ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- During a recent family visit to Universal Studios after the Mardi Gras parade there was a concert. Problem number one: People leaving the park were guided into the concert traffic. Problem number two: Exits were blocked and people turned around in the crowds. Problem number three: Chaos - teenagers were jumping over barriers and climbing statues while security did nothing about this but were arguing with parents who had lost children to "just wait it out' on the other side of the park.
Problem number four: Crowds exiting park were then told to stand behind white lines when crowds were turned around and there was no way to get behind white lines. Security was yelling to get behind white lines anyway or get arrested. This caused people to start shoving and pushing back. Problem number five: People got hurt. Poor crowd control left many people knocked to ground - including young children. Ambulance was called for one incident.
Problem number six: Poor Public Relations - when parents complained security argued with them instead of helping and nothing was being done to stop chaos around them. Problem number seven: No wants to listen. Find your own kids hours and hours later.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- We have been Premier Pass holders for 2 years and our Daughter and family came to visit and we went to all the parks in Orlando but Universal. So I told my husband who is disabled that the day they leave we will go to Universal for a few hours and head home, please keep in mind we have been to every park already in Orlando with no problems and they give the disabled a handicap fast pass to all attractions. Well we go to Universal and we park a long way away because of not enough handicap parking.
We get up to the check point and we have a cooler that has a hard plastic container in it where one side we can put his medicine that have to be kept cool and four drinks, this sits down inside his walker seat and the lid has to be cracked open about 2 maybe 3 inches because of the height. Well the one security guard said we have to leave the cooler or go put it in the car.
We tried explaining to them the situation and another guard comes up and says "What's your problem?" Well that set us both off right there and we asked to speak to a supervisor and the supervisor goes gets a small cooler they sell that would not even fit my husband's medicines in one and he says you can take as many of these as you want or can into the park. My husband spoke up and said "I cannot let my medicines get wet" and he says "That is not my problem" then I said "Those leak. We have try bigger ones already and they leak." And again "That is not my problem."
So we go to put the cooler back into the car and we were going to leave when I decided to call the number on the back of my card and whoever answered the phone, said "The best thing you can do is while you are currently at the park is to come speak with a supervisor." So we put the cooler in the car and headed back in. We get to that same line and a Sergeant comes up and says "They cannot go into the park with that cooler" and he point to the seat on my husband's walker.
My husband got so mad and turned to that boy and said "Son, who best go mind your ** business and leave me the ** alone" and then two others went to get smart and my husband shut them right up. He was so mad I have never seen him like this.
We get to guest services and a supervisor comes out and we said "We want to get our money back on our passes since the last time we were here" and she said "We can not do that" and wanted to know the story, so we told her everything above and she said "That are our rules", and that they do not have the line for handicap any more that they have to purchase the fast pass like everyone else and that they are the only ones around that is ADA compliant. Well this ADA compliant, I sure hope the rest of the parks don't go that way because they bend over backwards for the handicap.
Needless to stay they said the only thing they can do is give us a free day of fast pass and cancel our membership. For all that is handicap, beware of Universal Studios, but yet a mother with a child can take a big bag, a big cooler and backpacks are being taken in and we watched so many much bigger bags being taken in. I am going to fight this to the US Supreme Court if I have to. There was no need of the embarrassment, hassle and humiliation that they put us through and wasted 3 hours of our time.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- During my spring break, I visited some of my relatives in Orlando and headed to Universal Studios on Sunday, March 10th, 2013. All seemed to go accordingly during our trip until later in the evening. While we were in line for the Disaster show with my uncle and young cousin, there was a group of middle-aged people drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages in front of us - most were clearly intoxicated. I was wary about the situation but did not think anything of it when suddenly, one of the men who was drinking spat a mouthful of alcohol at my head and face. I was completely shocked, and so were those around me.
The man laughed it off, took off his shirt, and offered it to me to clean myself off - though I quickly refused. His half-assed apology could do little about the fact that his spit and alcohol covered my face and hair, ruined my shirt, and splashed on to my 8 year-old cousin as well, right there in the middle of this line. I got out of line and told one of the staff members immediately and was told to wait for security to arrive while the perpetrator and his friends went into the show. Security took about 15 to 20 minutes to show up and I was asked to write a witness statement.
As compensation, I was offered a one-time-use express pass, and both my uncle and cousin received one as well. I also went to a nearby souvenir shop where my cousin and I each received 1 free t-shirt (though the total for both could not exceed $50) to replace our beer-soaked tops. I was also told that the perpetrators were in custody and would be taken to the "office", talked to, and charged with assault and battery. I felt alright about the situation, albeit upset and shocked, until a short while later when I was in line for another ride, who did I see but those same people. And they were STILL openly drinking in line.
