77 days after being shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic, Universal Orlando’s theme parks is operating again — for a few select team members at least.

The first of two team member preview days took place Monday, ahead of annual passholder previews on Wednesday and Thursday and the full public reopening on Friday. 

Some of the lucky few guests inside the park shared photos of the preview on social media, showing off the sparse crowds as well as the signage informing guests of the new coronavirus-centric procedures. 

Character meets-and-greets, for instance, are going to look different for a while. 

Physical distancing signage can be found throughout the parks in any area that attracts a line. This includes shops, as temporary queues are in place for the tightly-packed stores in Diagon Alley.

Queues were also set up for typically crowded locker areas, like those at the Incredible Hulk coaster. 

That need for physical distancing will also change ride experiences. Guests reported that preshows across the park were being bypassed to reduce crowding. 

For example, on the E.T. Adventure at Universal Studios Florida, riders walked straight into the forest queue — bypassing both the Steven Spielberg video and the name card stations (the final E.T. animatronic now says a generic “Goodbye, friend” at the end of the ride). 

In one notable change, all guests were allowed to ride Pteranodon Flyers, the Jurassic Park attraction that typically requires that people over 56 inches tall be accompanied by a smaller rider. Instead, it was one rider per flyer. 

The reopened park also allowed for a closer view on progress for the still-unannounced Jurassic Park coaster. 

Construction has continued while Islands of Adventure has been closed, with more coaster track being moved around even during the preview. 

As part of the Jurassic Park revamp, a new home for the Raptor Encounter meet-and-greet has now opened.

The Bourne Stuntacular at Universal Studios Florida was nearing its debut before Universal closed in mid-March. There’s no word on when the stunt show will debut — with all parks avoiding packing guests into indoor spaces while COVID-19 remains a threat — but new banners now adorn the outside of its home in Universal Studios Florida. 

Universal Orlando’s theme parks will reopen to the general public Friday. A long list of new safeguards have been put into place to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including a requirement for all guests and employees to wear face masks.

Yes, Disney World and Universal Orlando can require guests to wear face masks
COVID-19 notes: Epic Universe delayed, not dead / Disney Springs’ next reopening phase
Theme park data: How often has Universal’s Hagrid ride been closed?