Park Rules: Universal Bans Kids From Certain Areas, Considers New Ways To Enforce Limit

in Universal Studios

The globe at the Universal Studios Japan entrance

Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson, Flickr

One Universal Studios theme park has clarified rules restricting guests from certain areas after an onslaught of rule-breaking youngsters was caught on camera.

Like any private property, theme parks have strict rules designed to make the experience as enjoyable (and safe) as possible for guests and employees alike.

A young girl in a pink dress and tiara hugs snow white, who wears her signature blue, red, and yellow costume, inside a warmly lit room with decorative walls.
Credit: Disney

While some of these rules are obvious, such as not engaging in violent or offensive behavior on property, others take some guests by surprise. For example, did you know you’re not allowed to meet Disney characters while carrying food or drink or to bring a selfie stick into Walt Disney World or Disneyland?

All theme parks make these rules very clear on their websites and sometimes even bring in signs to warn guests of what is and isn’t acceptable during their visit.

A girl in a Gryffindor scarf smiles joyfully, next to a boy, as they approach a majestic, lifelike golden eagle statue inside a dimly lit, wooden-paneled room at Universal Park.
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

But sometimes, even signs aren’t enough to rein in overzealous guests.

That was the case at Universal Studios Japan earlier this month. On May 12, a video went viral on X (formerly known as Twitter) showing young guests flooding a restricted area of the show Kuromi Live, sparking debate about how well parents control their kids while visiting the park.

Don’t you feel so sorry for the crew at the Kuromi Live?
I continued to shout over and over again, “Can you please watch over your child?” and “Please stay as far as the blue line.”

Your child will get hurt 😢
My parents aren’t moving at all…
I thought my parents had gone, but they were picking up confetti together…

The young guests had rushed into areas marked as restricted to start collecting confetti at the end of the show. Despite Universal Studios Japan team members doing their best to intervene, the video seems to show parents letting their children run rampant regardless.

Several Universal fans responded to the video, pinning the blame on the parents. “If it’s become a lawless area, then I guess parents haven’t raised their children properly,” said one user in a post originally written in Japanese.

Universal Studios Japan icon at the Park entrance
Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson, Flickr

Another wrote: “The crew at the Kuromi Live kept calling out to the child, worried about his safety, but the parent didn’t move at all and just picked up the confetti with him, which made me really worried. I hope they’ll be careful not to hurt their child. Parents should prioritize their children’s safety.”

Others noted that this isn’t the first time they’ve witnessed kids behaving badly during the show. “Seriously, kids watching Kuromi concerts have really bad manners,” one user claimed. “I often see them sneaking through the gaps in the audience and going to the front. I think it’s the parents’ fault for that. They need to stop.”

Woman happy in front of the "NO LIMIT!" parade
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Shortly after the incident, local news outlet Business Journal reached out to Universal Studios Japan for comment. After claiming that “this type of chaos does not occur on a regular basis,” the Osaka theme park admitted that it is “considering reviewing our operating methods to prevent this from happening again.”

It added: “We draw a blue line to create a boundary that says ‘Do not come any closer.’ However, this time, children crossed that line and entered the off-limits area, so we think it might be time to review how we operate, for example, by making it clearer.”

Guests ride the Snoopy roller coaster at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Universal rejected the idea of removing guests from the park for entering this restricted area (“unless there is something extremely dangerous that cannot be overlooked from a safety management perspective”) but did add that “there are people who want to collect confetti” so it is “considering measures to prevent situations where people have to go into restricted areas to collect them.”

This isn’t the first time theme parks have had to step in to tighten up rules and restrictions because of unruly young guests. Earlier this year, Disneyland Paris had to install intrusive “do not climb” signs on Main Street, U.S.A. due to children scaling its fences to get up close and personal with new sculptures.

A nighttime view of a large, illuminated castle with multiple spires against a dark blue sky, highlighted by green and orange lights.
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Related: Universal Making Four Major Changes to ‘Harry Potter’ Land

Located approximately two and a half hours away from Tokyo by bullet train, Universal Studios Japan is the third most-visited theme park in the world – ranking one spot above its biggest rival, Tokyo Disneyland, and five spots above Tokyo DisneySea.

Not only is the park home to its own version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the first SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, but it’ll soon welcome a new land inspired by Donkey Kong (which will also feature at Epic Universe when it opens at Universal Orlando Resort in 2025). Originally planned to open in the spring, this was pushed back to late 2024 in April.

What steps do you think Universal or other theme parks could take to rein in younger guests? Let us know in the comments!

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