Universal Studios Orlando

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Pathetic Customer Service
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
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.
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trmn8r on 03/11/2013:
If this person spat at you with no other interaction, it sounds like battery, though a minor one.

From your description, the establishment did multiple things in an attempt to compensate you, to make up for the thoughtless actions of another guest who was not in their control.

If I were Universal, depending on what was the result of their investigation, I would consider ejecting the alleged perpetrator. But I can't see that report and I wasn't there.

I hope your 8-yr-old cousin recovers and isn't "scarred" for life. Someone randomly spitting on another isn't unlike some things that young people due to each other.
JR in Orlando on 03/11/2013:
How children remember and react is as much a factor of their parents' responses as it is of the incident inself. If parents react extremely, not saying the op did, children will think the threat is everywhere.

From what you said, you spent at least 40 minutes after the incident waiting for security and getting new t shirts. As you further said: "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." The latter three are future tense assertions as to what might occur.

During that 40+ minutes, Universal may very well have taken them into the office and discussed it with them. However, a battery requires "intentional" touching. If the other customers say it was an accident, like from a big laugh or from carbonation which backs up, Universal and the police officers may very well have decided not to arrest anyone because there was no evidence of intent.

This was a very unfortunate experience for you. Most of the parks around here in Orlando make an effort to treat their customers well. I personally think they are too crowded and overpriced to be fun.

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Modified Seats? For whom exactly?
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
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 274lbs. 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.
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trmn8r on 06/08/2012:
My guess is they are not allowed to assist you in getting secured. I *have* been on rides where staff checks your safety bar/harness *once you are* secured.

It is only a guess, but they may be held responsible if they assisted in securing you.
Comfortably_Numb on 06/09/2012:
I suspect trmn8r is correct. wondering why your husband was not able to un-click, help you, and re-click himself in? disappointing as it may have been, I do hope you were able to enjoy the rest of your day.
CatNJ381 on 06/10/2012:
Thanks for your replies. I knew someone was going to ask about my husband clicking the seat. :) He was already secured in the seat. When I was released, so was he, but I told him just to go on the ride. I didn't want to ruin it for him. I then thought I would try again. He was already on the ride. We both thought of it after we left the ride. I know the attendant was only doing her job. It wasn't my intent to make it seem she was the "bad guy". If we go back (my son hasn't experienced the ride yet) I'll try that. Now, that I'm in a calmer state, I'll be losing that weight and getting fit. So I will never have to feel that way again.
Ironic on 07/11/2012:
I remember a time years ago that the attendant was responible for making sure the riding apparatus was secure. The extra time it would have taken the attendant to see about security was very minute in my opinion. How can it be an attendants fault if you got hurt because they failed to do their job in the first place.
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Ripped Off
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
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, Celeste, 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 Celeste 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 Celeste 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 Jimmy, 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 Celeste 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 consumer affairs website.

This vacation package was a nightmare from the beginning. What should have been a relaxing vacation for my son who just returned from bootcamp, 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 coworkers and the Facebook community about my awful experience and that they should steer clear of a Universal Vacation Package unless thay want to be ripped off.
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trp2hevn on 05/30/2012:
I wonder if somewhere on the voucher it says something like non-refundable or something like that. Did the park cancel the breakfast or did you just decide not to go because it was raining?
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Very Disappointed
Posted by on
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.
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MDSasquatch on 01/13/2011:
Good Grief, not again!
We went to Universal on 12/28/2010.......
PepperElf on 01/13/2011:
Many people don't want crowds & they want the parks to do something about it.

What they DON'T realize is that the best way to keep crowds down is to prevent too many people from going in. Or rather... they realize this, they just don't always understand that THEY themselves might end up being the person who is told "Sorry it's closed cos it's too full".

Anonymous on 01/13/2011:
Just a guess but I'm thinking the OP would have been much happier if they were told, "Sorry it's closed cos it's too full". It's no different than being told a movie, sporting event or rock concert is sold out.

Obviously judging by all the complaints Universal dropped the ball on this one.
PepperElf on 01/13/2011:
1) They were notified the park was pretty packed - they said it was fine.

2) They never told the ticket agent they specifically wanted the Harry Potter section. Or perhaps they might have been notified.

