Consumer Complaints and Reviews
My family and I decided to visit Universal Studios in Orlando this past August (2016). Of course, it down poured just as we arrived. The rain lasted for about an hour. We were then ready to experience the parks. The first thing I hated was the mandatory lockers. You have to put everything into this locker. The first 45 minutes (I believe) was free, but the ride took longer. You then had to find someone to unlock the locker, so you can pay the fee. I did not buy one single thing at the park because of this locker situation.
The next thing was that the locker leaked. My son's phone was sitting in a puddle of water when we returned from the ride. It did not work for a good 24 hours after. The phone proceeded to die 1 month later. The tech said the cause was water damage. The last episode was my other son put his phone and wallet into a zippered pocket. When he tried to get onto a ride, he was told to put his items into a locker. The locker system STINKS! One other thing that happened was on the King Kong ride. The ride glitched big time right in the middle of the ride. We were not offered to ride again. I won't be taking my family back.
In May 2016 me, my husband, daughter and her friend came to Orlando to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. It was the worst time of my life. Bought tickets for a week and got to the park and they did not work and it took them 2 hours to get it straight and the lady at the window was very nasty telling us we would have to pay again. The rides was not working. They did not offer any compensation for their mess up not even a phone call back to say sorry or kiss they butt or nothing. Very disappointed with Orlando. Will never go back. Paid for an experience, got BS instead, too much money wasted. I know y'all don't care because people still going to come but understand this trip we take 3 times a year now we will not take again.
I wish the execs at Universal Hollywood could spend a day at their park in a wheelchair. My family is unique as we have myself, the mother, in a mobility scooter and our son uses a pediatric chair also. My husband and daughter were with us too. We parked with our Metro pass/DMV placard at the Metro stop. The bridge over to the shuttle stop is awesome in keeping pedestrians off the street. BUT then it all went south: The first shuttle that came did not have a working wheelchair lift. We waited again and the next shuttle did have a lift but was very slow and bumpy. The shuttle itself barely made it up the hill and smelled like burning engine when we were dropped off in front.
The next issue was the Harry Potter area. The cobblestone walkway is real cobblestone: It was actually painful to ride the scooter over this. My husband could push our son in the shops but I could not get the scooter in due to narrow aisles and general overcrowding. I had to wait outside. The lady's restroom had a handicap stall but it was hard to maneuver the entrance, around the line for the baby change area to the stalls. I did not see the wheelchair sink. The worse part was the ride in the castle: to stay in the scooter we had to use the disability entrance: completely plain and non-interactive. A huge part of this attraction is walking through the castle: the line walks the crowd through the various areas of 'Hogwart's castle'. This part of the attraction is not accessible at all. Me and my son had no access to this and we had no idea we would miss so much and was very disappointing.
Then we had to wait for about 20 minutes before taking an elevator from the disabled line to the boarding area. There was one party of 4 and a party of 6 ahead of us: in 3 groups they went down the elevator, rode the ride, then returned up the elevator. The first party had to be completely back upstairs and on the way to the exit before the next part could start boarding the elevator. When we finally get to board we sat for another few minutes before the operator could get the ride started... but then had to wait again at the point where the 'disabled car' merged onto the regular track: It didn't seem fair to encounter so many trivial delays that would not have occurred in the regular line.
Then the butterbeer. This wasn't an accessible thing but still terrible: Our son has a disease called Mastocytosis and is allergic to many many items. He is anaphylactic to high fructose corn syrup. We asked the staff at both butterbeer kiosks for a printed ingredients list and they refused. They would only admit to traces of nuts. First of all: I can see the milk/cream on top and dairy is one of the top 8 that must be declared. Secondly, an ingredients list is different from a recipe: I was asking for valid medical reasons. We ended up telling our son there was egg and milk in the product so he would understand why we weren't buying BUT I would have loved to have bought this if we could verify it was safe.
We scooted to Minion World where the ramp to get to Minion ride has got to be within one degree of ADA compliance: way too steep. A manual chair would be difficult to manipulate for an adult. The lower lot was a nightmare to get to: There are elevators that take wheeled parties to a shuttle stop area. We wait about 20 minutes for the shuttle to take us down to the lower lot. There was a 50/50 split between wheelchairs and strollers using this shuttle. A longer wait on the way back up. There is only one shuttle for all wheelchairs and strollers, taking 3-4 wheelchairs/scooters/strollers at a time to a major area of the park. The 4 part escalator that carries abled bodies from the main park to the lower lot is an attraction within itself and not accessible for mobility devices yet much quicker than getting the shuttle.
