme parks in Northern California.
So far Disney has not announced a date about when any of the Disneyland Resort will be open, nor have any of the other theme parks announced reopening dates. Stay tuned to this blog for continuing updated information!
Following in Disney Springs’ footsteps, Universal has announced that Citywalk in Orlando will be reopening Thursday May 14th.
Select locations will be open from 4pm-10pm each day. Dining locations such as Bubba Gump, Margaritaville, Red Oven Pizza Bakery, Voodoo Doughnut, and Auntie’s Anne’s Pretzels will be open. On the retail side of things, the Universal Studios Store, Airbrush, the retail section of Huntington Tattoo Company will be reopening with the same hours as the restaurants.
With both California and Florida under Stay at Home orders, Universal has decided to close their domestic parks through at least the end of May. They had originally been closed through April 19th, but were extended due to the coronavirus situation not slowing down.
Some good news is that stats show that California has started to flatten the curve and computer models moved up its peak to April 14th, which is as soon as next week. Those projection models have the state social distancing until Mid May to complete flatten the curve. That would coincide with the time frame that Knotts and Six Flags would like to open up their parks and give Universal enough room to decide to push up the opening of its Hollywood park should the situation vastly improve by that time.
Here is the official statement from Universal below:
This morning California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he is banning large gatherings of over 250 people in the state, but theme parks, casinos, and movie theaters were exempt. A few hours later, Disney announced that the Disneyland Resort would be closing due to coronavirus concerns for just the fourth time in its history.
A couple of hours later, Universal Studios Hollywood followed suit and announced that it too would be closing its doors from March 14th through the end of the month. This is particular bad for Universal fans as pass member previews were just getting ready to start this Saturday for the new Secret Life of Pets: Off The Leash attraction.
UPDATE: Disney World has now closed effective Sunday March 15th temporarily.
I will update this story as more details become available, but make sure to ALWAYS wash your hands and stay safe and clean!
Universal Studios Hollywood’s Lunar New Year starts January 23rd and goes through February 9th. It will be located in the main plaza where all of the events at the park are held and for the most part seems like a repeat of the offerings from last year.
This year Universal will be offering:
Character Meet and Greets featuring characters from Kung Fu Panda, Minions, and Transformers
Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop with savory Asian dishes
Wishing Trees where you can make a wish and hope it comes true
Feng The Place Artist’s Stand where you can draw your favorite characters from the Kung Fu Panda movies
Special Food Offerings
Will you be going to this year’s Lunar New Year festival? What of the above offerings are you looking forward to the most? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and follow this blog for constant theme park updates!
Universal quietly dropped their annual pass prices and did so pretty significantly some time in the past couple of weeks. According to an insider Universal is pretty happy with the amount of tourists and VIP’s visiting the park, but is underwhelmed by the amount of local traffic. Repeat visitors are what drives in park spending the most so Universal really relies on passholders during the slow and busy seasons to keep up the bottom line.
The new amounts are listed as follows:
Platinum (Includes no blackout dates and Universal Express): $629 now $449
Gold: $329 now $249
Silver: $179 now $174
I expect once Secret Life of Pets opens next year and when Nintendo opens in 2021 those prices will shoot back up so I would purchase a pass and enjoy the reduction while you can. Another great option, which is what I always purchase, is the season pass which for $149 ($10 more than a one day ticket) grants you 9 months or 275 days of access to the park. It does not include parking, but I always just park at the nearby Metro stop which is only three dollars and take the tram to the entrance.
Will these new price reductions encourage you to purchase a pass? Do you think Universal still does not have enough to do to get a pass? Let me know in the comments below!
Today Universal Hollywood announced that on March 19th and 20th they will be hosting a Food and Wine Festival. The only difference between this one and other theme park festivals is that Universal’s will be an after hours hard ticket event.
The event will start at 7pm each night and cost $179 to attend on each night. That price includes food tastings, beer, wine, live competitions and photo ops with Top Chef talent, live entertainment, merchandise, and a gift. For $300 you can get a VIP ticket that allows you access to Universal Studios starting at 12pm and preferred parking with VIP tasting with alumni from Top Chef or for $199 you can get a day and night combo ticket that starts at 12pm but does not include free parking and the special VIP experiences.
If you have not guessed already this event is themed to Bravo’s Top Chef and you will be able to taste some of their delicious meals all night long! Will you be attending this festival? Would you rather it be included in regular park admission like at California Adventure? Do you think what your getting is worth all that money? Let me know in the comments below!