I was ultimately lied to as it did not seem as though any charges were pressed nor that they were talked to in any way since they were carrying on with the same behavior that led to the incident. On top of that, I had to face these same people who had put such a damper on my day. To top it off, when I asked whether or not I could have my ticket refunded because all I wanted to do was leave right after the incident, my request was vehemently denied.
I understand that Universal Studios was not responsible for this "accident" but they allowed these adults to openly drink while in line for a "family ride" and following this situation, the perpetrators faced no consequences. They were not even asked to leave. So thanks Universal Studios, thanks for that free t-shirt and the lovely memories but I will not be coming back and neither will my family. My 8 year-old cousin is now scarred by the incident and refuses to go back as well for fear of encountering "mean strangers" again.
ORLANDO, LOUISIANA -- I purchased a vacation package and went to the theme parks in early March of 2012. I also purchased five tickets for breakfast at The Three Broomsticks Restaurant. On the scheduled day of the breakfast, there was literally a torrential downpour going on. It made no sense to go into the theme parks just for the breakfast and waste an entire theme park pass, when it was scheduled to rain the whole day. I called the vacation packages line early and informed them that we would not be attending due to the weather, and also asked if I could reschedule for the next morning. They informed me that there was no availability for the next two days.
I then asked if we could use the voucher towards dinner at that same restaurant and was told that they could neither do that nor could they give me vouchers to eat at any other restaurant or spend in the theme park. I was told to go to the guest services window in the park, turn in the vouchers and wait six entire weeks for a refund. I did this and on 4/23/2012 I called back to inquire about my refund which I still had not received. Of course, I was told to hold forever while they researched this.
The agent **, that I spoke with then came back on the line and stated "sorry", for some reason they had not even started processing the refund. But, she did see that the vouchers for five breakfasts was turned in to guest services. She then stated that she was submitting it for processing and it should take a few more weeks. She also offered me five All Day Dining Meals for the inconvenience. I called on 5/28 to see about the refund that I still have yet to receive and also about redeeming the All Day Dining meals.
I was then told that there was no record of my visit, at which time I supplied them with my original reservation number and offered to email the original reservation. I also gave a comment number that I was told by ** to use on future inquiries. At that point, I was basically told that they had no idea what happened to my refund and to contact the revenue dept.. As for those promised meal deals, well they must have just been a figment of my imagination. They also had no record of that. I asked to speak directly with ** and was first told she was on another call and then that she was off altogether.
I asked for a manager and spoke with someone named **, who claimed to be a manager but was by far the rudest person I have ever spoken within a customer service dept.. He basically yelled at me and implied that I was a liar because ** would never promise those things. When I asked who I might speak with to file a formal complaint he told me that he was it, there was no one above him and that even if I submitted a complaint online it would be forwarded to him. Which is why I am now taking every available forum to vent my frustration, including the ConsumerAffairs website.
This vacation package was a nightmare from the beginning. What should have been a relaxing vacation for my son who just returned from boot camp, turned out to be miserable. From the bed at the Portofino Bay hotel that was made up beautifully, but when my daughter got in it the first night of our arrival turned out to be very wet with some unknown fluid, to the horrible treatment I encountered for over a simple refund. I spent over 3,000 dollars with Universal and I can"t believe that a company would allow its employees to treat a customer so badly over a situation like this.
At this point, it is no longer about the money, but about principle. I feel like I was being riped off from the start which is why the refund could not be processed while I was actually at the resort. It now seems like a concerted effort in hopes that customers will just go home and forget about the fact that they just lost some money through no fault of their own. Therefore, I am now telling all of my friends, family, co-workers and the Facebook community about my awful experience and that they should steer clear of a Universal Vacation Package unless they want to be ripped off.
ORLANDO FLORIDA, COLORADO -- This review is for any big girls or guys out there wanting to ride Harry Potter in Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Orlando. I consider myself a big girl 5'6" tall 274 lbs. Last year I rode Harry Potter and totally loved it. I did however had to ride the "modified" seat. You pull the harness down and click it into place. No problem. Well a few days ago, (a year after the first ride) I'm still 5'6, but lost a little weight 266lbs. I stood in line for 90 minutes with my husband.