The backlot tour: again over-crowding and narrow walkways to and from the one elevator. AND for the second time today, the first tram's wheelchair lift was broken. So we waited longer for tram #2. The journey back to the car was the worst of all: We had eaten dinner at the City Walk then returned to the shuttle stop to take us back down the hill. 15 minutes and the shuttle with the broken lift (this was the first one to come by earlier today). So another 15-20 minutes. But the same shuttle had returned. Then the young lady who worked there said the hotel van would be coming by because there is no tram with a wheelchair lift right now.
The SECOND time the hotel shuttle blew right past where we were waiting (with the employee with the walkie talkie). We decide to walk to the pick-up area to see and the kids wait while Kevin gets the car. We only see stairs leading down to the street. So we go to the elevator in the Frankenstein parking lot. We take the elevator to the second floor, as low as it goes, and look for a way to get out to the street. Instead we find Erik. Erik is a parking employee who was just finishing his lunch break. He walked with us back up the elevator and then walked us through the crowd in the front and down the (way too steep) ramp to the sidewalk. He walked with us down to the light on Hotel Drive. But the road from that point was way too steep to safely try ride the mobility scooter down: My husband pushes our son down the hill while my daughter and I wait in the empty parking lot for them to come back with the car.
The degree of the grade is quite steep. Kevin says he didn't feel comfortable pushing Zach, a 9 year old, in his stroller/wheelchair down such a steep grade. BUT the shuttles didn't have a working lift. There should have been some other 'real' means of ways to safely get those who use wheelchairs up and down that hill. We are thankful for the employee that helped us but it is scary that there isn't much option we had getting back to the car. From leaving the restaurant at City Walk to getting everybody and scooter in our car was almost 2 hours and that is ridiculous. Universal should have put a shuttle for wheelchairs once the big trams no longer work well. We bought the SoCal passes and this was our first trip. I don't think we'll go again: the park is not accessible enough and I don't want to be stranded away from the car again.
This review is mostly for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. The Guest Relations people are very good and tried to take care of us. My boyfriend took me to Universals as a surprise so we could explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. He bought Gate A tickets and the preferred parking to ensure we would have a good time. No long lines or long walks. We enter the park and walk around to take in the scenery and explore the shops. We bought robes and one rfid wand and the wand and cane for Lucius Malfoy. This is where it starts getting annoying.
We then tried to go onto the main ride but are stopped at the gate by a guy. We were told that the cane wouldn't be allowed inside. We asked about lockers and were told that the lockers wouldn't fit the cane. So we walked out of Potter land and talked to guest relations, who happen to be placed right outside. They tell us that we should be able to bring the cane inside, especially since we bought it there.
So we walk back to the ride and ask a different person, a girl, where the Gate A people go. This person wouldn't tell us and wouldn't let us through. We explain that the guest relations people said we can bring it in. She then says that we can bring it in but they will not hold it for us but still wouldn't tell us where to go. She kept repeating that we couldn't bring it in. She then suggested ride switching. I told her to not suggest that since the point of coming to a theme park is to spend the day together and if she suggests that, she will get people mad at her. She agrees with me and then proceeds to suggest ride switching again.
At this point my boyfriend and I are no longer having fun and feel that we wasted our money and our time. We have walked back and forth and spent about an hour dealing with a situation that was so idiotic. We bought this cane at this part of the park, why wouldn't we be allowed to bring in on one of the only rides there? So we walk away again, talk to guest relations and they are equally upset. They offer to hold the cane for us at the office, which was nice of them but we ended up buying more merchandise at the main store at the front. We solved the problem by putting everything away in the car. When we finally went on the ride, we felt that it was too short and definitely not worth the time we wasted.
We also had one other problem. Other guests thought that we worked at the park because we were in robes. We couldn't understand why at first, all the crew members were dressed in professor or prefect robes, or so it seemed. When we finally got into the main ride, all the crew members were wearing student robes. This doesn't make sense. Why would the crew members wear robes that your guests can buy? It really ruined the magic for us when we kept getting stopped for directions. Summary of this review: Please don't sell something that your ride operators cannot hold for you and please don't have your crew wearing something your guests can buy.
At 9:30 p.m. on Monday, November 28, 2016, I, Jorge **, and three friends, all adults over 40, visited the City Walk at Universal Studios in Orlando. At the access control I was stopped for carrying one (1) beer. Accepting the regulations I took the bottle to the bathroom and poured its contents into the sink. On the way to the entrance, I'm intercepted by security supervisor JIM ** and asks me about the beer. I told him I threw it in the trash. In a few minutes the supervisor JIM ** returns and in a very rude, derogatory, contemptuous and discriminatory manner, accusing me that I took it for stupid because according to him I drank the beer, and stopping for several minutes with false and bad accusations.
