Universal Orlando Resort is often filled with thrills and laughter, but sometimes, guests do not get to walk away with a smile on their faces.
The Orlando Sentinel recently shared a series of recent injuries guests at Universal Studios, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay have faced — a majority of which have allegedly not had full details shared by Universal officials. Most recently, it was noted that “A 25-year-old woman had a seizure on Universal’s Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure.” The exact date was not noted, but the Sentinel did share that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services updates their report every three months [details below].
The guest’s current health status was not mentioned, but we do know that she must have been in the hospital for over 24 hours, as that is the length of hospitalization time required for Universal to have to document the injury as something that occurred on their property.
As the Orlando Sentinal states, “Every three months, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services publicly updates a report that is supposed to detail the most serious injuries at the theme parks. Universal Orlando, Disney World, Legoland, SeaWorld, and Busch Gardens self-disclose when their visitors are hurt or sick on rides that required at least 24 hours of hospitalization.”
The interesting thing here is that these documented instances, according to the Sentinel, are not always fully accurate. In 2019, there are two examples of injuries that occurred on Universal Orlando property in which the recorded injury and what actually happened were seemingly dramatically different. The first is of a boy experiencing “foot pain” on E.T. Adventure. By solely disclosing foot pain, it sounds like the guest in question had a minor toe injury — he actually broke both his tibia and fibula, the two major bones in the leg.
The second example of a fogged report comes from a Volcano Bay incident where a guest experienced “numbness”. In reality, according to the Orlando newspaper, the guest broke his neck and laid temporarily paralyzed on a water slide.
Universal knew for years there were problems on the ride but did nothing to fix it, leaving it open to the public. He called it a “physics problem” — riders, primarily heavier adults, traveled too fast as they passed through a wave of water at the end and into a runoff that wasn’t built long enough to slow them down safely.
This is a problem Universal agreed they were aware of. However, the injury that was severe enough to take to court was still only documented as “numbness.”
In another instance, a 14-year old girl was also reported to have had a seizure on Universal’s The Incredible Hulk Coaster.
Florida agriculture spokesman Franco Ripple met with Orlando theme parks on December 8, 2020 to discuss how more accurate information can be documented in the future. Ripple’s statement to the Orlando Sentinel regarding what came of the meeting was, “FDACS always strives to maximize public safety and expects the highest levels of safety and transparency at Florida’s theme parks. These safety efforts will continue into 2021 and beyond.”
Universal Orlando Resort will always operate with the utmost safety in mind for their guests, but of course, accidents do occur on rare occasions.