Universal Rule Now Forbids Guest Entry on Certain Attractions, Disney Joins

in Disney Parks, Universal Studios

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

Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

At Universal Orlando Resort, there seems to be far fewer rules in comparison to Disney when it comes to guest entry, but there are certain rules when it comes to guest sizing for a large chunk of their attractions, which has been refusing more guests from entering the rides that they dreamed of when planning their Universal vacation.

The Universal Studios globe on a sunny day in Orlando, Florida.
Credit: Universal

As many know, Orlando is home to the Walt Disney World Resort, which features Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT. Visitors can also explore the water parks, including Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. Additionally, the sprawling resort boasts over 25 themed hotels, miniature golf courses, full-scale golf courses, Disney Springs, and various other attractions.

Just a short distance away, guests will find Universal Orlando Resort, a formidable competitor.

At Universal Orlando Resort, guests can delight in a variety of rides and attractions, such as Rip Ride Rockit, MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack, Transformers: The Ride, and more.

Don’t miss the chance to explore Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where a visit to Gringotts is a must! Islands of Adventure offers thrilling attractions, including the new Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, and many others. And for those seeking a wet and wild experience, Volcano Bay is open for water park enthusiasts.

The Cat in the Hat ride entrance
Credit: Universal

Universal has just concluded their Halloween Horror Nights season as of last night, and soon, Grinchmas, their Christmas and holiday event will begin at Islands of Adventure.

As we mentioned earlier, there are a few rules that Disney has which can prohibit guests from entering the park, as we are beginning to see more and more ticketed guests being turned away, with others who made it into the park, receiving a trespass and ban for life after breaking the rules.

One rule that is still plaguing guests is the Disney Park Pass Reservation System. Many guests at Disney are unaware that guests must not only purchase a ticket, but then, on the My Disney Experience or Disneyland app, select the park they are going to after linking the ticket to the app. This rule was implemented during the pandemic in order to maintain lower crowd levels. It is set to go away next year, but for now, can still have guests turned away if the park shows as “full” on the reservation calendar.

Crowds at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Marc Smith / Flickr

This has been a prominent issue at Disneyland as of late.

At Disney World, however, we are seeing a crackdown on filming equipment. After many vloggers and social media content creators have been found breaking the rules and disrupting park operations, Disney no longer allows certain equipment in the park. While they have never allowed unauthorized “commercial” filming, now, higher-tech equipment, like microphones, will have guests walking back to their car or bussing back to their hotel to drop it off before being allowed entry into the theme parks.

We recently saw this with one podcaster whose microphones caused him to be denied entry into the Magic Kingdom, he was not even allowed to place the microphones in a locker, as they were located in the parks. 

Another issue that has never been a major one at Disney has also began to present itself at Disney. TRON Lightcycle / Run is the newest ride at Disney World in Magic Kingdom. Being one of the newer thrill rides, as a style of ride Magic Kingdom does not tend to have, it has more restraints which do not fit all guest shapes and sizes. 

Shanghai's TRON
Credit: Disney

This is something that we have seen as an issue at Universal Orlando Resort, as many of their attractions like Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, The Incredible Hulk, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, and more require stronger restraints than a lap bar, which only allow for guests up to a certain size (both in weight and height) to ride.

This is an issue that we have discussed here at Inside the Magic in the past, and now, the unspoken “rule” still seems to be causing an issue for guests. 

One guest has been taking to Instagram to share whether or not she is allowed to ride certain attractions at Universal Orlando Resort. In one recent video, we can see the guest attempting to fit in the test seat for The Incredible Hulk.

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

The post read, “I was so close on The Hulk! I really wanted this ride to work, but much like other rides with restraints that go over my shoulders, this just wasn’t working for me. Universal does have a modified seat with the doubt straps as seen in this video! Make sure you ask a team member for the modified seat rows!”

While some guests noted that Universal should be more inclusive like Disney (again, aside from TRON), another replied, “Ride requirements are there for a reason. Everyone needs to stop demanding changes in requirements for these rides.” In this case, that statement is correct. The reason that the ride requires guests of a certain stature is to ensure that the locking mechanism will function. If the lock is unable to click, then the rider would likely be severely injured or die if they were somehow able to ride.

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

While size-inclusive rides like Pirates of the Caribbean at Disney World are fun, many like Universal Orlando Resort for their more “adult” style attractions like Jurassic World VelociCoaster, that pump your adrenaline to new heights.

Related: New Disney Rule Discriminates Disabled Guests, Refuses Entry On All Rides

As we saw in the post, test seats are available at Universal attractions, so guests do not have to reach the front of the line only to be rejected.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure even put up greenery and bushes around the test seat to allow for those testing to see if they fit some privacy.

All of this being said, as Universal preps to open Epic Universe in 2025, another park with more thrill attractions, this will likely be an ongoing issue for larger riders. Plus, with Disney attempting to compete with some of the more exciting attractions and adding in their own coasters, it seems that it may become a slightly more common issue at the most magical place on earth as well.

Do you think that Universal Orlando Resort is inclusive for larger riders? 

View Comments (3)