3) Sometimes people just don't understand that when you start limiting the numbers that it's not always going to be OTHER customers who get pushed out.
Anonymous on 01/13/2011:
1) I might still attend a movie even though I was 'notified it was packed' but that doesn't mean I wouldn't be pissed if there were no empty seats.

2) When I buy a movie ticket I don't tell them I want a seat.

3) I do believe most people realize that if you start limiting numbers that it might preclude them from entering. No different than a movie theater, playhouse or sports arena.
trmn8r on 01/13/2011:
Seems to me that by allowing these packed crowds Universal is doing themselves a disservice. On the other hand, if enough people complain perhaps word will spread and people will actually not go during this hectic time.

Viewed from a cynical point of view, Universal may view it something like Dell views its customer base - it is unlimited and there will always be new sucke.., er customers to come along. And they make money in the meantime.
KBuck on 01/13/2011:
I agree that although I did not tell them I was going to the Harry Potter section - I had visited the park three months earlier and it was not a closed off section - it was something you could freely walk through - whether or not you decided to ride the rides.

If you are going to change the venue (close off an area that is not normally sectioned off) you should tell people prior to a person paying for entry into the venue.

It is not the consumers responsibility in this case - I was never complaining about the crowds - I knew it would be busy. I complained because I paid to enter the entire park, but was only given access to a piece of it. I should have been notified of this.
PepperElf on 01/13/2011:
as for the movie.... that fails as a comparison because a park has more than one section. while for a movie you specify which movie and time you're buying a ticket for.
PepperElf on 01/13/2011:
"you should just come back later...but I am sure it will just be busy then too."

sounds a bit like it wasn't closed for the whole day but perhaps they had reached limit.

if that's the case the person selling the ticket won't know whether or not a specific section is temporarily closed due to capacity, or when the other paying people will move out to make room.
Anonymous on 01/13/2011:
I think you're missing the core point PepperElf.
Anonymous on 01/13/2011:
You go to any theme park with the fastest, highest, biggest, baddest roller coaster that year you will be standing in lines 2 to 3 hours to ride it. Why do people think it would be different for a ride based on the biggest grossing movie and book for kids of all time? Especially when every kid has off that week? I read complaints on this site about universal not limiting crowds. This one is about universal limiting the crowd. You don't get refunds in the park if a ride is broken, there are hundreds of other things to do beyond that one ride. Your best bet is to educate yourself about what you are going to do before you do it. They have this thing called the Internet that makes this easy to do.
momsey on 01/13/2011:
Yes, the park should limit the number of people allowed in if they can't handle more than a certain number. I don't know why so many people think it's to be expected that a person should spend hundreds of dollars and not really get anything for that money.

Yes, the person selling the tickets said it was packed. Of course it's going to be packed. But to not be able to see major parts of the park? That's beyond packed. Obviously Universal had a major problem that week and they need to fix it. Sure, I'd be upset if I was turned away at the gate, but I'd rather be upset about missing something than having wasted hundreds of dollars.
KBuck on 01/13/2011:
I think some people are missing my point. I am not complaining that there were lots of people there. I am not complaining because the park limited the amount of people in a section of the park. I AM complaining that we were not notified of this. If you change the park (and we checked the Internet before we left - there was no mention of sections of the park being closed, they merely said it was crowded) then you need to let people know.

If you have sections of the park that are normally open all the time and you physically block them off for a week - then you need to notify people.

I agree with parks limiting people into them - it gives those who came a better experience. I would have been disappointed if we got there and were turned away, but I would have understood as it was a busy week. I understood all of that. But I wasn't given that opportunity - I was sold a ticket for the entire park and I was not able to see the ENTIRE park. That's my complaint. It wasn't one ride that was broken, it was an ENTIRE section that was closed off to people. Not a ride - a SECTION.
Slimjim on 01/13/2011:
It's not hard to imagine both Universal parks, as well as, all Disney Properties (including Anaheim's), were packed Christmas week, yet most complaints all seem to be directed specifically with Universal Florida's Harry Potter exhibit. I going to have to conclude this is more than just some people not being realistic with expectations and more like, there really was some bad planning on US part regarding the handling of the crowds in this area.
yoke on 01/13/2011:
The OP knew when driving into the park it was mobbed. The OP knew when buying the tickets it was mobbed. The area the OP wanted to go to was closed off for the time being due to it being full, from those who got there earlier. It is frustrating when you spend that kind of money and it is to crowded to enjoy, but unless the park turns people away (sounds like the OP would have been one to have been turned away) when it hits a certain capacity then I don't see any other options.
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Universal Studios - Broken Rides and Not Able to Get Into Harry Potter
Posted by on
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 4pm OR $5 credit per person. We were extremely disappointed. Here are the problems that we experienced:

