Here’s How Universal Studios Japan Practices Social Distancing and Other Safety Precautions
They are back in business!
Social distancing on Hollywood Dream -The Ride- is practiced by leaving every other row of seats empty.
Good news! Residents from Kansai, Tokai, Hokuriku, Shikoku, and Chukoku regions can finally enjoy the Universal Studios Japan (USJ) on full-scale operations starting June 19. After almost 3 months of closure, the park pre-opened last June 8 with some guests from Osaka Prefecture.
To ensure a healthy and safe environment for everyone, there are new guidelines and protocols set by the theme park for guests and staff to follow. A writer from Kansai Walker magazine who visited the park after it reopened is here to show us the actual situation inside and what you can expect at USJ.
A writer who is a USJ expert visited the park.
Thoroughly implemented safety procedures from entrance to exit
Starting June 19, general operations began in the park to accommodate residents from the 6 prefectures of the Kansai region namely Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, and Wakayama. In accordance with the “Amusement Park and Theme Park New Coronavirus Infection Containment Guidelines” from the government, sanitation management is being thoroughly implemented at USJ.
Aside from this, here are 4 strictly implemented precautions:
- Wear a mask at all times inside the park.
- Measure body temperature at the entrance gate.
- Disinfect hands inside the park.
- Avoid crowds and secure distance from other guests.
Upon entering, guests will be instructed to register their email address on the Osaka COVID-19 Tracing System. Additionally, the ticket booth by the park entrance for same-day tickets is closed to limit the number of guests for the time being. This means you have to buy your studio passes ahead of time from online ticket stores.
Your body temperature will be taken before the entrance gate.
Hand disinfection is also required at the entrance.
For guests who don’t have their masks, don’t fret as there are masks available at the Universal Studios Store at Universal Citywalk Osaka which is in front of the gates.
Buy a mask at Universal Studios Store.
Once inside the park, the pathway leading to the attractions has stickers on the ground that indicate where guests should stand to keep the distance among them. Each attraction is also disinfected with alcohol before and after riding.
Interact with your favorite characters by sharing “air high fives”
When interacting with characters, “air high fives” are now done in exchange for high fives and hugs. You may also take photos with them as long as you maintain social distancing.
Air high five with minions while keeping your distance.
Take unique photos while maintaining a safe distance between you and the character.
Newly established “mask-free zone” for guests who need to rest
Prepared for guests to be able to take their masks off and rest while still maintaining social distance is the new “mask-free zone” on the wood deck along the Lagoon area. Here, you can feel the cool breeze from the lagoon and escape the discomfort of wearing a mask for a while.
The entrance is by the Illumination Theater.
Don’t forget to sanitize your hands before entering.
Feels good to take the mask off!
Another mask-free zone is set to be made at the far side of Gramercy Park for convenience. Other areas will also be equipped with mask-free zones in the future so guests can frequently take breaks from their masks as a countermeasure against heat stroke.
Sit side-by-side when dining in restaurants
Restaurants in the park are set up to allow guests to dine comfortably as long as there’s adequate space between groups. Guests are encouraged to sit side-by-side instead of sitting across each other to prevent droplet infection. This way, you can make sure you’re safe from the risk of infection and enjoy your meal comfortably.
Prevent infection by sitting on the same side of the table.
Guests can enjoy their meal while practicing social distancing.
Only one entrance is open where hand disinfectants are also in place.
Thorough cleaning and disinfection of tables, chairs, menus, and other items that guests touch are also strongly implemented in the diners.
Watch shows in silence in unity with the other guests
To prevent droplet infection, guests are required to wear masks and are requested not to scream, especially in attractions such as the Waterworld which boasts of powerful stunt actions.
For instance, at the WaterWorld show, when the Smokers invader Boss Deacon appears, there is usually a standard booing from the crowd. Instead of booing, the crowd can stomp their feet together to show their dislike and still keep the same energy and excitement it offered before.
Deacon waves to the audience.
Because we can’t boo, we stomp our feet!
Some benches have stickers that say “please do not sit on this bench” to ensure that every other row is kept empty.
The climax of the story is exciting just as always.
The capacity is also reduced at some attractions for an enhanced and safer experience. Handrails and seats are disinfected regularly as well.
Enjoy new street shows while maintaining social distance
From the classics to the latest numbers, Power of Pop: UK Edition features four talented singers performing UK pop and rock hits that everyone knows. It’s a street show that was scheduled for renewal in March this year and it was finally unveiled on the day of the reopening.
Each row has enough space for guests to enjoy the show.
The tape serves as a guide for guests to know where to stand in front of the stage.
Don’t forget to also watch Elmo and his friends getting into upbeat African rhythms in Sesame Street Afrobeat, the violin and modern shamisen combo in East meets West Quartet 2, and an out-of-this-world juggling performance with Mister Flying Hats!
Delighted park representatives
On the day general business has resumed, USJ Vice President Taku Murayama commented, “We are very pleased to resume general operations that many guests have been waiting for today.”
Vice President Taku Murayama
While the number of guests is restricted in the newly reopened park for now, more guests are already being expected in the near future. “With summer as the goal, we aim to widen operations gradually (national scale). We hope it helps revive tourism in Japan,” he says.
As long as the Three C’s (closed space, crowded places, and close-contact settings) are avoided and guests are made conscious of social distancing and other safety measures, everyone can have a good experience at USJ, just like how we were able to enjoy the attractions without worries.
Get a studio pass beforehand and enjoy USJ safely!
Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Kansai Walker™ (19 June 2020)