Following in the footsteps of its sister park in Florida, Universal CityWalk Hollywood reopened to guests this week. Join us as we take a tour of the new social distancing requirements, and look at some of the changes around the area!
Parking is free for the time being at CityWalk. However, you do still need to get a ticket from the ticket booths. All parking is done in the Jurassic Parking Garage.
Inside the garage, cars are parked with an extra space between them to maintain social distancing guidelines.
Near the temperature check station, there is a vending machine that offers face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer in case you forgot any of those items.
Here’s a closer look at what is available inside the vending machine.
Before you enter CityWalk proper, you are required to go through a temperature check station, and you’ll exit outside Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in the main hub.
Throughout the area, there are plenty of ground markers to help you stay appropriately distanced from other guests, even outside of businesses that are still closed.
Right now, there are very limited offerings, but some stores, such as Sephora, appear to be opening on June 20.
While the Universal Studio Store, located right before the entrance to Universal Studios Hollywood, is still closed, they seem ready to open soon.
They’re also ready for the opening of the new “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” attraction that was originally set to open this spring. You can see some of the merchandise available through the windows.
The ticket plaza, which holds the world-famous Universal Studios globe, is open and available for guests to take pictures!
Closer to the actual ticket and entry gates, you can see that they are preparing for the opening with plenty of social distancing markers in place, or at least are planned to be put down.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. has both indoor and outdoor seating available. The merchandise shop is also open, however, there were no social distancing markers inside of it.
Voodoo Doughnut is handing out paper menus and also has a QR code so you can open the menu on your phone. Despite this, the team member I spoke to wasn’t sure if the QR Code was active yet or not.
Buca Di Beppo is also open and seating every other table. They even have their own unique social distancing markers.
The Universal Cinema, which is run by AMC, is closed for the time being. It was interesting to see movie posters for “Onward,” “The Invisible Man,” and “I Still Believe” still hanging outside. One major change to the theater is that the touch screen ticket stations outside appear to have been removed.
Throughout the CityFood food court, tables are spaced out over 6 feet apart. It doesn’t seem that they are doing an ‘every other table’ scenario but things are very spaced out.
It appears that “Smash Burger” has closed and will be replaced by a Habit Burger Grill.
At the very least, exterior work is continuing on the former Hard Rock Cafe site, which will soon be a West Coast version of Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen.
During my visit, I saw several maintenance team members both cleaning throughout CityWalk and touching up paint and other cosmetic details.
Nearly every bench in CityWalk has reminders about social distancing, even the ship’s mast outside of Bubba Gump!
Work continues on the former Tony Roma’s restaurant, soon to be the NBC Sports Grill & Brew. In fact, you can see some signage on the inside that already displays the logo for the new establishment.
Everyone enters and exits Universal CityWalk Hollywood through the same point into the Jurassic Parking Garage outside Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. While this is nice for convenience, it does create a little bit of a pinch point as visitors can’t stay 6 feet away from each other through the entrance and exit.
Overall, Universal CityWalk Hollywood has done a lot of work to make sure that its grounds are prepared for opening in a socially-distanced world. It’s heartening to see work being done looking towards the future, and it will be exciting to see what’s next for Universal Studios Hollywood.