1. The Harry Potter area was closed on the 29th and 30th. We were unable to enter this attraction at 2pm on the 29th and also on the 30th. We were told to go to Toon Lagoon and wait in line for a later entry time ticket. We went to Toon Lagoon and had a difficult time finding the line for the re-entry tickets (the employees there did not know where the line is for re-entry into Harry Potter and the lines are not well labeled). Once we found the line at around 3pm, the re-entry tickets for a 9pm 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!
2. 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 Mary and Bob 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. Mary and Bob told us to speak with Guest Services. We spoke with Alejander and were not satisfied with her response (a return pass after 4pm or $5 voucher per person).
3. 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.
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Slimjim on 01/11/2011:
This isn't the first complaint written about this issue over the Christmas week there but you did offer valid suggestions I didn't see with the others. While there usually is wait times posted on a board, it generally is inside the park's entrance. Better wait and non-operating attraction disclosures before one buys tickets could be an improvement worth considering, especially during the busiest week of the year.
MDSasquatch on 01/11/2011:
"We went to Universal Studios the week on 12/27"

nuff said
Anonymous on 01/11/2011:
all I saw was 12/27.
Fufu487 on 01/11/2011:
with everyone else here, I'm sorry to say. You went during peak times, you contributed to the lines as well. Yes, they could limit park entry, but they can't control who wants to go to what attractions, and they sure as heck arn't going to refund your tickets just because you didn't get to go on the attraction you wanted to. Rides break sometimes, they are running all day, all the time. Even regular maintenance checks won't 100% guarantee they won't have occasional issues. That Harry Potter attraction is hot stuff right now, everyone wants to see it. Of course it's going to be hard to get into it.
stacey063 on 01/22/2011:
I too experienced the abhorrent situation at Islands of Adventure. I did contact Universal after the fact about it and they have been more than gracious and personal about getting me replacement tix to come another time. I only wish they'd been that personal and customer oriented at the park.
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Universal Studio's Staff Needs Training In Manners And Cater A Little To The Disabled
Posted by on
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 be go to Universal and we park a long way a way 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 in to 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 who ever 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 Sargent comes up and says they cannot go into the park with that cooler and he point to the seat on my husbands walker, my husband got so mad and turned to that boy and said "Son, who best go mind your F______ business and leave me the F______ 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 anymore 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 they 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 back backs 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 too, there was no need of the embarrassment, hassle and humiliation that they put us through and wasted 3 hours of our time.
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Anonymous on 04/17/2009:
"Son, who best go mind your F______ business and leave me the F______ 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."
Right there you should have been shown the door. The whole spirit of the ADA is that people with challenges should not be discriminated against, they want and demand to be treated like everyone else. Like anyone else who acted in such a boorish manner, you should have been ejected from the park. You don't want to be treated equally, you want to be catered (your word) to.
Anonymous on 04/17/2009:
Smokey, I don't blame your husband for his frustration. It's hard enough to have a disability, let alone be harassed for just trying to transport medication safely. None of t should have never happened in the first place. Thanks for the post.
Anonymous on 04/17/2009:
It should read, "It should have never happened in the first place." I'm apparently typing faster than I can think, LOL.
BokiBean on 04/17/2009:
"..they bend over backwards for the handicap.." Ken is right. Bending over backwards is not the point of the ADA.