When it was our turn, I asked the attendant for a "modified seat". I sat down and brought the harness down to click it once. She informed me that I had to click it in toward me two more times. I tried to but there isn't any room for my right arm to get far up enough to get a descent grip. I asked her if she could help, and she said "she isn't allowed to". I fussed with it a little longer, then he said "I'm sorry, but you'll won't be able to ride today" and popped off the harness. My husband was already clicked in or he would have pushed it in for me before he did his own. I tried again, to no avail. I got off the platform with tears in my eyes.
I had carpal tunnel surgery twice this year and needed some help, my grip still isn't 100%. Any other ride I went on at other parks they check every single harness for you - Help you click it in if needed. I never felt so appalled in all my life. I read on the modified seats sign that it is for "upper body". I swam in that dang seat just needed help pushing the harness down. Who is this seat made for? I'm informing all my friends and family about this. I don't recommend going to Universal if you are more than a size 18. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
We went to Universal on 12/28/2010. We purchased our tickets, at which time the ticket agent told us the park was very full. We understood that we would need to wait in long lines but we were glad to be there, so we purchased our ticket. We went into the park with the intention of going to see the Harry Potter world. I had seen it before, so I know that it was only three rides so we figured we would simply see how long the lines were and if nothing else just enjoy the Hogsmeade area and purchase some gifts.
What shocked us was that they had closed off the Harry Potter area, as if it were a separate park. No one informed us of this when we purchased our tickets, no one told us that we would need to be designated a time that we could enter that portion of the park. We were simply sold our (very overpriced) tickets and told to enter the park. We spent a total of 45 minutes in the park and left without seeing a single thing that we wanted to. The cost of the adventure for two people $175.00.
When we complained to customer service, the woman told me, "hmmm...I didn't know they had the Harry Potter section closed off, you should just come back later...but I am sure it will just be busy then too." Where did customer service go? If you are going to close a portion of the park off, you should tell people BEFORE you have them purchase a ticket.
From what I can see here, I am not the only one who experienced this bait and switch move by Universal, so needless to say, they made a lot of money and didn't offer much of anything to their customers. The interesting part is that I love Harry Potter and the stories, so I tolerated the fact that Universal boasts they have a Harry Potter world.
I tried to simply take in everything while I was there on my first visit (prior to the Christmas visit) but in reality the park created a very small Hogsmeade section with only a few places that are actual buildings that you can go into, created an interesting castle, but then simply re-purposed two rides that were already a part of the park to begin with. With such little effort into this section on Universal's part, you would think that they would be thankful that people want to go there, want to be part of it, when really there is not much to see.
I still love the area, although small, simply because I try to see the magic in bringing a story to life, but Universal should be ashamed by their performance not only in creating a World that is more of a small neighborhood and by the way their extorted money out of unsuspecting visitors during the Christmas week.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- We went to Universal Studios the week on 12/27 for our family vacation. We experienced several problems and weren't able to enjoy the park. When we complained to guest services, we were offered a one-day return pass after 4 pm OR $5 credit per person. We were extremely disappointed. Here are the problems that we experienced:
Once we found the line at around 3 pm, the re-entry tickets for a 9 pm return time were sold out and we were told to wait in a 180-minute line to enter the attraction. That was our only option which is not an acceptable one. It's not easy waiting in a line for 3 hours with an 11 year old!
The Revenge of the Mummy ride was down on 12/29 from 4:45 to 5:45 (or longer). We were in line and heard an audio message to wait for further information. After 45 minutes in line, we were told that the ride would be closed. We spoke with ** and ** at the ride and asked for compensation. They offered us express passes, which were of no used to us since we were staying at Portofino and already had paid for Express entry. ** and ** told us to speak with Guest Services. We spoke with ** and were not satisfied with her response (a return pass after 4 pm or $5 voucher per person).
The Jimmy Neutron ride was broken at noon on 12/30. We were told to return at a later time. We returned at 1:00 and the ride was still down. Universal needs to limit the capacity into the park. They also need to notify guests that they may not be able to enter certain exhibits due to capacity and technical issues. We were not able to get a refund and wanted this information to be available to others who may visit the park during peak times.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- After 3 days at Disney World we were very disappointed by the way our 5 year old child with special needs in a wheelchair was treated today. Upon arrival we immediately asked what WE needed to do to insure our child ** was able to enjoy your park. The first thing we were told was 'We are ADA compliant but we don't do anything 'special' for wheelchairs." We asked if we needed any special pass, tags or access card for the wheelchair. We were told over and over that the park was 'ADA' and they don't do anything 'special' except if the wait is over 30 minutes then they may let us use an express lane.
