Universal Guest Wants ‘Harry Potter’ Prop Turned Off For Anxious Guests

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Guests Shopping in Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World at Universal Orlando Resort

Credit: Universal

Universal Orlando Resort is home to numerous areas themed after cultural icons like Marvel, Dr. SeussThe Simpsons, and the Wizarding World of Harry PotterEach area contains rides, food, shops, entertainment, and even characters inspired by the franchise. Sometimes, atmospheric sounds, smells, and special effects make the lands more immersive.

Related: Warner Bros. Promises Much More ‘Potter’ to Come – “We’re Only Just Starting”

This is especially true in Hogsmeade at Universal Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida, and lands of the same name at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan. One of the most awe-inspiring details sits on top of Gringotts Bank, home to Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, lives a massive stone dragon that occasionally breathes fire into Diagon Alley!

Hogwarts castle holiday at universal studios hollywood
Hogwarts Castle, Credit: Universal

But one recent Universal Orlando Resort Guest advocated for the dragon to be turned off, as it overwhelmed their anxiety and panic disorders. “Diagon Alley was a dream for me but I hated that forking dragon so much,” Reddit user u/castlesandcottages wrote. “The noise being pumped in over the bridge to simulate the train also majorly stressed me out, but I didn’t expect the dragon to be that loud, and I had a very intense panic attack because of it.”

“It also slowed the foot traffic to a complete halt as everyone stood still every five minutes to pull their phone out and try to video it going off. Slightly less than magical to experience,” they continued. “I feel like Diagon Alley is the most immersive portion of their parks yet, but there being a huge stationery dragon sitting on top of Gringotts only takes away from that. I can also imagine it’s like the wizard equivalent to an ‘attention Kmart shoppers’ for the employees working there. I kinda wish they would just turn it off—or not have built it to begin with.”

Guests riding Flight of the Hippofriff in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood
Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

Most Universal Parks fans empathized but disagreed. “I think this is more of an issue with your triggers and less an issue with the park. Granted, you have no control over your anxiety disorder, but you are basically wanting the park to accommodate what best suits you,” said u/fm67530.

“You need to do what best helps your triggers, while places adhere to ADA, some things don’t fall under that. You need to be responsible for yourself. If the experience is too much for you, then maybe consider not going back or finding a way to personally deal with it,” u/kelhar417 wrote. “It’s a theme park, it’s going to be loud.”

Should Universal Orlando Resort make changes to accommodate sensory issues better? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Universal Parks Guest experience. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Universal Park operations.

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