Fans of Universal Studios Hollywood will once again be able to experience interactive movie magic when the park officially reopens in April 2021. Following the park's closure in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Universal Studios Hollywood in California announced plans to reopen on April 16, 2021, according to a March 30 press release, but not everyone will be able to pass through the gates. Similar to Disneyland's reopening plans, Universal Studios ticket restrictions for April 2021 are pretty extensive. Here's what to know about who can buy tickets.
Universal Studios Hollywood initially had plans to reopen in July 2020, but they were delayed due to high COVID-19 cases in California. Universal CityWalk reopened to guests in June 2020, but the rest of the park has been closed for more than a year. The long wait will come to an end when Universal Studios Hollywood welcomes back guests on Friday, April 16. Due to the ongoing pandemic, however, there will be some big restrictions on who can buy tickets.
In line with California's governmental safety requirements for theme parks to limit park capacities, Universal Studios Hollywood won't be selling tickets to non-California residents during the initial reopening — tickets will only be available to California residents. As of April 1, it's not clear when non-California visitors will be able to buy tickets.
For California residents who are eligible to go to Universal Studios Hollywood, ticket sales will open exclusively online on Thursday, April 8. Anyone who has unused tickets that were purchased before April 8 will need to use an online reservation system to book their entrance date.
Prior to the official reopening, Universal Studios' Annual and Season Pass members will get a preview day on Thursday, April 15. Anyone with these passes will also get a series of free Bonus Days on select dates from Thursday, April 15 through Sunday, May 16, which can be reserved online beginning on Monday, April 5. It's important to note that regular use of these passes won't resume until Monday, May 17.
When the park reopens, guests will notice some rides and attractions won't be available during Universal Studios Hollywood's initial reopening, and will instead open at a later date. Inside the park, guests will need to wear fear coverings (which will be available for purchase for visitors who forget to bring one), and must also undergo a temperature check before entering the park. If someone has a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, they won't be allowed to enter the park, and will have to come back at a later date.
The theme park will also enforce physical distancing throughout with floor markers, require hand sanitizer use before boarding rides and entering specific locations, and offer virtual lines for participating attractions in the Universal Studios app.
Guests who are able to visit Universal Studios Hollywood during its initial reopening will get to see a couple of new additions, including its new "The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!" ride, and the new Indominus rex in its "Jurassic World—The Ride" attraction.
Before considering park plans, keep in mind the CDC suggests as of Feb. 16 that people "delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated." As you plan future travel, be sure to follow the most up-to-date CDC guidelines on quarantining and testing.