“PLEASE Stop”: Universal Guests Beg Resort to Clamp Down on Dangerous Behavior

in Universal Orlando

Riders on Hagrid's Adventure

Credit: Universal

In the age of smartphones and Instagram, it’s the norm to capture every moment – especially when you’re somewhere as thrilling as a theme park.

However, a recent plea from fans has shed light on an ongoing issue at Universal’s Islands of Adventure: people filming on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and other rides have caused disruptions and even shutdowns.

Guests ride Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Credit: Universal

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is one of Universal Orlando’s most thrilling rides. Transporting riders to the Forbidden Forest, it brings Guests face-to-face with some of the magical creatures from the world of Harry Potter, including Fluffy the three-headed-dog, Blast-Ended Skrewts, Centaurs, and Cornish Pixies.

With sights like these, the temptation to whip out your phone is, understandably, strong. However, Reddit user Krystist took to the platform to share their frustration at parkgoers who film on the coaster. Sharing a vlog from YouTuber Kyle Pallo – who filmed part of his video on the ride – they wrote: “PLEASE stop filming on Hagrid’s, last time I rode it got shut down for an hour because someone was doing this and dropped their phone.”

Track for Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Credit: Universal

Others soon joined the conversation in agreement, highlighting similar experiences on other attractions within the park.

One user, soup_fairy, complained about phone-induced interruptions on Jurassic Park River Adventure. “I would genuinely pay good money to have a go on River Adventure where I can hear the opening dialogue without a Cast Member having to tell people to put their phones away,” they wrote. “Maybe I’m old but I just don’t understand the obsession with not being able to keep your hands off your phone for 1-3 minutes while you enjoy a ride.”

Another Reddit user added their own experience on River Adventure, explaining that Universal Team Members tend to be lenient about recording until moments before the final drop. “One of those times, the boat stopped just before the drop because the person recording didn’t understand what the TM was saying,” wrote user tejojo. “He had to reiterate ‘all the way away.'”

Riders on Jurassic Park River Adventure
Credit: Universal

The core of the matter isn’t that other Guests filming is annoying (although that is often the case). Holding your phone mid-ride is a risky move that not only endangers your device but also inconveniences those looking to enjoy the ride.

Some people called upon Universal to clamp down on the issue. User ehukai highlighted how lax it’s become towards Guests filming in general, writing: “Every time I go I see more and more phones out on rides and fewer TMs saying anything about it. I was there the day before Poseidon’s Fury closed and the guy standing in front of me had a huge DSLR on gimbal filming the whole time and no TM even looked [in] his direction.”

Blue Streak at Cedar Point
Credit: Cedar Point

Unfortunately, this problem isn’t limited to Universal. There have been multiple incidents over the years, including a case where a Cedar Point worker confiscated someone’s phone as they rode Blue Streak, while a stray phone that flew off Iron Gwazi broke a Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Guest’s nose last August.

Some Parks are already making moves to mitigate the risks – both for their Guests’ sake and their own. Nobody wants to be sued over a rogue iPhone. Disney has introduced an increasing number of phone bans on rides, and the likes of Cedar Point enforcing a strict no-phone policy. Here’s hoping that Universal follows suit.

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