We felt great frustration, embarrassment, and humiliation over the mistreatment of this supervisor JIM ** for the rest of the night. I hope that Universal Studios Resort takes into account my complaint, because... "Where the mistreatment begins, magic, fantasy, and the passion of having an incredible time are over." Thank you very much for your attention.
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As much as I wish I could enjoy this trip I'm hurt that you all didn't get back with me in July of this year. I had paid over 2,000.00 for 6 adults with a passport to rides with it... Myself and my husband were in wheelchairs and two had to push us all day. Therefore they nor us enjoyed it. We sure was hoping to hear back from you all. We were under the understanding that once across we could trade in the wheelchairs to motorized ones so all our sons could enjoy the park. We went back several times checking on one. When we did get the call we had made it to Harry Potter land and just gotten off the train. There was no way we'd be there in 10 minutes being the two sons that had pushed us was already tired... The best part of our tickets was the meals we ate... I still feel bad for my two sons that did not let us down. One has light Cerebral Palsy. The other son has OCDD and Bipolar. They literally gave up their day for us their parents. God bless you all.
I'm Ukrainian but I've been living in Miami for a bit more than a year now. My mom finally came to visit me - I haven't seen her for a year and a half, she lives in Ukraine. I decided to take her to Universal Parks cause she always wanted to go and me myself have never been there... I purchased two days park-to-park tickets for both of us. We planned our park's visit for today (Monday) and tomorrow.
We just got back to our hotel, we came straight from the park... Right now its 9:17pm. The day started well... Lines were long since the morning. We went straight to the Universal park planning Island of adventures for tomorrow. Line for the minions ride was long since 10:00 am (that's about the time we got in after waited for an hour in line to get our physical tickets, which I actually purchased in advance in the internet, but the park requires that you PRINT out your confirmation number and stand in line with everyone else to get your actual tickets).
The wait for the rides is important for the later issue. In the park's app it said the line for Shrek was 25 min - so we went there. We waited 50 min. Wanted to ride the Transformers - it was delayed for about an hour. We kept walking around, taking pictures, rode the Mummy, waited. I was keeping it positive. The line for Simpsons was an hour! Harry Potter - about 35 min. There was a delay with the train connecting the two parks, we waited in line for about 30min, but we used that time to eat whatever we brought with us...
We came to the Island of Adventure around 5pm. Went straight to the Harry Potter largest ride and surprisingly the wait there was very small. The same with the Jurassic Park. It was 5:40. I saw in the app that the wait for King Kong ride was 60 min, the whole day I was checking. So I decided to do that, cause it was already the end of the day, park is opened till 7pm, so it's alright. No one told us nothing when we went inside to stand in line - they just let us go.
After about 15min of waiting we heard the announcement that they were having a brief delay. This announcement repeated again in about 10 min. The line was constantly moving forward little by little so we thought all is good. Then the sound went off. Then there was another announcement saying it's an extended delay. Then they announced it's working again. Hurray! The line began to move. Then again a brief delay. It was already 7pm so there was no point in going outside.
After another 20 min it became again an extended delay. Then they announced in another 10 min that they don't know when the ride will resume working. Still no one tells us to leave. We're standing. Another 10-15 min – it's working again! Hurray. We approached the tracks itself in another 15-20 min. And it stopped working again. Same story - brief delay, extended delay, then we don't know when it's gonna work again. Around 8pm we were given a single-ride express pass each and asked to leave...
I took my mom straight to the customer's support. There were people that left the King Kong ride after standing in line with us for an hour - as you understand they didn't even get that single free ride pass. There were about 15 to 20 people in line for customer's support. Everyone was very very upset and unsatisfied with this situation and park's attempt to compensate us waiting in line for 2.5 hours... We've all talked and shared our thoughts.
A mom with her son in front of us weren't even going to come back tomorrow. But me and my mom were. That lady got free park tickets that she can use whenever she wants, they were from Atlanta. My mom came from Ukraine. And the lady at the desk offered us 5 single-ride express passes each for tomorrow. To say I wasn't satisfied with this solution is to say it very politely. I asked to speak with a manager. It was already around 8:40pm, my mom and I were tired to say the least.
The manager came. His name is Bobby. I explained the whole experience to him again, the fact that other people got free park tickets and we don't even get an express pass to all the rides tomorrow was so unfair. I said that I would like to come back tomorrow in a good mood, thus I would wish to be compensated with express passes to all the rides to both parks at least. I also asked for the free parking tomorrow.
I was sure that the stuff would cooperate to help us enjoy our day tomorrow. But the truth is that the park is just ripping people off. What I asked for would cost them absolutely nothing, even if they would add a free lunch. Honestly, it's true. The manager spoke to me in a very bad manner - I say to me, because my mom doesn't speak English. I explained my concern about free park tickets and how unfair their solution to our situation is.