We were also told to just enter the park and we would basically have to figure it out. Every attraction we attempted, we were told we needed some sort of special pass which we had previously asked for and never received. Each attendant seemed annoyed and frustrated saying that today was 'very busy and many features such as express lanes and check-ins were not being utilized'. We kept trying over and over and every time the same story. It was very difficult to even distinguish who was an employee and who wasn't as there were no discernible uniforms.
After a few hours of this nonsense I went to guest relations and asked to speak to a manager. I was told there were NO managers available. I calmly explained that I was not leaving until I spoke with someone. The guest relations team basically ignored me. I waited patiently until I saw a 'manager'. I flagged him down and explained that a child in a wheelchair was mistreated, he started to listen. After I told him the entire story he offered to refund the price of our tickets.
I am writing to you because I want to do anything I can to make sure this NEVER EVER happens to another family with someone with special needs. I implore you as a company to seriously re-evaluate your treatment of guest with special needs. Your staff should never tell a guest with special needs that they don't do anything 'special' for them.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- We went to Universal 12/27/2010 to see the new Harry Potter Exhibit. The best thing about our day was the guest services representative cheerfully refunded our ticket because the lines were so long we could not see the exhibit. You have to go near the Harry Potter entrance to get timed return tickets. Our tickets were for 5 hours later. The lines at the other rides were 90 minutes. Spiderman was 150 minutes. The line into Harry Potter actually became dangerous with people pushing past mothers with baby strollers and bumping people in wheelchairs. The park staff was extremely poorly trained. They had no idea how to control the line and the crowd.
Inside Harry Potter the crowd was uncomfortable always bumping into me. We waited 30 minutes just to get into a store to look at souvenirs. The Gryffindor Scarves were sold out after a week of temps in the 40's. The lines into Hogwart's and the rides were 90 minutes. Even the wand shop had a 30 minute line. A woman next to me getting her refund said she had 7:50 timed tickets and was not allowed into Harry Potter. The staff shut down admission because the area was filled to capacity.
What Universal can do: 1. Stop letting so many people in. When you sell a product that you cannot deliver because of overcrowding, that is fraud. 2. Let people sign up for timed-return tickets at the park entrance, and, make sure people know timed tickets are required. 3. Stop people at least 50 yards from the entrance until the time of timed tickets. The crush in the crowd was because people with later tickets were blocking the entrance.
What you can do: Stay at Universal hotel and start at the park at 7:00 AM, Pay $80 for the express pass and skip line rides, don't go to Universal Christmas week (the way overfill the park), go to guest services and demand a refund when you have a terrible day.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I wonder what bright head at Orlando Universal Island of Adventure may think that people like and enjoy to get soaked wet during a cold and damp November morning, he/she must be a descendant of Marquis De Sade or other notorious villain! In the morning of Thanksgiving 2009, my wife and I decided to visit the Universal Studios and Island of Adventure. The first ride we chose was "Jurassic Park: A River Adventure". It consists of a ride on a strange round vessel following a watery course.
What was not written anywhere nor explained by any of the attendant was that once in there is no way to escape getting soaking wet from the numerous inescapable water downpours, plus lots of water entering the vessel as it goes though the course. The only thing that these dudes did was to make sure that we were well-strapped to the seats by safety belts. Well, as you move down the course there are several, at least ten, water downpours on the vessel and its occupants. Furthermore, in another couple of occasion water pours into the vessel. The tight safety belt made sure that we could not escape any of these threats!
As a result, at the end of the ride we were both soaked wet, no item of our clothing escaped getting wet, including intimates, and had no other choice than driving to the Hotel to change all of our clothing. A perfectly good Thanksgiving ruined! Not only, since then, my wife has developed a nasty cough and also a low grade fever that has not cleared 10 days after the occurrence. I can't believe that reasonable person would think this is the kind of fun one wants to get after paying the outrageously expensive entrance fee! How can it be fun to soak people in the middle of Fall? How come that nobody warned us?
We were new to the attraction and do not know what to expect! How is it that you cannot escape the downpouring water (pours everywhere)? How is it that, having been asked to strap in your seats, you cannot escape having your bottom soaked by the water entering in the vessel? I can understand that this may be acceptable to some in a bathing suit during a hot Summer day, but how could any reasonable person think that fully dressed people enjoy to get soaked on a cold and damp Fall day? Getting people wet during cold days was/is a form of torture and punishment in the not so old days!
At this point I'll have my wife go to her doctor to get a cure and ascertain if her condition can be related to the soaking we received at Universal Island of Adventure, after which a visit to my lawyer to consider legal action against Universal will follow!