Several weeks ago, Universal quietly began a test that saw pop-up metal detectors installed at the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. Though park-goers initially decried the decision to put these metal detectors in front of the rides, most team members just waved off guest concerns as the metal decetors were simply a temporary measure that would end its "test period" soon. Though the metal detectors in front of the ride did indeed come and go at seemingly random intervals, only a few weeks later new metal detectors were installed in front of the Hulk and Dueling Dragons coasters at Islands of Adventure.
Though Universal officials continued to maintain that these new metal detectors were still a part of a testing phase, Universal Orlando spokesman Tom Schroder made this new security measure permanent Wednesday, saying that the metal detectors will be sticking around for the foreseeable future.
In a statement released to the Orlando Sentinel, Schroder said, "It's in response to what people are carrying in their pockets these days," adding that "All of us have seen the amount of stuff we carry increase with time. All these things are items that … have no place on high-speed rides. It's just too easy for them to come loose."
While some have argued that metal detectors simply don’t belong in a theme park, it looks like this new security measure will be the new normal from now on for guests visiting Universal Orlando Resort. So what can we expect now that this new security measure has been made permanent? Here are 3 side effects guests will begin seeing immediately:
1. Longer wait times
As with any big policy change, guests at Universal Orlando Resort can expect wait times for affected attractions to lengthen as Team Members work to adapt this new policy. Though training is likely ongoing, several social media posts have been made over the past few weeks that describe Team Members lamenting their own lack of expertise on using both standing metal detectors as well as the hand-held “wands” that have been in use as well.
The one bright spot here is we are firmly in the slow guest traffic period between Spring Break and Memorial Day Weekend, so Universal has a lot of time to iron out the process, and hopefully get Team Members 100% up to speed before summer officially kicks off. Still, in the meantime, if you are planning to hit the parks in the next few weeks, expect some delays if you want to experience these three attractions.