Universal Orlando Trip Report 7/1-7/4/2020

This is quick trip report to pay everyone back for all the information provided here and in the Universal chat function. We are 2 adults who stayed 3 nights at RPR on club level, with 4 day 2 park-to-park tickets - a replacement for our 2x rescheduled WDW trip that’s now possibly going to happen in 2021…or maybe not. We did not go out of our way to seek out any special food items – instead we were mostly focused on rides. Also, this is a ‘just the facts’ report. We had a great time on the trip, so just assume that everything we did was fun.

First up, the hotel. We’ve stayed here before, but never on club level. We upgraded at the front desk (no savings found there though). The 7th floor in Tower 3 is where you want to be if you’re in paying for club level, since it’s closest in proximity to the club room. Breakfast is all cereals and granola bars, with the hard boiled eggs as the sole protein. No lunch, instead chips and granola bars are available at snack time between 12-3pm. The dinner refreshments are all cold selections right now, with hummus boxes, cheese trays and other options that change out nightly. We were in it for easy access to diet coke and bottled water. It’s a pretty big upcharge for what is currently offered, but we would do it again for the convenience.

There is no room service, nor is there any housekeeping service. If you need towels replaced or trash taken out, you will need to call the front desk. Note – we called to have trash removed, and it was not done, so your mileage may vary.

The only restaurant open in the hotel is Jake’s American Bar. The Tuk Tuk market is open, as is the gift shop by the front entrance.

Check in only took a few minutes; not a lot of travelers yet, so not a big line. Only 2 people working the front desk.

Temperature checks are being done on entry to the hotel each day. If you’re staying at the hotel, it’s quick and painless to get it done and get your new colored wristband for the day.

Next, the parks. Universal Studios was less busy than Islands of Adventure. On July 1-3, everything was almost an instant walk on in both parks using the Express Pass. We were able to get Hagrid’s virtual line passes every morning between 8:35 and 8:45, and then some dropped later in the day. Hagrid’s was almost walk on using the virtual line. There was a 2-3 minute wait for loading at the end of the queue, but before that we moved steadily. We made our virtual reservations for morning, and started each day in IOA at Hagrid’s. The two afternoon passes that we picked up on our trip were both canceled as Hagrid’s was down for weather. If there is a storm after 2pm, don’t plan on that ride coming up before park close.

On a couple of rides, we noted that the lighter load from fewer riders seemed to affect the smoothness of the ride – The Mummy, Ripsaw Falls and of all things Shrek 4D were much rougher than we remembered from our last visit. Then again, our last visit was 8 years ago, so we’re older, the rides are older, etc.

We noted that on July 1-2, compliance with social distancing and face coverings was about 99%. On July 3, it was about 90%, and on the 4th, it seemed to have fallen to 75%, with a lot of people wearing their mask under their chin, under their nose, etc. Also, people seem to recognize 6 feet from a forward and backward perspective, but not side-to-side when in the queues. During our trip it was in the mid-90s with high humidity. We used 3-ply paper masks from Sam’s club, and didn’t notice that they made it any hotter.

We didn’t use the early entry to Studios, since using the Express Pass was resulting in minimal waiting. In normal times, we would get up early, tour until 1 or 2, come back to the hotel, nap or hang by the pool and then go out again around 5. With park closing times at 6 or 7pm, that was no longer a good strategy, so we went from 9am to when we decided we were done for the day, and then went back to the hotel to shower and to get dinner somewhere at CityWalk. We were able to ride everything that we wanted multiple times while we were there.


Just curious… did you drive or fly?

Curious. I thought they didn’t open up access to VLPs until 9:00. I guess that has changed?

It’s consistently been 8:40ish since UOR reopened.

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All I know is watching a vlog of someone (maybe RixFlix?) where they had to wait until EXACTLY 9:00 before they could get a Hagrid’s VLP…and they were gone within minutes.

Glad to know they are available sooner…although, that poses problems of it’s own. We had intended to arrive at Universal Studios for the early park access so that we’re ready to go at 9:00. But if they are opening Hagrid’s VLPs at 8:40, then that means we need to be well within the range of the gates by then!

Although, I believe it has been confirmed by someone that they could reserve from their Universal Hotel…although, I’m not sure which hotel. Might only apply to those hotels that are right there, as opposed to the off-site hotels like Endless Summer where we’re staying.

This is accurate. VLP are being release a few minutes before park open.

Orlando Informer is who says they were able to do it from the Endless Summer Resorts


Also, for those asking, we got our Hagrid’s passes from our room at RPR each morning.


Thanks! :slight_smile:

ETA: Actually, a follow up on this.

When you booked Hagrid’s, were you able to select your preferred time?

I could see waiting in our hotel until we book a Hagrid’s time, and then taking the bus over to the parks for early entry…selecting a Hagrid’s time that is more like 10:30 or so, etc.

OH and when we booked some later drops for Hagrid’s, at least one time we did it from Studios.

For the morning drop, we were able to book our preferred time (in 30 minute increments) from between 8:50 am to around 3:00. In the afternoon, there were usually only 1-2 timeslots available.

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Awesome. Thanks, again, for sharing!

We did a short 3 day at UOR starting 7/3.

When i jumped on the app to get Hagrid’s, I waited till exactly 9 am and did miss out on the earliest times.
With that said, we easily booked 3 times with 3 phones and was able to get some slots much later in the day for multiple rides.
Absolutely no problem getting on multiple times, if you were even using 1 phone.
I could also book from Adventura, with no problems.

My experience with the masks was better. I would say on all days it appeared about 99% of people were following the guidelines for both masks and social distancing.

On Saturday night we went up to the roof top bar on top of Adventura. Even though UOR fireworks were canceled it was awesome!!! I cant imagine what it would look like if UOR had fireworks going on as well. You could see fireworks for miles going off all over in a 360 degree panorama. Super cool.


I thought about going to the bar on Adventura, but by evening, I had just lost all my energy. Next time! Which may be in the spring if my Disney trip gets punted again.

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How was it in Diagon Alley? Were people able to still do spells and such, or was it too crowded?

You can still do spells. It’s pretty crazy how uncrowded Universal is right now.


FWIW, we went to Universal in January 2019 and my impression that the Mummy was much less smooth & more jerky was also noted. But I do think your theory about a lighter load makes sense in general. Good observation.