Universal Orlando Resort has issued a rather blunt warning for visitors that begs the question… is attending a theme park in the midst of the coronavirus worth the risk?

This advisory follows in the footsteps of its grand announcement that it will soon welcome guests once again, only three months after the pandemic caused them to close. The candid proclamation mirrors that of one that appeared on the Walt Disney World website, prior to the reopening of Disney Springs. In short, while the park is taking every precaution you, the guest, are ultimately responsible for your own safety when it comes to coronavirus. we’ll be honest… we understand all too well why this message is integral for a Goliath company. But, it doesn’t give us the warm and fuzzies.

Universal Orlando’s Website Disclaimer:

“Note that any public location where people are present provides an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 and we cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed during your visit.”

The reopening of Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Volcano Bay and Universal’s Islands of Adventure will fall approximately three weeks after their beloved CityWalk resumed operation.

What’s The Rush?

If you’re asking, what’s the rush? Why open so soon? Take note that Comcast, Universal’s parent company, cautioned just last month that it would lose roughly $500 million in revenue should the theme parks remain closed throughout the month of June. $500 million! Do you even know how many Voodoo Doughnuts that is?! That’s approximately 1,923,077 doughnuts! Even the great Harry Potter cannot conjure a spell that could make up for the mammoth loss!

As John Sprouls (Universal Parks & Resorts’ Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer) explained to local officials as of last week, employees will return to the parks on June 1st, 2020, followed by select invited guests on June 3rd, 2020, and finally, the general public to follow just two days later.

Slow Down There, Thrill-Seeker!

If you’re planning on rushing to the park to take advantage of this rare window of light(er) crowd capacity, hang tight to your lap bar! After all, while there may be shorter wait times than usual, there are likely to be other additional hassles for which you may be forced to contend, including limiting total capacity and a whole slew of social distancing guidelines. In addition, you will be forced to have your temperatures checked before entering the parks and will be required to wear a face covering while inside.

Naturally, the parks don’t wish to experience an outbreak on their property and are taking every precaution necessary. However, one cannot ignore that their word of warning comes from a matter of liability. The prospect of legal action from a visitor infected on property undoubtedly exists and the parks must do whatever they can to limit that, for their sake and ours. We have seen what some sue-happy folks will kvetch about when things aren’t to their liking.

“We want people to know before you go exactly what we’re going to expect — exactly what we’re going to provide, from the point of view of our team members, but also what we’re going to expect of guests,” said Sprouls.

Beat The Rush

If you’re willing to roll the dice, you may be pleased to know that it is highly likely those willing to go may not be there right at the jump. After all, most theme park dwellers will require a flight, lodging, and park tickets. So, it is safe to assume that locals will enjoy free reign of the parks, if just for a little while. Besides, it can be assumed that a disclaimer such as this may help in keeping a few visitors away, as it helps to further explain that despite all efforts, inevitably, you are still at risk!

Give My Regards to Kong!

Universal Orlando Resort officially became the largest theme park to schedule a reopening upon being given permission to do so by the state last week. Meanwhile, their number one competition has yet to set a reopening date. Local-themed entertainment Gatorland resumed operation as of Memorial Day Weekend. Little by little… we’re getting there, folks. Even if at our own pace.

Tickets to opening day are still available as of 5/26/2020 at Universal Orlando. If you plan to go, proceed with caution and tell Kong that we said “See ya soon, big guy!”

Oh… who are we kidding… see ya there, friends!