Universal Orlando Cracks Down on Illegal Guest Behavior, Fans Infuriated

in Universal Orlando

Riders on Hagrid's Adventure

Credit: Universal

Theme Park fans became infuriated on Monday when it was revealed that Universal Orlando Resort would crack down on a common but illegal activity.

Reddit user u/NoAd1111 visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter last weekend to ride its newest attraction: Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. After they got off the ride, they attempted to use their phone to take a picture of their ride photo on a screen instead of paying for a print or download. But a Team Member quickly stopped them.

Hogwarts Castle lights up with Hufflepuff projections
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

“The crew member at the ride photo station seemed like a real stickler,” the Guest recalled. “Making sure nobody’s phone was out and as I was about to take a picture he blocked my phone with his hand. He said if anyone took any pictures it would be theft and they would be thrown out the Park.”

As commenters pointed out, Universal Orlando Resort owns the rights to any ride photos taken at Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure. Even though the pictures contain Guests’ likenesses, they are copyrighted by Universal.

“Calling it theft might be a bit of an overstatement but the ride photos are taken with the intention to be sold,” u/fdbryant3 explained. “So if you are taking a picture, some would view it as taking something without paying for it. From a legal standpoint, you are probably committing a copyright violation which some regard as theft, although it is never prosecuted as such.”

Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and Universal Studios Florida icons and entrances together
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Still, the Guest felt it was wrong for the Team Member to accuse them of stealing for an innocuous, common act.

“Didn’t think taking a photo of myself would be theft lol,” they argued. “Still crazy they charge you so much, nearly 30 dollars for a single photo.”

Universal Orlando Resort has not commented publicly about the alleged crackdown on ride photo theft.

Should taking pictures of ride photo screens at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure be permitted? 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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