‘Harry Potter’ Ride Hospitalizes Guest, Injury Leaves Him “Unable to Speak”

in Disney Parks, Harry Potter, Universal Orlando

Track for Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Credit: Universal

No guest ever expects to leave a theme park and head to a hospital instead of home, but sadly, these incidents do happen, and in Florida, if the guest is hospitalized for a minimum of 24 hours, it must be reported. Today, we will take a look at some of the shocking incidents that took place not only at Walt Disney World, but Universal Orlando Resort.

Universal Orlando Resort, Marvel Super Hero Island at Islands of Adventure
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

When guests think of theme parks, they often think of the two main competitors in the theme park industry: Disney and Universal. In America, both Disney and Universal go head-to-head in a couple of locations.

Orlando is home to Walt Disney World Resort which houses Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT. Guests can also take a look at their water parks, such as Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. On top of that, the San Francisco-sized lot also has well over 25 theme resorts, mini golf, full-on golf courses, Disney Springs, and more.

Down the road, guests can find its competitor, Universal Orlando Resort.

When visiting Universal Orlando Resort, guests can enjoy attractions such as Rip Ride Rockit, MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack, Transformers: The Ride, and more. Visit Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you can venture into Gringotts! Islands of Adventure has some fantastic attractions like the new Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, and more! Volcano Bay is also open for those who want to get their splash on.

An empty Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Orlando Florida
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

As one may imagine, there is so much to offer at both parks and safety is always a priority.

Recently, we reported on a bloody fingerprint being found at one of Disney’s All-Star Resorts. The fingerprint was found on a drawer handle and was not cleaned before a family checked in. To their horror, they got ready to enter their room for the first day of their magical vacation, which was quickly turned sideways.

Seeing fresh blood in your Disney resort room is, of course, unprecedented and unacceptable. In the end, the family ended up getting moved to another room, and it appears that a Cast Member likely injured themselves while cleaning the room and did not notice the blood they left behind.

When it comes to Disney, we also just shared all of the recent injuries from the MOU Exempt Facilities Report this quarter.

While the safety of guests is a top priority at Walt Disney World Resort, it’s important to acknowledge that, like any large-scale entertainment venue, there is a rare possibility of incidents or injuries. Disney’s strict safety protocols, including clear signage and courteous cast members, aim to ensure visitors have a secure and enjoyable experience.

However, guests must still be responsible for their actions and adhere to guidelines provided by the park. This may include following ride safety instructions and respecting height requirements for certain attractions.

A wide shot of the Hulk Coaster and Suess Landing inside of Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Despite the resort’s best efforts, incidents can occasionally occur, such as trip-and-fall accidents or health issues due to the rigorous demands of a long day in the parks. It’s worth noting, though, that these incidents are genuinely infrequent, considering the millions of visitors that Walt Disney World welcomes each year.

This quarter, at Walt Disney World Resort, injuries that required hospitalization took place on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Mission: SPACE, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and Slinky Dog Dash. To learn more about the cause and issue of each injury, click here. 

At Universal Orlando Resort, we saw fewer hospitalizations, however, there were some shocking causes for injur that have us thinking twice about riding certain attractions again.

On July 29, 2023, Volcano Bay saw a guest head to the hospital after riding Honu of Honu Ika Moana. Universal describes the attraction as, “Just like the ancient Waturi people who rode the ocean waves on friendly sea turtles, you can enjoy this twisting, turning, multi-person slide. On Honu, you can surf the underwater currents on a five-passenger raft, speeding through an open flume, then streaking along two massive walls.”

A couple has drinks at the pool of Dockside Inn and Suites
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

As the ride does spin guests around, it is not shocking to hear that one or two would get a little motion sick.

Sadly, on July 31, 2023 Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit caused an 18-year-old to have a seizure.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit has been deemed the worst coaster in Florida, and, for some, the worst coaster in the world due to its shaky and headache-inducing nature.

Guests upside down while riding Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
Credit: Universal

Rip Ride Rockit is a coaster that allows guests who ride to pick a song that will blast in their ears as they loop through Universal Studios Florida on the rocket red track. One of the things that makes the 167-foot tall steel coaster stand out among other coasters, aside from the fact that it reaches speeds of 65 mph, is that there is an interactive element for guests.

The most shocking injury, however, happened in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure.

On July 14, 2023, after riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, one of the more iconic rides that takes guests into Hogwarts, and then on a journey with Harry Potter himself, one guest came off the ride with the “inability to speak”. This happened to a 26 year old male, but more information on his state was not given.

A still from one of the projection sequences in 'Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.' Credit: Universal
Credit: Universal

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey uses KUKA robocoaster technology, which allows the seats to pivot while being held above the track by a robotic arm. However, the ride is not a roller coaster but a scenic dark ride. The experience includes a flight around Hogwarts castle, an encounter with the Whomping Willow and a horde of Dementors, and a Quidditch match. The ride drops, spins around, twists and turns, but does not turn upside down, though passengers sometimes lie flat on their backs. Over-the-shoulder bars are used to secure guests in their seats, and a single parabolic metal bar is used as a hand grip. At the conclusion of the ride, guests exit into Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods gift shop.

harry potter and the forbidden journey
All images credit Angela Foreman House

The ride has certainly hospitalized guests in the past, but usually due to motion sickness and not the inability to speak.

Soon, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will also expand into Epic Universe as the Ministry of Magic. 

None of the attractions have shut down due to these injuries. However, if more continue to occur, the theme parks may need to make some changes.

Have you ever been injured on a ride at Universal Orlando Resort or Walt Disney World Resort? 







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