Orlando Theme Park Warning Advised After Illegal Incident

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Entrance to universal studios Florida with alert overlay

Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

If you are traveling to Universal Orlando Resort from out of state, or really, just visiting in general, a recent warning from a guest has us packing two forms of ID to ensure that we do not have the police called on us, or receive a lifetime trespass from the theme parks.

The Universal Orlando Resort logo on top of an aerial view of Epic Universe.
Credit: Inside The Magic

Just like any location around the world that serves alcohol, when a guest looks close to the legal drinking age, they will typically be carded and asked to prove their age through a valid form of ID. When guests visit the theme parks, it is no different. At Walt Disney World Resort, some locations will actually require a passport, or passport photo in addition to your ID if you live in another country. Disneyland Resort also has this same rule (but they need a real passport on hand, not just a photo); however, it is not always heavily implemented, depending on the cast member. 

At Universal Orlando Resort, a second ID has never been a question for guests, even those traveling in from out of the country, but after one documented experience by a guest who had the cops called on him, it could be a safe practice to keep another form of ID on you, even a photo of your passport, if you are younger looking, and visiting the theme parks.

Attempting to get a drink with a fake ID can have you banned from not only Universal Orlando Resort for life, but can also mean that the authorities have to get involved to remedy the situation and take legal action. In this instance, the guest in question did have an ID, and it was real, but the employees did not believe them.

Guests walking into Universal Studios Florida
Credit: Universal

The Omazing Omar shared their story online, stating that what was supposed to be a simple CityWalk drink purchase before entering Universal Studios Florida turned into a multi-hour security and cops-filled evening, with little to no apology.

Omar begins, “So this past year at HHN 32 I had one of the worst experiences I have ever had at an Amusement Park( I absolutely LOVE Universal BTW). So my friends and I(23M) enter the park like we would any other night, except this time my 2 friends I was with wanted Fat Tuesdays, I have never had Fat Tuesdays, and after this experience, I don’t think I ever will. We got to the line, and my friend wanted to by me a drink so I let her. As she does the bartender starts to ID us.”

As we mentioned, this is entirely normal and expected when purchasing a beverage, but then, things took a turn.

Aerial photo of Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort.
Credit: @Bioreconstruct on X, formally Twitter

“So I am originally from Ohio but moved down here to go to school at UCF back in 2021,so I had an Ohio ID,” Omar continued. “The bartender gives my ID a puzzled look and then says “I can’t accept this, this isn’t real….I- Hold on”. She proceeds to call her co-worker over and her coworker starts to tell me she has to confiscate my ID. I tell her it’s my real ID. She begins to ask me do I have any other form of ID and the only thing that I have is credit cards. We go back and forth till I heard the dumbest thing come from the bartenders mouth when she called for me to “pull up my Facebook.” I have never had a bartender ask for my Facebook as a form of ID. I told her that I do not have Facebook. Both my friends and I were livid, while I did not show it on the surface and physically remained calm my friends were getting angry at the bartender for asking such a thing.”

So, it appears that Omar was asked to prove their identity with another form of photo ID, and while Facebook is hardly legal confirmation, that was the ask from the staff at Fat Tuesdays.

“The bartender begins to get irritated with me and says that I have two options: “She’ll confiscate my ID and let me go with no consequences or she can call the police where they’ll both trespass and arrest me for committing a felony.” My friends who were initially going to buy me the drink became furious hearing that and demanded that they call the police. I began telling the bartenders that I understood that they were only doing their jobs and they could do what they needed to do. They told us they called the police….but they didn’t….A large group of security guards initially arrived to tell me that my ID was fake and that I was to be trespassed from the premises.”

It appears that Universal does not own a scanner which can authenticate ID’s, which would have solved the problem

Omar continued, “I explained to them what had happened to one of the security guards, and they took a look at my ID and couldn’t really find anything that indicated that it was fake that went as far as to calling all available MODS(Managers on Duty) to the Fat Tuesdays where they came with a GIANT book with every state ID you could name and still couldn’t find anything wrong with it. We stood there for 45 minutes until the head of security arrived (still no police, btw).

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

He pulled me to the side where he gave me a lecture about how he’s been doing this 15 years and that he knows a fake ID when he sees one. He takes a closer look at my ID and finds nothing, and I explain how I’m a student and that I do not yet possess a FL ID. I even go as far as to showing him Utility Bills in my name to see if that would help.”

Things got worse for Omar when the Universal Orlando Resort wrote his birth year incorrectly on his account.

“I then remember that I had used that ID to get my annual pass. So I told the Head of security and he said he would check it. He got on the phone with someone to check my annual pass and I had saw his face drop. Luck was not on my side yet whoever he was on the phone with gave him my birth year off by 4 years. He became very antagonistic and threatened to take my annual pass away and trespass me for life. When he heard that and he finally pulled his walkie and asked for the police…MEANING they never even called the cops.

The cops arrive after an hour of waiting, and the head of security went to tell the head cop that my ID was fake and that I was lying. I didn’t hear that but I knew as soon as the cop approached me with a smirk and said, “Do you wanna tell us the truth now or do I have to put you in cuffs?” I told the officer that I would be lying if I told him the ID was fake. All 3 of the cops looked at the ID and didn’t see anything wrong with it.”

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

Finally, Omar’s story came to a finish, “He walkied to see if he could get a check on my ID. His smirk faded and he muttered it’s real. The head of the security began instructing me to go to customer service to get my annual pass birth year changed….That was it no apology or anything….that was the worst experience I have ever had at any theme park. Even though nothing happened, that whole experience tainted the park for me in way.”

While Omar would have clearly not been arrested, as they knew the ID was not counterfeit, this ordeal certainly ruined their evening. 

The comments shared some interesting information, with one reader noting that their child worked at Universal during Halloween Horror Nights and that the resort as a whole was cracking down on underage drinking. We have seen many fights break out at the Halloween event over the years, and most of that tends to be related to alcohol, so this crackdown is certainly warranted.

A wide view of Universal CityWalk during the day at Universal Orlando Resort.
Credit: Universal CityWalk

One comment stated that confiscating a fake ID is illegal, and after looking into it, that commenter was correct: “Florida does not authorize licensees to confiscate false IDs. Licensees who recognize false IDs should refuse the sale and contact local law enforcement,” as stated by Intellicheck. So, the bartenders at Fat Tuesdays were not only incorrect, but broke the law, committing theft of government property by confiscating the ID.

Regardless, guests who look closer to the legal drinking age (21) may be better off with a second source of ID on them if possible when heading to Universal Orlando Resort, in order to not deal with an extended interrogation.

Inside the Magic has reached out to Fat Tuesdays for comment, but we have not heard back at the time of this article’s publishing.

Have you ever had any issues being ID’d when at Universal Orlando Resort? 

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