Urgent Warning Issued to Universal Guests, Security Refuses to Let People Into Park

in Universal Orlando

Guests walking into Universal Studios Florida

Credit: Universal

Guests have been issued a warning as Universal Orlando Resort starts to clamp down on unwanted behavior.

Every year, Universal Orlando Resort welcomes millions of guests hoping to immerse themselves in the world of film. Across its three parks – Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay – parkgoers can stroll from Hogwarts castle in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the dinosaur-infested Jurassic Park to the streets of Hollywood and New York.

Parkgoers walks towards Hogwarts Castle in The Wizarding World
Credit: Universal

Related: ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Dead as Wizarding World Franchise Reportedly Ends

Soon, guests will be able to explore even more fictional worlds with the opening of Universal Epic Universe. From the summer of 2025, guests can add SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, Universal Monsters, and How to Train Your Dragon (2010) to their to-do list. The new theme park will also include the third area inspired by Harry Potter, this time allegedly themed after locations shown in the (now canceled) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them spinoff series.

Before then, Universal Studios Florida will also add a new Dreamworks-inspired land to its lineup, which is expected to feature attractions inspired by Shrek (2001), Trolls (2016), and more.

Until that day comes, there’s still plenty to enjoy at existing Universal parks. Over the years, guests have also found other ways to maximize the magic of their visit – with one example being “hides.”

Universal Orlando Resort Annual Passholders (Guests) posing outside Universal Studios Florida
Credit: Universal

Related: ‘Harry Potter’ Fans Banished From Diagon Alley, Told To Ask For Refund

Popular in both Universal Studios and Disney World, “hides” is the term given to bringing small gifts into the parks – such as keychains, charms, or other handmade items – and hiding them for other guests to find and keep. Guests also hide gifts throughout Universal Citywalk, Disney Springs, and both the Universal and Walt Disney World hotels, such as Endless Summer Resort.

Some treat it like a scavenger hunt while others see it as a good deed to bring an extra dose of magic to the days of their fellow parkgoers. Much of this is coordinated within the Facebook group Universally Crafted.

However, this is about to change. Reddit user Almatari27 recently shared a post warning that “security has been turning guests away with hides. You may be asked to take them back to your car or hotel.”

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

Fellow “hiders” didn’t seem overly surprised, claiming that Universal has issued several warnings to hiders in the past due to controversial gifts or placements of gifts. “There’s been a history of continual rule-breaking and repeated warnings by UO,” wrote DeflatedDirigible. “The [Universally Crafted Facebook group] admins don’t really crack down on all they should like people who advertise their businesses with their hides, include religious texts, promote their websites and causes, and also hide food or in places not permitted like lockers and gift shops.”

They added that there has also been cases where hiders have sold their items in the parks or traded their crafts to those with disability passes in exchanged for using the passes themselves. The latter was allegedly advertised within the group.

“A very small percent have ruined it for the majority who follow all the rules,” they added.

Universal Studios Florida at Universal Orlando Resort
Credit: Universal

Related: Universal’s Wizarding World Shuts Down Attraction, Reopening Unknown

While it’s undeniable that the concept of bringing in small gifts to surprise other guests is well-intentioned, some pointed out that Universal Orlando Resort has good reason to implement new rules and deny theme park admission to those trying to “hide” in the parks.

“Cast/Team members often blend in intentionally to help build the story, and the average guest won’t have any idea what’s an “official” interaction in a situation where someone with in-world gear is creating experiences,” said EggplantMiserable559. “If they receive a gift and then try to return/exchange it later, or they tell all their friends about the cool staff member at Universal handing out surprise treats, they’re in for a bummer surprise when they discover that their item is unofficial, not supported, and/or not something staff members do regularly.”

An update in the thread later indicated that the Universally Crafted group has since also been suspended, with its admins reaching out to Universal to discuss their concerns and any future guidelines.

Have you ever found or hidden a secret gift at a theme park? Let us know in the comment!

View Comments (2)