UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Universal Studios Hollywood will soon roll out the red carpet to ticket buyers.
The theme park will reopen to the public on April 16, after more than a year of being shut down by the state as part of an effort to slow the coronavirus's spread.
"We are incredibly thrilled to finally be able to open Universal Studios Hollywood, return team members to work, and welcome guests back to enjoy our amazing rides," said Karen Irwin, president and COO of Universal Studios Hollywoo, in a statement. "It has been a very challenging year and we are overjoyed to have arrived at this moment."
The announcement comes as coronavirus cases across the state continue to trend downward and vaccinations among the population rise. Theme parks have suffered since the pandemic began, forcing them to lay off and furlough tens of thousands of staff, and have criticized the governor for not sending guidance soon enough.
But after the state updated its theme park guidance and allowed for their reopening starting April 1 earlier this month, theme park operators are quickly preparing to reopen.
Under the new guidance, theme parks can reopen at limited capacity as long as their home county has reached the red tier in the state's four-color coded system that monitors coronavirus cases. Currently, Los Angeles — home of Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain — is in the red tier, the state's second most restrictive tier. But on Tuesday, the county officially met the criteria for the state's less restrictive, orange tier.
Universal Studios joins Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Legoland, and Six Flags Magic Mountain to announce reopening dates. Six Flags Magic Mountain is opening later this week. Legoland in Carlsbad plans to reopen in mid-April, Disneyland, and Disney California Adventure on April 30, and Knott's Berry Farm in May.
Universal Studios officials on Tuesday said most of their park rides would be operational, but that some attractions will reopen at a later date to comply with certain government restrictions. Officials did not disclose which rides will reopen at a later date.
Universal is banking on new and mainstay attractions such as The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!, Jurassic World — The Ride, and Wizarding World of Harry Potter, to bring in the crowds.
According to Themed Entertainment Association, Universal Studios Hollywood annually attracts more than nine million visitors before the pandemic.
As per the state's official guidance, Universal said tickets would be available to California residents only. They can be purchased online starting Thursday, April 8.