Guests Evacuated After Lightning Shuts Down Every Ride at Universal Studios

in Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan entrance with lightning, which forced multiple rides to close today

Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr

All rides temporarily closed at Universal Studios today due to lightning strikes.

Theme parks are intensely planned and meticulously operated – but there are some things that even Disney or Universal can’t control.

Hurricane Hilary atop of Disneyland
Credit: Inside the Magic

Weather has seriously impacted multiple Disney and Universal theme parks in the past. Hurricanes have closed Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando on multiple occasions, and even recently led to an early closure at Disneyland Resort when Hurricane Hilary became the first tropical storm to hit Southern California in over 80 years.

Beyond the United States, Tokyo Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland have also been forced to close due to typhoons in the past. The latter last closed in July due to Typhoon Talim, which forced Hong Kong to a standstill for a day.

Mickey Mouse Disney100 statue with Main Street, U.S.A., and Sleeping Beauty Castle in the background at Disneyland Park
Credit: Ed Aguila / Inside the Magic

Related: Hurricanes to Protests – Every Time the Disney Parks Have Closed

The same is true of Universal Studios Japan. Universal’s most successful park outside of the United States – which is home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the newly opened SUPER NINTENDO WORLD – was forced to shut its gates due to Typhoon Lan on August 15.

Weather doesn’t always need to be as extreme as a hurricane to impact a theme park’s operations. As anyone who’s ever visited a Florida theme park will tell you, thunderstorms can close down rides en masse due to the risk of lightning strikes. Disneyland Paris also fell foul of storms this month – and now, so has Universal Studios Japan.

The globe at the Universal Studios Japan entrance
Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr

According to USJ1, all attractions were closed at approximately 2 p.m. (JCST) due to lightning strikes in the area. This led guests to be evacuated indoors – including those at Straw Hat Crew’s Feast Restaurant, which is partially outdoors.

Videos shared from the park by X (formerly known as Twitter) user @hu_haruharu showed dark clouds and guests running from the oncoming storm.

The current USJ thunder and rain are great, and the sky is dark.
All restaurants and attractions such as sunless are cancelled.
#USJ_now

All Universal Studios Japan rides including The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Elmo’s Go Go Skateboard, The Flying Dinosaur – the park’s resident Jurassic Park (1994) roller coaster – and Jurassic Park: The Ride were all temporarily closed due to the weather.

Guests ride Flying Dinosaur
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Related: Universal Cracks Down on Dangerous Guest Activity

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is set to close down much more permanently at the park in 2024. The ride, which is a direct replica of the attraction found at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, is set to embark upon its final adventure on January 22, 2024.

Jurassic Park: The Ride is also set to close at Universal Studios Japan for two years on September 4. While Universal hasn’t made an official announcement about the extent of its refurbishment, it’s widely rumored to be receiving a Jurassic World (2015) makeover like Universal Studios Hollywood.

Rides gradually reopened later in the day at Universal Studios Japan, starting with indoor attractions such as Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge. Osaka remains under a thunderstorm advisory tomorrow (August 24), with more disruption expected to rides and entertainment across Universal Studios Japan.

Have you ever been caught in a big storm at a theme park? Share your experience with Inside the Magic in the comments!

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