His response was that based on my experience the maximum we are getting is 7 single-ride express tickets each. That's all. And there is nothing else we will get. They are only compensating us for the time we lost on the ride, which doesn't make any sense to me. I worked in customer service myself, and I know how this works. The people who weren't planning to come back to the park tomorrow got the free park tickets, the worth of which is much more than even just two express passes which I asked for.
The manager talked to me in a manner that made me feel so bad, and so less of a person than other people who weren't planning on coming back tomorrow. I repeated that I'm not satisfied with his solution and I'm really feeling frustrated now and sad. Plus I was feeling so bad, because I really wanted to give a great experience to my mom. He brought me to tears and we left the office with those 7 single-ride express passes each.
All the way to the exit I was hysterical, crying not being able to stop. We stopped at another customer's service office right next to the exit to the parking already. With tears I just wanted to let them know how another manager talked to me that now I'm leaving the Universal crying like that. It's not normal. I don't know if they understood me with my sobbing, but that's the experience I got. We have to go back there tomorrow, as we planned, because the money is paid already. But I just wish that my first experience in the Universal's land of wonders was different. Wish a good evening to everybody and hope you'll have a much better experience in these parks.
I attended HHN 26 on Oct. 22. Now mind you me and my party of 15 had just arrived around 9 pm. So around 11:30 we're entering the Walking Dead Exhibit and one of the employees who were in character was walking backwards towards me and my niece so as she got up on us she turned abruptly but didn't expect to see my niece. So she was startled and me being the jokester of course I started laughing and I said "wow my niece scared you instead of you scaring her." Really didn't think nothing else of it. So as I'm walking off and laughing she comes up behind me and say I quote "KEEP TALKING ** I WILL SPIT IN YOUR FACE **." As you all know I almost lost it. For someone to DISRESPECT me the way she did was uncalled for.
So I went and found a park employee and proceeded to let her know what happened. She acted as if she didn't want to help so I asked her to call security before this situation escalated and she did. So my niece and I wrote a WITNESS STATEMENT against the park employee JUSTIN. The security never told me that once I was finish with that process that I had to go to GUEST SERVICES to follow up with my complaint. So to make a long story short I called UNIVERSAL STUDIOS today to do a follow-up. My complaint was never documented and they told me it's really nothing they can do since I did not follow up with GUEST SERVICES that night. Oh wait a minute. They did say they can give me 10 percent off my next visit.
Mind you me and my friends spent over 3000 dollars and we were only in the park for 2 hours because after that incident my NIGHT WAS RUINED so I left the park. So if you plan on visiting UNIVERSAL STUDIOS and ever GET DISRESPECTED IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM DON'T EXPECT ANY COMPENSATION FOR YOUR INCONVENIENCES.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016... so we drove up to the parking gate and was asked if we would like to park a ways and walk about a quarter mile down the shopping venue for $18 or $25 to get closer parking. Being the first time there at the park with my husband and three boys, we were very excited to walk and experience everything. I handed the parking attendant a $100 bill and received $82 in change along with the receipt. Count my change, slid the money with the receipt and stuck them inside my cross body purse where it was resting snugly by my wallet. We then parked and took the elevator down.
Now before you enter the park, there are security checking your belongings, like any of the other parks. This park has two security people per line. My husband and son went through one line and my other two sons and I went through another. I placed my purse and a bottle of water on the table where belongings were being checked. A ** woman open my purse and was running her fingers through my wallet and receipt and whatever else. Almost like when you would look through a card catalog in the library. I thought it was strange but I didn't think anything of it of course. But why would I?
I was with my purse the whole time... until she said "you can take your water bottle with you." "Oh, OK" I said, and went back for the stinking water and trying to keep a 5 and 7 years old kids in line. That's when my eyes were away from my purse. Thinking she would put everything in the "white dish" and hand them to you. But no, next my purse was handed off to the second ** security guy behind her. He gently patted my little purse as he slid it down the table to me with a nice grin. Thought it was strange but I didn't think anything of it again, of course! But why would I? Any who, first stop was the bathroom. No biggy, everyone emptied their bladder, washed hands and off we went. We were so excited to be here, adrenaline pumping everyone was enjoying the moment.
Next we came up to a butterbeer cart. It's a must! I got in line to order, went into my little purse to get the $82 change from the parking attendant to pay for the butter beer. Yup. You know it. I was left with just the parking receipt that was suppose to be folded in half with the $82 change in my purse. I was furious. Why didn't I make a stink about it over there? Well, believe me I wanted to. But it's not worth my time to ruin my family's time together. Especially when we're out of town and the park closes at six.
