Universal Studios Hollywood to reopen on weekends for food and shopping event

Local news

For the first time since closing nearly a year ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Universal Studios Hollywood will be opening its gates so fans can shop, dine and stroll through most of the theme park on weekends.

The “Taste of Universal,” a ticketed event, will begin March 12 and be held each Friday to Sunday from 12 to 7 p.m., Universal Studios Hollywood announced Thursday.

Rides, shows and attractions remain closed, but visitors will get to wander around some of the park’s most popular destinations to buy merchandise, food, beverages and other goods.

Among the areas included are “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” where fans can buy sweet treats from Honeydukes or a wand at Ollivanders, and indulge their butterbeer cravings.

In The Simpsons-themed “Springfield, U.S.A.,” guests can feast on burgers and doughnuts at Krusty Burger and the Lard Lad Donut Cart respectively, among other choices.

Along with old favorites, Universal is introducing some new options, such as The Minion Cafe, which will open adjacent to the “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” ride, and The Pets Store, which is a “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash” attraction shop.

A “Taste of Universal” also includes access to areas of the park where there will be nearly 70 culinary options to choose from, including 30 new ones.

Ticket prices start at $44 (plus tax) for adults, and include five tasting options; for children ages 3 to 9, the cost is $25 (plus tax) and includes three tasting choices. Those who have an annual or season pass will get a discount on admission.

The theme parks reminds guests that, as is the case with Universal CityWalk, health and safety measures are in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including a mask requirement, capacity limits and physical distancing measures.

Universal Studios is the latest to reopen some restaurants and shops inside its gates as California’s large theme parks remain closed indefinitely amid the pandemic. Knott’s Berry Farm and Disney California Adventure are also holding similar food- and dining-centered events beginning this month.

Full details about Universal’s event can be found here.

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