As California continues its phased reopening, one big attraction has made its own dramatic comeback: After a year of being closed, Universal Studios Hollywood reopened its gates April 16.
Just like other California theme parks, all admission tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood must be booked online to accommodate reduced capacity limits. The Los Angeles County park has also implemented a range of new safety protocols, including cleaning practices, physical distancing measures, and guidelines for face coverings—summed up well in this video. Here’s what else you should know as you plan a visit:
For the time being, admission is for California residents only. Your ticket purchase will be linked to your credit card’s billing address. When buying tickets, you’ll also list the names of each person in your group, which can consist of up to three households and a maximum of 10 people. Proof of residency may be required when you arrive at the park.
The reopening brings two big debuts. The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! ride features a hyper-realistic encounter with 64 animated figures from the Secret Life of Pets movies, including Max, Snowball, Gidget, and Duke. The area around the ride has been dubbed Pets Place, recreating the front of the NYC apartment building from the movies. On the park’s Lower Lot, Jurassic World—The Ride now features a 55-foot-long Indominus rex that stalks riders and battles the park’s infamous T. rex right next to the ride’s climactic waterfall.
Most other rides and a few shows are open. That includes the two rides at Wizarding World of Harry Potter and thrillers such as Transformers: The Ride–3D and Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride. The Studio Tour and shows such as Universal’s Animal Actors are also up and running. Some shows and indoor rides will be closed for now, including The Simpsons Ride, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, and the Waterworld show. For the time being, VIP Experiences are also not available.
Before you arrive, download the app. The Universal Studios Hollywood App’s real-time features show which rides are open, and let you join virtual lines (available for some rides, including The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!). The app is also handy for checking out restaurant menus and helping you plan out an itinerary of rides and shows for the day.