Instead I do it online on my own time and just to get my story out and get it off my chest. In spite of all my ordeal my whole family had a great time! Universal Studios is an amazing park and we would definitely go back. This time with more precaution. With anywhere I go now, lesson learned. Just want to give someone a heads up, that's all. Ladies don't let your guards down. And for shaniqua and jose, take care of your family and enjoy your vacation. It's on me. Best, Karma.
We arrived to Universal Studios Tuesday 4th October 2016 and as Universal and Disney does not have a hoist for the many disabled guests they have each day, and as they do not offer any discounts for careers to help assist their client to access the park, and the fact my mother is unable to stand and transfer to use the toilet we had brought our own hoist with us to use at the parks, as it's a very long day to be not able to use the toilet, plus due to the heat you have to drink LOTS, seems totally unfair and disappointing as would have thought such places that say they are disabled friendly...
All saying that Disney were great and helped transport it to a central first aid room for us and allowed us to use it as a base, however Universal was rude, unhelpful and said we would have to transport it all the way to the other side of the park ourselves as they couldn't, and if anyone who has been there it's a trek in itself and with the crowds of people staring at us all struggling push a hoist through the park you can only imagine how my mother felt, as if it's not bad enough my mother is in a wheelchair dealing with the fact she has a disability it's the fact everyone knows her business. We felt as a family that was supposed to be a holiday of a lifetime is turning out to be a nightmare for us.
Sorry but to pay the amount of £1950 just on park entry is crazy. I really did think you would be up on your customer relations and help people with disabilities enjoy their day as you are quick enough to take our money. Staff are rude and unhelpful on the ET ride where it says you don't need to transfer and can stay in your chair, to get there and be told you have to get up and go in a standard chair as in their words "I know for a fact the chair will not fit" after asking several times to just try it, my mother's chair fitted just fine with no problems, I wonder how many other wheelchair users was made to leave without being able to try... plus the park closed early at 6 pm even though it says 7 pm on website... so I know we only lost an hour but that meant we didn't get chance to ride the Hogwarts Express.
I just hope we get enough time when we do Island of Adventure... as we have already paid for tickets. We have already lost 2 days due to hurricane Matthew and the park is shut till Saturday... which I know is not anyone's fault. I just hope and I mean hope that we get staff that will help instead of just sitting on their bum and not caring at all.
We saved all year to take our children to a Disney/Universal Studio vacation. Our kids had to see the Harry Potter ride and the Minions ride at Universal. When we got there, we were told that rather than staying open that night until 9 PM they were going to close the park at 6 PM. When we asked for a discounted price, considering that we were going to lose a third of our day there, we were told that we could get an Express Pass for a cheaper rate. One condition: no Harry Potter ride. There was no negotiation. Either pay the full price and be taken for $30 dollars a ticket or tell the kids that they could not ride Harry Potter. So we paid the full $100 a person ticket.
When I got home, I called to complain and after getting the runaround with the automated system, finally spoke to a woman who could not give a damn. Her response was that we should have told the kids that we were not going on Harry Potter if we wanted to "be cheap about it". Then she had the nerve to ask if she could help me set up a future trip. That will never happen.
Fun much. Memorable! "Nobody Fools Mother Nature". No one's perfect. Other than rain sometimes and squabbles with family members, I'll tell you my worst day there was on my 50th birthday (you only have one shot for your 50th). My husband and I went and he knew we needed a wheelchair. As soon as I purchased one I got in it and he said "I really don't feel like pushing you in the wheelchair. Can't you walk knowing it was already having to walk all the way from the car." So furiously I went back to the wheelchair place to take it back. No refund. That's nice so to cut to the chase we ended up separated in the park. He called me and said he'd gone to our hotel. He said he was sick. I was so pissed. Ended up he really was sick leaving him in that hotel room alone that night. My son picked me up.
The park was fantastic and interacting with the characters was great fun. The military discount was a great package deal. So much to do and see. It's hard to get it into only a couple of days. You pay for everything, but it's nice you can find an outlet to charge a phone. It was a great time at the park. The rides were fun, and there was a great variety for everyone. Meals were good, and fairly priced. The only draw back to the entire visit was the crowds at the Harry Potter sections. Lines moved fast but to take in the simple exhibits and try out your wand was a constant challenge when people lack patience.
Top of the line. One of the greatest places on earth. The whole family would love. You ever get a chance to go, please go. Lots of fun for the whole family and friends. Come on let's get ready to go!!!
Very good. The rides and attractions were both exciting and fun. My only complaint was the long wait in lines. But we managed to ride the Transformers ride three times. It was my family's favorite! We will definitely go again before the season ends.
My stay was pleasant. Great service! Great food, fun rides. My mom had free rooms and free tickets to the theme park. I think the only thing I have a problem with was the prices!! $$$$ everything.
