Parents Leave Child in Tree at Universal

in Universal Orlando

Three stills from a video of a child in a tree at Universal Orlando Resort.

Credit: @UniNewsToday via X (Formerly Twitter)

It’s Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando Resort, and some parents are a little too busy enjoying the festivities to watch their children…

Universal Studios Florida, Universal Islands of Adventure, and Universal CityWalk are home to some of the most popular seasonal theme park events worldwide. While Halloween Horror Nights and Mardi Gras are the most popular, the Central Florida amusement parks also commemorate the winter holidays with Grinchmas, Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s balloons.

The Grinch looking shocked at Islands of Adventure inside Universal Orlando Resort for Grinchmas 2023.
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Inspired by the best time of year in New Orleans, Mardi Gras brings all-ages fun to Universal Studios Florida. Locations throughout the Universal park sell Cajun food and specialty adult beverages. On select nights, artists like the All American Rejects, DJ Khaled, Queen Latifah, and the Barenaked Ladies fill the park with jams that’ll make anyone bust a move. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without an awe-inspiring parade and beads abound!

On Monday, some guests appeared to be having too much Mardi Gras fun. @UniNewsToday on X (formerly known as Twitter) alarmed Universal Parks fans by sharing this video of a child sitting in a tree at least 12 feet in the air. Dozens of unbothered guests walked by, and a Universal team member was visibly sweeping just feet away from the endangered minor.

You’re supposed to throw Mardi Gras beads at the trees, not kids

It’s unclear how the young Universal Park guest climbed onto the tree, though nearby concrete benches likely helped. The parents weren’t identifiable and didn’t appear to be anywhere near the child.

It’s impossible to know the circumstances of a theme park incident from a six-second video. Still, it’s indubitably a safety risk for a child to be so far off the ground in a tree unsuitable for climbing. Universal Orlando Resort prohibits any activity that endangers guests or team members.

2024 Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras tribute store celebration inside of the theme park.
Credit: Universal

Related: Dive Into These 13 Diagon Alley Secrets Found at Universal Studios Florida

There’s no excuse for letting a young guest climb into an off-limits area, but Universal Orlando Resort lacks kid-friendly play zones. Universal Studios Florida closed Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone in January 2023, demolishing the only playground where little ones could run free. The change came years after one of Universal’s only toddler-friendly shows, A Day in the Park With Barney, shuttered its doors in 2021.

Thankfully, things won’t be this way for long. Even as Universal Orlando Resort focuses on the 2025 grand opening of its third gate, Epic Universe, Universal Studios Florida plans to premiere a brand-new kid-focused land in the summer of 2024.

Despite a rumored “Minions Land,” Universal Orlando Resort has said that “DreamWorks Land” will replace KidZone. Little is known about the project, but Universal promised an “immersive and interactive” experience for kids of all ages. Concept art for the theme park land features Po from Kung Fu Panda (2008) as well as characters from Shrek (2001) and Trolls (2016).

Troll characters in costumes at Universal Studios Florida.
Credit: Universal

Related: Obscene Guest Ruins Iconic Attraction at Walt Disney World

DreamWorks Land could finally give a permanent home to these popular franchises, previously scattered throughout the Universal theme parks. Universal Studios Florida closed the “Shrek 4-D” show in 2022 to make room for more Despicable Me (2010), disappointing fans of the beloved DreamWorks franchise. Po and Trolls characters occasionally showed up for meet & greets throughout KidZone and other theme park areas, but there was rarely a way for young DreamWork fans to guarantee interaction with them.

Universal Orlando Resort hasn’t promised any character meet & greets, shows, or other offerings for DreamWorks Land. However, it will likely release more information in anticipation of its grand opening this summer. Follow Inside the Magic for up-to-date coverage on the all-new area, and be the first to know when it opens!

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen at Universal Studios Florida, Universal Islands of Adventure Park, Volcano Bay, or Universal CityWalk? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments.

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