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PHOTO REPORT: Universal Orlando Resort 12/31/20 (New Year’s Eve Crowds, Parks Not at Capacity, Merchandise Sales, 2021 Voodoo Doughnut, and More)

Happy New Year’s Eve from the Universal Orlando Resort! It’s been a crazy year for everyone and we’re excited to spend the last day of 2020 in the parks. After the parks have hit capacity all week, even one day within just minutes of opening, we weren’t fooling around this morning. We arrived before the sun had even come up for the day and we were not alone.

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As we pulled up to the parking toll booths, we were surprised to see just how many other cars were waiting. At 5:30 AM, with Early Park Admission at 7 AM and regular admission starting at 8 AM, it was surprising to see how many people were waiting.

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Once we got into the resort, we made our way to the line for Universal Studios Florida first. As the sun slowly crept up, we prepared for the crowds.

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It was wild around the entrance of the park as soon as 7 AM Early Park Admission started. Crowds were everywhere! Some guests chose to wait in line for TODAY Cafe while others hung out in the grass. Of course, many people crowded the area hoping to be first for the official opening at 8 AM.

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Lucky for us, we have Early Park Admission and we were able to squeeze our way through the crowd and into the park. Now we can finally have some personal space.

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We wandered a little bit in the park, appreciating the emptiness before 8 AM. We were quite surprised to find a line of guests outside of Fast & Furious: Supercharged awaiting the attraction to open. There was a line before it had even opened! We tried to warn people.

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We made our way back to the front entrance to watch the madness as regular day guests were allowed to enter. What a sight to see! You can see more of the madness in our post here.

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Once the park had opened, the wait times shot up around the park. Lines for popular rides like Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and Transformers the Ride 3D stretched out of the queue. The line for Gringotts was all the way into London. Even the Simpsons Ride had a 140 minute wait.

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Inside the Holiday Tribute Store, we discovered the Macy’s merchandise is now 70% off. Unfortunately, the Earl the Squirrel merchandise is still full price.

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The Yule Ball ornaments are on sale 6 for $100, too.

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Things seemed to calm down after the crazy opening and the parks never did reach capacity.

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We stopped into Voodoo Doughnut at CityWalk to grab a New Year’s Doughnut. Unfortunately, we weren’t crazy about it. You can read our review here.

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Over at Islands of Adventure, we discovered select Annual Passholder merchandise is now on sale in Toon Extra.

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Some part of the park are very quiet.

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And other areas are very busy. Raptor Encounter was at capacity when we walked by. We’ll have to come back another day to meet Blue.

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More trees have gone in around the Jurassic World VelociCoaster. We’re hopeful more of these walls will come down soon so we can get a better look.

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It was busy and many wait times were high, but it wasn’t nearly as busy as it has been this week. We’ll take advantage of lower crowds and enjoy the parks while we can.

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That’s all for this trip to the Universal Orlando Resort. 2020 has been a wild year, but we’re looking forward to an exciting 2021. Stay tuned to WDWNT and Universal Parks News Today for more capacity updates, crowd coverage, and all the latest news from Universal Parks around the globe!