"Front of the line" passes - I know that waiting in line is a necessary evil when visiting a theme park. Universal Studios has added to the negativity of the process, though, by making you wait even longer behind those who are willing to pay more money to go to the head of the line. Please know that Universal is selling YOUR time and keeping the money while you wait. My wife and I brought my son there and we spent nearly $500 between parking, admission, food, and two small gifts. My wife and I were there for my son so he provided our fulfillment. I must admit that he thoroughly enjoyed himself... except for the waiting. But, no matter how much he enjoyed himself, it's hard to justify spending $500 to make that happen. Think hard before giving your time away to Universal so they can sell it to others.
Worth the money. Fun and so much to do that you can't get it all done in one day. The ultimate pass was awesome. We bought the $45 one that starts after 4 and we had so much fun. Much better than anything Disney had to offer, spend your money here. It's worth it.
I have never taken time to leave a poor review for any company before but Universal deserves my attention! I have been an annual pass holder for 2 years and paid by the day for 3 years. You would think they would accommodate loyal visitors... NOPE! They lost one here due to their misleading booking agents and condescending customer service manager whom I trusted would handle the issue professionally.
I booked 3 nights at Universal Resort Cabana Bay and Blue man group for night 2. We've been to Blue man before so this was just an extra. Only Instead of staying on-site 3 nights, we spent 1st night at Disney (1st visit ever) back to Cabana Bay night 2 because it wasn't refundable then back to Disney night 3. It was exhausting going back and forth but I wasn't giving Universal any more than I had to. Disney was soooo much more accommodating and friendlier. Their customer service was amazing! Bye Universal. Our 700.00 annual passes didn't mean much to you so we have decided to give Disney that revenue moving forward. Your rides are great but customer service sucks.
July 7, 2016, My family and I were visiting for the first time and were in the Harry Potter section. The kids had gone off to ride a coaster. Due to medication, I was feeling extremely hot, lightheaded and my heart was racing. There is no shade in that section. I truly felt I was going to pass out so I sought shelter in the air conditioned Confectionary where sipped cold water, turned on my fan, and sat down in the front corner of the shop out of the way. I was reaching for my phone to text my sister when an authentic Harry Potter Witch came by and told me that I couldn't sit there! I told her I was so hot. It was obvious I was in distress and I was just shocked of her lack of concern. I should have requested first aid, but I am stubborn so the feeling of pissed off took over and I left. Employees should learn to recognize heat-related illnesses and be more sensitive to guest's needs. I am a grown woman not a child.
My wife's birthday fell this year on Father's Day and besides the Magic Kingdom we also had tickets for Universal Studios. She is fond of all things Dinosaur and I wanted to see Harry Potter. We are newly married and had high hopes for a wonderful delayed honeymoon. Disney is wonderful. Even the merchandise is priced "respectfully" knowing you're in an enclosed circus. But Universal Studios is something else. Something I do not recommend. Maybe I can make an exception for Harry Potter because the food was good and the ride exciting and we made many photos and they were very appreciated by the family afterwards.
But at Jurassic Park, after a long long wait, we had the opportunity to be videotaped with a "real" moving dinosaur. My wife was so happy - till the man who set us in front of the "life" beast tore off my brand new Mickey Mouse bag and threw it to the ground meters away from us so that now we both have angry faces on the video taken in front of this robot dinosaur. That did it for us. We were so pissed off we immediately sauntered to the exit, extremely hot from being so long in line in the sun. Then came more trouble. We had arrived very early in the morning and were told to speed up to go to the entrance quick and neither of us knew where we had parked. Oh boy.
This had happened to me at Disney many years ago and the attendants there with a sort of golf cart went all out of his way to find our car. Not so at Universal. We met at the stairs with not one but 3 uniformed security guards (all 3 **) and only one was willing to "help" us by asking if we were in the right parking. The 2 others snubbed us. We were by now even more confused. Going around, we were met by a ** guard on a bicycle who asked what time we had gotten in and consulted a sort of map. He directed us to the lowest level but did not stay with us. We eventually found our car there after at least 1-hour search. I'm sorry but I do not recommend Universal. The attitude of the staff is horrible. Stay away from Universal!
A group of 13 people tried to enter the Groove Night Club at Universal Studios and one of our party had a government identification issued by the Department of Homeland Security and they turned us away because we were **. They treated us as if we were being belligerent. We explained that her identification FL license was left earlier at a paintball facility 45 mins away however she has a VALID ID issued by the US government. One manager accepted the ID for Universal.
However the manager of the night shift named Michael at the Groove said he could lose his liquor license if he lets her in, and it's private property and you could get kicked out if you continue to show your valid ID and debate with us. We were threatened and bullied to back down when we were 100% right. I even told them FL Statute 562.11 says all she needs is a valid ID issue by government. I was ignored. It's because we are **. I have seen this action before when a business chooses to ignore what's right because you're not their kind.
I paid $100 for a 3 day PhotoConnect pass and was extremely disappointed. We got less than 100 photos which resulted in 53 good pictures after eliminating duplicates. First there were very few photographers available throughout the park limiting the number of available poses. Our files included pictures that were not ours and excluded many that had been taken. Additionally, most of the poses were not enhanced with frames, character inserts or animated backgrounds. Unlike the Disney World Memory Maker which is automated by the wristbands, the PhotoConnect process is highly subject to human error. The photographer takes a picture of your card followed by the actual pictures which explains the misfiled picture. I definitely do not recommend wasting money on the PhotoConnect product.
On May 30, 2016, my son and I were humiliated when an Universal Studios employee from the Harry Potter ride singled out my son to test prior to riding. So as not to discriminate, he proceeded to ask our entire family to be tested. My son is 17 and is six feet. He is not overweight. Additionally, there were other guests who were in front of us who were overweight and were never asked to be tested and they proceeded to the ride without being stopped. My son just graduated from high school and we were celebrating with family who were also visiting from CO that had never been. The humiliation that this caused my son was upsetting. We waited in line for over 30 minutes and we were never informed by employees at the front entrance of the ride that there would be restrictions. Not to mention the locker process was a disaster! There's absolutely no guidance. The employees were unhelpful.
I asked to speak with a manager only to get a supervisor who tried to appease the circumstance by re-testing my son and realized they failed us when my son passed. He apologized and asked me who tested him. I pointed to the employee. The supervisor took our family through a staff entrance to get on the ride. We were separated from our party of eight because the others went on to ride without us. In addition, he gave us four front of the lines passes to sweep this incident under the rug and keep us from filing a complaint.
I was so disappointed with the ride process and believe restrictions should be posted on the ticket or website that this ride is not for everyone. This would have helped us make an informed decision not to visit Universal Studios. This should have been a happy occasion for son; however, this was the worst experience ever. We left after eating at Hog's Head and yet another terrible experience. The food was horrible. We left and didn't use the passes we were given. My son felt so embarrassed and no longer wished to be at a place that could cause him such humiliation in front of his cousins, aunts, uncle, and strangers passing by at the Harry Potter ride.
Unfortunately, I was unaware to go to Customer Service to ask for refund. I'm submitting a formal complaint to senior management to ask them for reimbursement for the shame they caused my son. And to use this concern as an additional training opportunity with their staff and as a process improvement. What is even more upsetting is that this issue pre-existed in Orlando, FL and nothing was done to remedy the situation. With that said, my son had a blast at Disneyland where he was not ever singled out to be tested for any rides. Disneyland is truly the happiest place on earth and can make a 17-year-old feel so wonderful about himself. "All dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." We are so disappointed with Universal Studios; Harry Potter ride process, outrageous prices for a wand, and the horrible food at Hog's Head. The only thing good was the butterbeer.
Last May, my husband and I went to Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan. We were very excited because they have the newly opened Harry Potter area! When we got in we lined up for the first ride that we saw- it was a Japanese anime called Attack of the Titans. We had to wait around 2 hours just to get in the ride. And it was not even a ride - it was a 4d movie with no english translation. So we just relied on the movie/pictures itself.
After that we decided to go to the Harry Potter area only to find out that we had to have our entry scheduled. We had to go to a place where they would enlist us and then give us our tickets for our scheduled entry. We enlisted around 12 noon and we got the 4 pm schedule. Bummer! We just went to eat and roam and shop around while waiting for our schedule because if we decided to wait in line for another ride, we might miss our schedule at the Harry Potter area! We entered the HP area at our scheduled time and guess what? Yes, they let us in but we still have to wait in line for another 2 hours just to get in one of the rides. =( It was really disappointing going to Universal especially because the ticket was very pricey and all we were able to do was wait in line for hours! It was not worth it. The only good thing about that trip was the Butterbeer that was sold at the HP area and it was very delicious!
So, my complaint is not on Universal's theme park directly. It is mainly pointed towards the hiring for the contractors and fabricators, the people who physically build/repair the rides. My fiancé works for a company who is contracted with both Disney and Universal. With Disney there was an incident with a foreman/boss physically putting his hands on a crew member and starting a fight between the two. Instead of firing the foreman, Universal allowed him to be switched to their contractors crew and denied the crew member who was assaulted, this resulted in him being terminated. Does Universal not do any kind of background checks on who they are hiring to do such an important job? This only causes an unsafe environment and no crewmembers want to work with foreman now. Doesn't this cause problems? There are so many problems behind the curtains that no one wants to deal with.
On May 5, 2016 my husband and I were humiliated when a Universal Studio worker ask my husband to leave the Harry Potter ride because of his size 6.4 tall, 280 pound. I did ride alone and could not have enjoyed it. There is nothing on the ticket or website about restrictions. My husband [firefighter] is a very Proud man and if the website would have a warning I can assure you, we would have stayed home instead of be made fun of by hundred of people.. He was not the only one to have to leave the ride.
I could not have let it go. I went to customer service and demanded a refund for his ticket. And did received a refund and apology. But how many people did not. Universal Orlando had the same problem but did nothing to try to fix the new ride in California. So customers will pay then be split from family, humiliated without knowing they could get a refund. For not to disclose, the ride is not for everyone. It's not bad enough how expensive, overcrowded. Now they have to humiliate people instead of a warning on the website not just in front of the ride. SHAME... SHAME.
First of all the drive up was visually nice. The entrance into the park was somewhat long, but you come to expect that. That was the good part. Here is the start of what I noticed first. All of the trees were in the park entrance. After a couple of hours in the middle of the park you become a little sun beaten. There is virtually no place to sit unless you grab a curb. That was impossible as the crowds were so heavy the curbs were busy. I am fit enough. I just like to sit down on a chair now and then. We can create a theme park, we can buy a chair. That is my motto. The crowds are not the fault of the park. The park just cannot handle them.
On this Spring Break day I fully expected it to be busy. Not as busy as it was though. WOW!! Shoulder to shoulder all day long. It was horrible. I could not stop to look at a thing or I was trampled. I never saw anything like this before. And the wait times were killer. 90 minutes for a ride was too much to handle. You needed a bathroom break afterwards and that was a line. My little family of four made it to 3 attractions in 6 hours after restroom breaks and eating. It was the worst 500 dollars you could possibly spend. I would have felt better leaving the park and giving the money to a homeless person and go home.
Everything is just a tick off from an overall good experience. Each step of the way you are left with "If they only did this." That is not my job to figure it out. All of the people that have enough money to make it to the park did their job. They worked hard to make it happen. So the last thing they want to do is go someplace and start thinking about work again. The food was criminally priced and I ran into one stand that was charging 15 dollars for a small hotdog and a coke. For that amount of money I want someone blowing my hotdog and sniffing coke with me. I could go on and on and on. The best ride experience in the park was people movers in the parking garage. They were fun to walk on. I would not go back there and I would not suggest anyone go there. What is good about the park is totally ruined by what is bad.
Overpriced and overcrowded and complaints are mishandled. Took family for day not realizing that night there was a concert. After parade crowds were sent to areas with no exit. People were pushed, shoved, and knocked down in crowd chaos. Families were separated from children and put in dangerous situations. Overwhelmed outside park security (not Universal employees) started threatening parents to leave area without children or face arrest.
Teenagers were climbing poles and statues and jumping over barriers and security did nothing to stop it which caused more people to get shoved and pushed in crowd. Those separated from families had one option - go to customer service and wait. There were 32 families while I was there still waiting for child/parent reunions - only one due to security officer's help. Other children found their parents about four hours later after park closed. Terrifying event. Terrifying day. Wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy. Never again will I go there.
They won't let you carry items in line for rides, even if you aren't riding but walking your child. They should at least make the lockers free if they are going to be so **. We missed out on several rides for my son because of this. I wasn't going to pay an arm and a leg for lockers for every ride just for a cellphone... No coolers allowed either. Just not kid/family friendly. No comparison to Disney's family friendly customer service.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.
Universal Orlando opened in 1990 and began expanding in 1994 to become a multi-day vacation resort. It now includes two parks, Universal Studios Orlando and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, on over 200 acres.
- Rides: Both parks feature award-winning rides. Revenge of the Mummy has won the Golden Ticket award for Best Indoor Roller Coaster every year since 2008. For the past two years, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey has won the Best Dark Ride Golden Ticket.
- Halloween: Every September and October, Universal Studios Orlando hosts Halloween Horror Nights. During this event, the park is invaded by all kinds of monsters, and visitors can tour haunted houses. Universal has won the Golden Ticket for the Best Halloween Event every year since 2008.
- Harry Potter: Both Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure have Harry Potter attractions. Visitors can shop in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and then take the Hogwarts Express from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade.
- Pet friendly: Several of the on-site hotels at Universal Studios are pet friendly. There are designated areas for dog walking, and special arrangements can be made with housekeeping when pets are staying in visitors’ rooms. Pets must have all appropriate vaccinations.
- CityWalk: This venue offers visitors a variety of dining experiences that are suitable for all different types of travelers, from families with small children to couples looking for a romantic meal. It also has live entertainment, miniature golf, a movie theater and unique boutiques.
- Best for Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure is great for families, young adults and solo travelers. Movie lovers will especially enjoy many of the attractions.
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