Universal Studios Hollywood Globe

After more than a year of being closed, California's theme parks are finally allowed to reopen, and while only a limited number of visitors are allowed, and for the most part only guest in California can visit the parks, after being shuttered for so long, it's progress. However, while parks have been allowed to open since April 1, many of them, including DIsneyland, still remain closed. Disneyland will finally open next Friday, but guests are already visiting Southern California's other big theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood, which was able to get the jump on the house of mouse.

While both Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland Resort had opened their gates to guests for a special ticketed food and beverage event, Universal was the one who made the turn around faster and in just a few days the park was open once again to guests as a theme park. And needless to say, a lot of people are very excited that the park is back and they're celebrating online.

Universal Studios Hollywood opened up on April 15 to the general public after a special preview day exclusive to annual pass holders. Those that have returned to the park over the last few days have been able to experience not only the return of all their favorite rides, but also a few brand new additions. A brand new animated figure of the Indominus Rex was added to Jurassic World - The Ride that had not been seen before the pandemic shutdown. In addition, an entirely new attraction, The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash also debuted. The new dark ride based on the Illumination animated movie, which was supposed to open last summer, was a day one new addition to the park.

As with other theme park reopenings, maximum capacity has been restricted to allow for social distancing inside the park, and that means that in addition to valid tickets, guests must obtain reservations for the day they wish to go . And clearly, there are a lot of people interested in going. As of this writing, this coming weekend is completely sold out, so the park is at capacity, even if that capacity is much smaller than it used to be. More than likely, at least some of that demand comes from the fact that right now Universal Studios is the only theme park game in town.

Disneyland Resort will join the fray with its two theme parks beginning next Friday, April 30. That will likely help alleviate some of the pressure on Universal, which isn't a bad thing. Disneyland Resort itself is sold out of some reservation types for its opening weekend, as well as several other days in the first few weeks. Disneyland will reopen with its brand new version of the Snow White dark ride, now named Snow White's Enchanted Wish, and DIsney California Adventure will see the opening of Avengers Campus in early June.

Currently Universal Studios Hollywood is only open to California residents, but a recent rule change made by the state means that fully vaccinated out of state visitors are allowed into theme parks, so that rule may be changing soon.

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