Your husband used the F bomb at security in line at a family theme park...I dunno what you expected after that, time to turn around and go home.
Anonymous on 04/17/2009:
Boki, I totally understand what you mean, but sometimes people do get pushed to the limit and the F-bomb happens when you least expect it. (She did say she had never seen him that mad.) It sounds like they were going to leave, but the person they called encouraged them to go back and speak to a supervisor. It seems they just couldn't win.
BokiBean on 04/17/2009:
Very true, knowitall2, and I completely agree with the original complaint they had about being able to get his medication into the park safely...they should have been accommodated. After that, it just deteriorated.
Anonymous on 04/17/2009:
I have to respectfully disagree with Ken. These folks were mishandled by testosterone-intoxicated security guards who have watched far too much "Homeland Security", "NCIS", and "The Unit". The place is a tourist attraction, not Pelican Bay SHU. Give a wannabe LEO a polo shirt with a badge sewn on it, some wrap-around sunglasses, and cargo pants and they turn into authoritarian thugs. In addition to their security function, these staff members are representatives of Universal who should endeavor to assist guests with special needs so, they too, can enjoy the attraction. After being mishandled, it is no small wonder the man lashed out with some language. 'Security' escalated an easily solved guest need into an excuse to exert their authority. Helpful review.
Anonymous on 04/17/2009:
Out of control Rent-A-Cop's, JMHO.
Anonymous on 04/17/2009:
Deteriorate is putting it lightly and very politely, I might add, lol. It was probably a scene, to be sure.

SB, maybe they were the same ones they used for the Target incident?
BokiBean on 04/17/2009:
Oh yeah, I'm sure it was quite the scene!

My sis was in a wheelchair for almost 5 years. I learned a lot during that time and still give people the stink eye for parking in handicapped without a placard.

I'm not comfortable with the idea of "bending over backwards" or "catering" to disabled people. My sister never expected that and would have been embarrassed and uncomfortable with it. She just wanted to get along like everybody else. Just my opinion.
Anonymous on 04/17/2009:
I totally agree with Ken and Boki's first comment. Once you start dropping 'F' bombs at a family attraction your argument loses all merit. I agree the guards may have been unreasonable but that is no call to get belligerent and profane. The best you can salvage from all this is a 'Lesson Learned'. Anger never adds to success in conflict resolution.

Good luck!
Anonymous on 04/17/2009:
Doc, I have to respectfully disagree right back. I saw no mistreatment. They told the OP the park policy. They offered to substitute other coolers. I think they went out of their way to be accommodating. The OP however was having none of it. THEY deserved to be exempted from policy, and nothing less was going to make them happy.

One other point, exactly how much medication would one need to carry for a visit to an amusement park? Note that they also had soft drinks in the offending cooler. I still think it was a clear case of 'no one is going to tell us what we can or cannot do!'.
Principissa on 04/17/2009:
I also agree with Boki and Ken. There is no reason to swear like that in a family oriented theme park. I don't talk like that in front of my kids and I would appreciate it if others didn't as well. If I had swore like that I'd have been given the boot no questions asked.

I think they were quite accommodating when they offered a different cooler for the medication, in fact I think that was more than they should have done after being spoken to like that. Rules apply to everyone disabled or not. They told them the park policy the poster wanted an exception made, they were willing to make that exception in the form of a different cooler and in turn were cussed out.

This has nothing to do with the ADA, it has to do with someone being told no and throwing a tantrum when they didn't get their way.
saj80 on 04/17/2009:
Their coolers leak, but yours, with the lid open 2-3 inches, doesn't?
Buddy01 on 04/18/2009:
I understand your frustration, but I assume you were not serious about taking your case to the Supreme Court. They hear less than 100 cases per year out of about 8,000 presented. I don't think they would be interested in a case where someone is angry because they were treated equally and not catered to.
madconsumer on 04/18/2009:
the disability did not cause this issue, nor did they dis-respect you. it was you who has little concern over their rules.
Frank on 05/15/2013:
If you are Premier Pass holders for 2 years, why didn't you know that large coolers are not permitted? Also, Universal has a Health Services building where they will store your medications and refrigerate if necessary. I don't know why you would want to lug a giant cooler all over the park. Also, cursing out the park security is very low class.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
NOT Wheelchair Friendly
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
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 Ruby Jo 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 reevaluate 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.
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At Your Service on 12/28/2012:
Well written complaint. Did you stay within the park even though they had refunded your admission price?
madconsumer on 12/28/2012:
universal studio theme parks are owned by nbcuniversal 51% and general electric 49%.
olie on 12/29/2012:
The Universal website lists height requirements for different rides. Many 5-year-olds do not meet these height requirements. Add in your child's special needs, and the ride may not be safe for your child medically.

