Apparent System Failure Results in Nearly Fatal Incident at Universal Orlando Resort

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Guests walk through Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida

Credit: Universal

One of Universal Orlando Resort’s most iconic locations nearly became the stage of a gruesome incident, sparking debate online.

Like all Universal Destinations & Experiences locations worldwide, the Florida-based Universal Resort has countless systems and measures to ensure the health and safety of all guests and employees at the park.

Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure, and Universal's Volcano Bay
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

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These systems and measures can be found throughout the parks, not only aboard the thrilling rides at Universal Studios Florida, Universal Islands of Adventure, Universal Volcano Bay, and soon, Universal Epic Universe.

Surprisingly, a guest recently shared a video of a gruesome incident being narrowly avoided at Universal Studios Florida after an alleged failure in the attraction’s security system.

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

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TikTok user @bananabunny18 recently posted a video of the massive dragon posted above Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley, the immersive area inspired by J. K. Rowling’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida.

The video seemed like a typical performance of the dragon spitting fire, which happens periodically in the Harry Potter-inspired area. However, the user became nervous after noticing a bird flying dangerously close to the massive dragon, not a second before it launched a fireball.

The bird immediately reacted and flew away from the fantastic beast, narrowly avoiding a gruesome incident at the park. You can see the video below or click here to watch it.

Bird had a lucky day at Universal Orlando in Diagon Alley! #harrypotter #harrypotterworld #universalorlando #bird #dragon

@bananabunny18

Bird had a lucky day at Universal Orlando in Diagon Alley! #harrypotter #harrypotterworld #universalorlando #bird #dragon

♬ MILLION DOLLAR BABY (VHS) – Tommy Richman

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Viewers were shocked at the scene, though some commented it was more common than one would think. An alleged former employee at Universal Orlando Resort commented, “As someone who worked in Diagon when it opened, and then for 6 years, it’s happened. More in the first year the land opened, though.”

A TikTok user agreed and mentioned that it had happened a few times. “Watched it fall in front of a family with small children once.” Another user added, “I know that bird felt that quick, you can feel the heat even standing below it.”

One viewer mentioned that a theme park employee informed them that the fantastic beast has a sensor that overrides the effect if a gust of wind or a bird comes in front of it to prevent any accidents or unpleasant scenes at the Orlando theme park. In this case, though, that sensor seemingly failed.

The fire breathing dragon above Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley, the immersive area inspired by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida in Universal Orlando Resort
Credit: Universal

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Despite this safety measure, one user commented, “Can they not change it to something that just looks like fire but wouldn’t hurt birds? This seems like an easy fix.”

The original poster responded that, based on the comments, the fire-breathing dragon guarding Gringotts Bank has a sensor, but the bird in the video may have been flying too low to be detected on time.

Of course, fulfilling this demand for a change in the iconic creature above Diagon Alley would involve tremendous efforts by the creative teams behind Universal Destinations & Experiences projects and is highly unlikely.

The shops at Diagon Alley with the fire breathing dragon above Gringotts Bank in the immersive area inspired by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida in Universal Orlando Resort
Credit: Universal

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Regardless of how complicated it would be to change this effect at the area inspired by J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise, Universal Destinations & Experiences is taking massive leaps to revolutionize the worldwide theme park and entertainment industry.

The company is currently pushing for the approval of a potential theme park and resort project in the United Kingdom that has massive potential for the international market.

Universal Destinations & Experiences is also developing two all-new concepts in the United States.

Guests of all ages posing happily with the Minions
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

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The company is expanding its presence in the South Central area with a family theme park, Universal Kids Resort which is in development at Frisco, Texas. 

In addition to the Frisco project, Universal is developing “Universal Horror Unleashed,” the first-ever year-round horror experience being developed in Las Vegas, Nevada. Great news for fans of the yearly Halloween Horror Nights events at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Terrified thrill-seekers react as a ghastly figure with grotesque hands looms over them in a Halloween Horror Nights haunted house attraction.
Credit: Universal Studios

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The massive fire-breathing dragon can be found above Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley, which also serves as home to Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. If you haven’t had the chance to experience this thrilling ride, you can join Universal’s Ride Guys on this amazing adventure in the video below:

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Universal Orlando Resort is home to countless attractions inspired by fan-favorite franchises like Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the Fast & Furious film series — despite historical backlash against the last.

Unfortunately, the company’s constant efforts for improvement and innovation may result in the permanent closure of some iconic attractions, like Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios Florida, which is rumored to shut down permanently in 2025.

But fear not. If these rumors are confirmed, Universal Destinations & Experiences will undoubtedly create a jaw-dropping experience to replace the iconic roller coaster.

Do you think Universal should modify this iconic effect at Diagon Alley? Share your opinion with Inside the Magic in the comments below!

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