Temporarily Closed Universal Attraction Catches Fire

in Universal Orlando


Credit: Universal

For massive theme parks, such as Universal Orlando Resort or Walt Disney World, things don’t often go awry, but there are occasional incidents. Today, for example, at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, one of the theme park’s water attractions experienced a fire while undergoing refurbishment.

Credit: Universal

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Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges is currently closed, which makes the attraction even more susceptible to something going wrong, considering construction is ongoing, and it is not meant for Guests to experience. This morning, Dawn (@Bi_Boscha) took to Twitter to note that there was a fire on the attraction.

BREAKING: Fire erupts on Popeye and Blutos Bilge Rat Barges at Universal Orlando’s Islands Of Adventure The fire broke out near the back half of the ride, on a section of track near the boat wash. The ride has been closed for refurbishment

Related: Universal Reveals the Fate of Missing Jaws Statue 

The fire was large enough to have noticeable flames and black smoke that could reportedly be seen by Guests in the park, even past the refurbishment walls. But, it was not until now that Orlando reporter Ashley Carter (@AshleyLCater) was able to explain exactly what happened.

Info about the fire at Islands of Adventure: External pump was being used to remove water from Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges (closed for refurb). Construction worker, while refilling the fuel tank, overfilled it, causing small flash fire, per Orlando Fire Dept spokesperson. The fire was quickly extinguished. When a unit from the fire department arrived to the scene, the fire was already out. There were no injuries, per spokesperson.

It seems that the fire on the attraction was accidental, and although it may have been alarming to see, was very easy to maintain and then put out. As Ashley mentioned, when the fire department arrived, the fire was already extinguished. There has been no news of any Universal Team Member being injured during the fire, which we hope means that everyone is safe.

Credit: Universal

Water attractions often close during the winter months for maintenance, so there is nothing to be concerned about when wondering why Popeye & Bluto’s is down. In the instance of Universal, both Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges, and Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls are currently unavailable. However, Universal opted to close the entire section that houses Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges in Toon Lagoon! This eliminates Popeye’s boat, as well as Popeye-themed quick-service dining location, Wimpy’s.

Credit: Universal

The refurbishment is set to wrap up by February 19, 2021 and it currently has not been noted that today’s fire will affect that return date.

Stay tuned to Inside the Magic for all of your Universal Orlando news!

Did you see photos of today’s fire? Let us know if you think the attraction will be postponed in its reopening.

Speaking of visiting Universal Orlando Resort, do you want to plan a visit? Mardi Gras is underway and Guests can eat and drink while taking in the festivities at Universal Studios Florida! Want to ride Popeye’s? Universal’s Islands of Adventure will give you all the water attractions your heart desires.

Volcano Bay, Universal’s water park, will also be reopening at the end of the month to Guests, and CityWalk is the perfect place to eat and shop! With so many savings on Universal Orlando Annual Passes and more, visiting has never been more affordable. Click here to begin your adventure today! 


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