I found the link to the ADA accessibility to be very vague. (I can't read this: For a list of all attractions and their specific requirements and accommodations, please consult Universal Orlando's Rider's Guide for Rider Safety and Guests with Disabilities. Adobe is being stupid on my own personal laptop.)

If it's vague on the website, you can be sure it's vague to employees, too. I'm sorry that you had such a disappointing experience with a young child.
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Left feeling ripped off at Universal Studios
Posted by on
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- My family and I had an experience at Universal Studio that has left us feeling disappointed and very. We entered the park around 11 am at the cost of $566.88 (6 Adult tickets plus parking of $30.) on December 22, 2010. Two hours passed (because of pushing and bumping through crowds and poor signage) beore we were able to experience anything the park had to offer – and that was lunch at an additional cost of $40. We had to wait until 3 PM to enter Harry Potter Theme Park only to queue up for a line a mile long for the Forbidden Journey.

There was no crowd control and no employees within sight to give direction. It was dangerously overcrowded. If one person panicked we would have been trampled to death. Families were forming chains, holding onto each other so as not to be separated. This was a very dangerous situation. After the ride we found ourselves again fighting our way out of the gift shop. My husband and I are seniors and we were so uncomfortable with the crowds that we had to escape Harry Potter Theme Park to Dr. Seuss land. We rested a few minutes then left the park at 4:30 PM. Our daughter and her family queued up for another line (40 minute wait) to purchase a wand for her two children - another $60 for two wands.
Almost $700 for us to enjoy 2-3 minutes on a ride compared to hours of frustrating, dangerous overcrowding for over a hundred dollars a person is a complete rip off.
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RestaurantGuy on 01/10/2011:
During peak times or days that are nice these theme parks are very crowded and busy. What you just described is a normal busy day at any major theme park nationwide. My advice would be to avoid them during peak times if you do not like crowds
unhappy999 on 01/10/2011:
I've been taking my kids (now almost grown) to amusement parts in the NJ/PA area since they were little. Hardly ever, if at all, did we buy souvenirs. I'm not sure why you are complaining about waiting in line 40 minutes to buy 2 wands for $60. This was your daughters choice. I would have saved that $60. I will stick to the smaller amusement parks in the Northeast. Your complaint about crowds seems to be the norm these days. I agree, the Fl and CA parks are not worth the money.
momsey on 01/10/2011:
I disagree that what the OP described is normal or to be expected in any way. Yes, it's a busy time of year to go to those theme parks, but if they will take all that money for tickets, there should be a limit on how many people are allowed in each day.

And she's complaining about the wait and the cost of the wands because it's a valid complaint. Yes, her daughter made the decision to go through with it, but it doesn't mean she's happy with it.

All of these reviews are very helpful to me because I know not to visit Disney or Universal anytime around the holidays.
Skye on 01/10/2011:
We've been to Disneyland in California, several times, and never had problems, because we've always gone off season, right after Labor Day. Less crowds, because the kids are back in school.

I know it's hard for some to travel off season due to work schedules, and school schedules, but it's something to think about.
trmn8r on 01/10/2011:
I would have been getting in line and forming a human chain around the management booth, with the expectation of demanding a refund. That's absurd. From what I have read, they let far too many people into this event.

Very helpful to those who might consider a similar trip at the same time of year.
localgod on 01/11/2011:
I agree both ways. Expect the unexpected in all theme parks, especially Orlando/Tampa parks during tourist season. They are probably oversold and not friendly to families with young children and those with limited accessibility. Learn a lesson from a long time Central Floridian; we love our tourists, but please use the discretion the locals use. Avoid peak times and weekends, especially with new attractions. Don't expect to be alone in your endeavors. Be patient, and wait your given turn. Expect to pay exorbitant prices for food and drink. It is what it is, if it's not your cup of tea to wait 45 minutes to 2 hours standing in line, and you didn't spring for the Fast Pass, your experience will be dissatisfying. Please enjoy our beaches and moderate Winter weather instead, the parks are overcrowded from November to April. BTW - Florida residents get deep discounts in the off-season when there are barely any lines.
Venice09 on 01/11/2011:
The overcrowding issue is a disaster in the making. I agree with this OP and others that better crowd control and supervision are essential. If the park permits overcrowding, the least it should do is have adequate staff and procedures in place to ensure that all patrons are safe, especially the children. One little thing could set these crowds into a frenzy, and the outcome could be very scary.

