California theme parks may be able to start reopening as soon as April 1, but in the meantime, Universal Studios Hollywood is offering fans a nice appetizer: the chance to taste their way around the park grounds.
From March 12–April 4, the Los Angeles theme park will offer A Taste of Universal, a ticketed food festival inside the gates, running 12–7 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Your $44–49 admission (with discounts for annual pass members, and $25 for kids) grants you five tastes (or three for kids) among the 70 different beverages, snacks, sweets, and entrees (including vegetarian and vegan options) scattered around four areas of the park.
In Springfield U.S.A., for instance, you can enjoy Krusty Burgers and Lard Lad Donuts, while in Hogsmeade village, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter area offers a variety of shopping and dining options, from Honeydukes and Ollivanders to Three Broomsticks’ fish ’n’ chips, sticky toffee pudding and Butterbeer. In the Hollywood & Dine section, just inside the park gates, try the Hot Chicken Sandwich, brisket sliders, or Cocina Mexicana’s street tacos and loaded nachos. And check out the new Despicable Me–themed Minion Café, offering delights such as chicken-and-bacon mac ‘n’ cheese and Nutella banana pudding.
Beyond your ticketed tastes, you can use contactless payment to buy more à la carte dishes. Meanwhile, safety measures include a much lower crowd capacity, an online-reservations-only admission system, temperature checks at the gates, and a requirement for face coverings.
While rides are still closed for now, many shops are open‚ including The Pets Store (part of the new The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash area) and The Animation Store, stocked with Hello Kitty merchandise as well as merchandise related to Despicable Me, Trolls, and Kung Fu Panda. Be on the lookout for strolling characters available for physically distanced photo ops and download the app for maps and other helpful info.
Outside the gates, the shops and eateries of Universal CityWalk are open from 12–8 p.m. daily. One don’t-miss stop: The limited-time Harry Potter Sweets & Treats, featuring Butterbeer and other goodies that one would normally find inside the park’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter.