Rider calls 911 during shut down on Harry Potter ride at Universal Orlando

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Officials with the Orlando Fire Department said a capacity crowd of 132 parkgoers were aboard the Harry Potter ride at Universal Orlando when it malfunctioned on Friday. Whether it was a computer glitch or some other type of problem, representatives from Universal Orlando would only say it was a stoppage they consider rare and harmless. A guest called 911, when the stuck ride left her in an awkward position. Firefighters assisted park staff to get those aboard the ride to safety.

Read more and see video from WESH/Orlando.

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The Mole's avatar

A ride broke down... this is news how?

Jeff's avatar

It's news because someone called 911 and it's the most anticipated ride in the history of mankind.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Because someone called 911 and had the fire department show up at the park. So of course after picking it up on the scanners, the TV stations were there because the fire dept. was at Universal, so there had to be something happening, right? No. Thankfully the reporter at the resort on Channel 9 had ridden FJ before and been stopped on the ride, and seemed to understand that rides break down all the time, so he was trying to explain that it really was a non-issue.

Original BlueStreak64

rollergator's avatar

People in Florida dial 911 when they don't get pickles on their Krabby Patty...there's no news here! ;)

janfrederick's avatar

Sounds like Invertigo deja vu. ;)

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

I'm not sure what can be done about this, maybe signage would help or a PA announcement to not call 911 when the ride stops. Everything worked out here because the fire department let Universal evacuate the ride according to procedure, but that's not always the case. I remember a few years ago an SLC stopped on the lift and the park (I think it was SFKK) was getting ready to evacuate riders using a cherry picker they had on hand, but a park patron had called 911. When the fire department showed up they immediately took control of the situation and as a result the whole operation took significantly longer with the fire department's involvement. I wish park patrons would understand that in most situations the park knows the ride better than the local police or fire department and if an evacuation is needed--let the park do its job. If the park feels they need assistance, then let the park contact the authorities.

Jam cell phone reception within the structure..............

Dutchman said:
Jam cell phone reception within the structure..............

Yeah then if it breaks and they do have to call an emergency the parents of the hundreds of people in line get panicked.
Plus cell jammers are illegal in the US.

One of the many things wrong with this country, everything frickin illegal.

Even though the ride was stopped the person making the call was violating park rules- Using a cell phone on a ride! Ban 'em from the park!

"Heavily medicated for your safety!"


kevin38 said:

Plus cell jammers are illegal in the US.

Active radio jamming is against FCC regulations. However, passive jamming is legal. Things like lining the building with wire mesh, using metalized paint and such are completely legal.

A few years ago when Cleveland's Severence Hall was renovated they lined many of the walls with copper pipe to, essentially, create a Faraday cage that was difficult for radio signals to penetrate and that was completely kosher (And brilliant. Ever been to an orchestra concert interrupted by a cell call?). Some movie theaters have taken the same route.

Jamming cell signal by broadcasting noise on frequencies used by cell phones? Not legal.

Vater's avatar

What moron wouldn't assume the park has (or if not, will immediately get) control of the situation?

Well, that's an open ended question.

My author website: mgrantroberts.com

rollergator said:
People in Florida dial 911 when they don't get pickles on their Krabby Patty...there's no news here! ;)

Like this lady:

Florida Woman Calls 911 After McDonald's Runs Out of McNuggets

maybe it was the same lady :)

Tekwardo's avatar

Wow, Three Calls to 911 over chicken nuggets.

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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

rollergator's avatar

I remember another one at a Dairy Queen and a third at a Wendy's or Burger King when they ran out of someone's favorite beverage. This is just within the last year or so here in FL...

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

I do think it points up the importance of keeping people informed when they are on the ride and unusual things are happening. WE know that the rides are well-monitored, but based on what the average patron sees, they tend to figure that the vehicle goes into the ride building and nobody knows about it until it comes back out again. When the ride stops mid-course, the very real (albeit irrational) fear is that nobody will know they're in there!

I got a special ride on Space Mountain last summer at Disneyland, and on that thing, the "oops, something happened and we'll take care of you in a moment" recording was actually playing BEFORE our train stopped and the lights came on. On the other hand, when Spiderman stopped down in Orlando, the vehicle motion stopped and we parked in front of a scene until the film loop ran out, then when the ride restarted we got to see the rest of it all out of sync.

What happens when Potter goes down? Are the customers on the ride informed that their situation is known and is under control?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

This is my new favorite 911 call story.


The article doesn't mention how long it took to get everyone off the ride, or how long the ride was stopped before evacuations started. But anymore, it seems like the slightest inconvenience is a 911-call-worthy catastrophe to somebody.

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