Complaining about the cost is pointless. By choosing to visit these parks, you are agreeing to the prices.
Anonymous on 01/11/2011:
All I had to read was December 22nd.
Inat on 01/11/2011:
I'll never, ever,ever, understand how someone can complain about crowds and queue lengths at theme parks during peak season
stacey063 on 01/11/2011:
I had the same experience as this person - very unsafe situation - this was WAAAAy worse than anything I have ever experience at any park during holiday times - total chaos - a major tragedy in the making due to their lack of crowd control. I have been to Disney many many times for holiday things - they've never come close to this crowd issue!!! Universal will go down when everyone gets trampelled to death soon at Harry Potter.
Anonymous on 01/11/2011:
Everyone wanted to do the Harry Potter ride for Xmas. I
M sure if Universal had turned people away there would be complaints about that. Your best bet is to do your research and go at a less crowded time. Christmas in Orlando is a bad time to go.
Venice09 on 01/11/2011:
Stacey, that's the point I was trying to make. I think people expect crowds, and that the real complaint is the lack of control. Certainly Universal must have anticipated a larger than usual crowd for the Harry Potter attraction. It sounds like they were completely unprepared. I'm afraid it's going to take a tragedy for them to do something about this.
stacey063 on 01/22/2011:
I emailed Universal about my similar Christmas week experience and detailed the horrible experience we had - they are giving me new tickets with no blackout/no expiration. I am sending in my receipts for purchase and they are sending me tickets. So let them know!
stacey063 on 01/22/2011:
I will also add I plan on trying it again during a midweek, non holiday time.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Universal Studios Orlando,its Not Worth the Money
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- When we got there July 20th at 10am, there was full crowd headed in and we expected that, but the time we spent in the lines for Despicable Me and Rock it were a joke. Not to mention twice we were in line for Transformers and the man came over the PA and said the ride would be down for up to 45 minutes! This is all during the time the WAIT sign said up to 140 minutes!!! What the hell,, Even Disney has max times of an hour, oh and that don't charge you for FAST PASS like they do at Universal.. And one other side note,, my daughter and I questioned when the EXPRESS Pass line was moving so fast versus us,, the Park Attendant says" we use a ratio of 60 Fast pass riders and then 40 regular park riders, so basically they want your money and then stick it to you if you don't give them more... Won't be back unless someone gives me FREE TICKETS and going to let everyone I know, on the AIR and NEWS, Facebook know about this BS.. As a Florida Resident I am appalled about how crappy Universal treats is guests forgiven or domestic!
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Weedwhacked on 07/22/2013:
That's what happens when you go on a busy day and attempt to ride the most popular ride. We were there the third week of June and expected those lines to be "a joke" or long.

I see you went on a Saturday. Perhaps the lines would have been better if you went on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
FoDaddy19 on 07/22/2013:
It doesn't sound like you received any worse treatment than the other bazillion people who were in the park. Sounds like it was just really busy. I mean it was a Saturday during the summer, what were you expecting?
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Best Park Ever
Posted by on
Rating: 5/51
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I love this place and some people complain over it being busy but it's because everyone wants to be in the best park on earth! I bought a ticket and the operator helped me save a ton of money by offering me the best ticket for both parks universal and islands of adventure, and the express ticket to save time waiting in the regular lines. I also purchased a meal deal band so I could eat all day saving me a lot of money. I thought they was so nice and pleasant, it's always nice to see smiling faces and helpful people. I had a amazing time and loves all the rides, it's a happy place and everyone who works there are so amazing. You will love the place and have a wonderful time. I would recommend going to anyone.
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Anna Molly on 09/14/2012:
I haven't been to either park in years, but, when I did go, I had an awfully good time. I traveled off season, of course, so there was less of a crowd issue.. I agree that all the employees I came in contact with were pleasant and helpful. Good review!

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