Note: this post is dated. Universal is no longer requiring masks outside, and inside you only need to wear masks if you’re not vaccinated. Things seem to be back to normal at Volcano Bay.
What to Expect at Volcano Bay with COVID-19 Restrictions
Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando just reopened (at the end of February 2021) after its first seasonal closure. I wrote this post when Volcano Bay reopened last June after the initial COVID lockdown, and Universal has confirmed that all procedures from last year remain in place, so this information should still be accurate. As always, if you head to Volcano Bay and find that anything is different, please let me know and I’ll update this post.
Modified Opening Hours at Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay opens daily at 10am. Officially Universal says that Volcano Bay closing times “vary”, but last year the park typically closed at 5pm.
Volcano Bay Capacity Is Limited
Universal has been reducing Volcano Bay capacity since last June. They haven’t provided specific Volcano Bay park capacity numbers, but if you’re able to get in, the reduced capacity is a good thing. Have fun with fewer people around.
Ride Capacity Is Limited
Every attraction is limiting the number of people at any one time, including pools and rivers. And you won’t be paired up with others on multi-person rafts – it will just be individual family/friend groups.
Some Rides May Not Be Open
Universal has said that if there are rides at Volcano Bay or the other parks that they don’t feel can be operated within their COVID-19 guidelines/requirements, they’re going to keep those closed. In reality I haven’t heard of any Volcano Bay rides being closed every day.
Volcano Bay Masks: Face Coverings Are Required, but Not on Rides
Officially: Bring a face mask, or you’ll be able to purchase one in the entrance area. These are required when you are unable to socially distance. Face masks are not required (or allowed) on rides and slides or in the pools.
Unofficially: Friends have reported that really the masks are just needed on transportation to Volcano Bay, when you’re going through the entrance, and when you’re anywhere near restaurants and food stations. People are generally not wearing masks otherwise, including when walking to/from rides.
A Temperature Check Is Required
There is a touchless temperature scanning before you’re admitted to Volcano Bay. If you’re 100.4 degrees or higher you will not be admitted.
But really, if you or anyone you’re with isn’t feeling well, don’t go to the parks in the first place. Wait until you’re healthy and you know you’re not going to be possibly infecting others. Please!
Physical Distancing Is In Effect
As with everywhere else, try not to get within six feet of others. Beach chair setup and lines at rides reflect this new reality. Lifeguards are enforcing distancing in the water.
Keep Your Hands Clean
You’ve gotten used to this the past year, so keep going with it. Wash your hands often (20 seconds is the current guideline) and use hand sanitizer. There is hand sanitizer at some ride locations.
Please don’t be mean or rude to staff members who are enforcing Volcano Bay mask and distancing guidelines. This will continue to be the normal operating procedure for the foreseeable future. Everyone wants to maintain a healthy environment. Try not to get frustrated.
Your Volcano Bay Feedback
Have you visited Volcano Bay recently with COVID-19 guidelines in effect? What did you think of the new procedures? Did the reduced capacity make up for the distancing and Volcano Bay face mask requirements?
Other Volcano Bay Links
- Universal’s COVID-19 Reopening FAQ
- Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando: What You Need to Know
- What Can I Take Into Volcano Bay?
Face coverings for an outdoor place is stupid and my family will not participate until this is not required
Eric Stoen says
We’ve planned a big group awhile back (pre-covid).
Reserve a cabana and ready to spend $2000 overall cost for the group into a one day trip.
We are trying to get ahold of someone to get better details on the mask. Wearing a mask outside in a swimming environment?! Someone needs fired for that decision. Even the CDC website says there is next to no chance of getting covid in a pool or when outside keeping 6ft. apart. You really think vacationers want a tan line across there nose and mouth?! And shorting the hours, does that mean I get a discount on my cabana and the tickets I’m buying? If masks are required, I’ll take money somewhere else that doesn’t require a mask outside.
Eric Stoen says
I get your frustration, but a few points:
1) There’s still a pandemic, and cases are increasing as states and attractions are reopening. It’s a nasty disease.
2) In order to reopen, Universal had to get government approval of its reopening guidelines. There’s still debate as to how much asymptomatic spreading is going on, and how much masks work. They may do a lot to stop the spread of the coronavirus, or they may do very little. Universal and Florida can’t take a chance. They have to rely on the best current health guidance regarding masks, and that’s what they got approved to reopen – masks required. This isn’t their choice. Universal isn’t any happier about this than you are.
3) They’ll re-evaluate as soon as the scientific consensus changes and masks are no longer recommended.
4) I haven’t heard from anyone yet who’s visited Volcano Bay on how much people are wearing masks walking around the park, what people do with masks when they go on rides, and how much Universal is enforcing the mask regulation at the water park. I know they’re being strict at the other two parks.
5) A mask tan would actually show that you care about others enough to wear a mask.
6) A $2,000 trip to Volcano Bay isn’t required. We’re at the Grand Canyon this week. There’s hardly anyone here. It’s not going to cost anywhere near $2,000, and the Grand Canyon is a lot prettier than Volcano Bay. Go to a National Park instead of a water park. Save Volcano Bay until Universal is able to safely drop the mask restriction if it annoys you that much.
Samantha Mas says
Thank you so much for this blog post! It helped a lot with our upcoming trip to volcano bay.
Just here to say, your responses to these comments are on point. 👏 Thank you!
Eric Stoen says
Ha, thanks! And obviously over the summer it’s become more and more clear that masks work. Are they necessary if you’re outside and not near anyone else? No, and Universal seems to agree with that at the water park, but they still have to adhere to state and local guidelines. For people to constantly send me comments saying that masks are stupid is ridiculous. I don’t publish most of them. Masks are required in most social situations worldwide for the time being. Get over it.
Do you have to wear a swim suit
Eric Stoen says
That’s covered in this post: https://travelbabbo.com/what-can-i-take-into-volcano-bay/. Essentially you can wear anything you want for the park, but if you want to go on a ride or slide or into the pool you need to wear a swimsuit.
Ed Vighetto says
How can I pre-reserve a shaded lounge chair?
Eric Stoen says
That info is all on Universal’s website: https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/theme-parks/volcano-bay/cabana-rentals. Looks like you just need to call them.