Incidents at Universal parks

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This is a summary of notable incidents that have taken place at various Universal-owned theme parks, amusement parks, or water parks. This list is not intended to be a comprehensive list of every such event, but only those that have a significant impact on the parks or park operations, or are otherwise significantly newsworthy.

The term incidents refers to major accidents, injuries, or deaths that occur at a Universal park. While these incidents were required to be reported to regulatory authorities due to where they occurred, they usually fall into one of the following categories:

  • Caused by negligence on the part of the guest. This can be refusal to follow specific ride safety instructions, or deliberate intent to violate park rules.
  • The result of a guest's known or unknown health issues.
  • Negligence on the part of the park, either by ride operator or maintenance.
  • Act of God or a generic accident (e.g. slipping and falling), that is not a direct result of an action on anybody's part.

Universal Orlando Resort[edit]

Islands of Adventure[edit]

Main article: Islands of Adventure

Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls[edit]

  • On January 1, 2011, a major fire broke out on the attraction's show building. The ride and the park's Toon Lagoon area were evacuated. No injuries were reported.[1]

Dragon Challenge[edit]

Main article: Dragon Challenge
  • On July 1, 2009, an employee was walking underneath the coaster in a restricted area when he was hit by a train during a test run. The victim suffered multiple head injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital.[2]
  • On July 31, 2011, a tourist was injured when an unidentified object hit him in the eye while riding Dragon Challenge. Prior to the incident, the guest had only one good eye, therefore the incident resulted in the guest completely losing his sight. Dragon Challenge remained shut for less than 24 hours after the incident with Universal concluding that the ride was safe.[3][4][5]
  • On August 10, 2011, a rider was struck by an object while riding the attraction, injuring his face and leg. As a result of this and the aforementioned incident in which a rider lost sight in one eye, Universal officials announced that the two roller coasters would no longer operate simultaneously, pending an investigation into both incidents.[6] In October 2011, officials suspended the dueling aspect of the ride permanently.[7]

The Incredible Hulk[edit]

  • On September 23, 2003, a 34-year-old woman from Jensen Beach, Florida suffered a heart attack from a unknown heart condition while riding the Incredible Hulk coaster. She died a couple of days prior to the incident.[8][9]

Universal Studios Florida[edit]

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit[edit]

  • On August 1, 2013, an unidentified woman received minor injuries when the ride came to a sudden stop.[10]
  • On October 9, 2013, a computer glitch caused the attraction to go into "safety mode", stranding twelve riders on the first hill for two hours before being rescued.[11]

Revenge of the Mummy[edit]

Main article: Revenge of the Mummy
  • On September 22, 2004, a 39-year-old man from Apopka, Florida fell approximately 4 feet off the loading platform as he was attempting to step into the ride vehicle. He suffered injuries to his head and noted pain due to the fall. He was rushed to the hospital for surgery and died afterwards.[12]

The Simpsons Ride[edit]

Main article: The Simpsons Ride
  • On June 13, 2008, an unidentified mechanism failed, resulting in a ride vehicle and its occupants being sprayed with vegetable oil. The guests were given a change of clothes and allowed to shower at the property. No injuries were reported.[13]

Universal CityWalk Orlando[edit]

  • On April 22, 2011, a 33-year-old man from Winter Haven, Florida was found unconscious in front of the Universal Cineplex 20 theater after being tasered by an off-duty police officer due to disorderly conduct. The man was taken to a local hospital and later died.[14] An autopsy determined he died as a result of the tasering and rough handling by security.[15]

Universal Studios Hollywood[edit]

Backlot fires[edit]

Main article: Studio Tour

Eight backlot fires have occurred at Universal's backlot throughout the park's history. For more information see Universal Studios Hollywood backlot fires.

Universal CityWalk Hollywood[edit]

At 1:15am on May 12, 2014, a man was shot and killed by police officers at Universal CityWalk. Officers were called to a fight in a crowd in a club. They were confronted by the man carrying a gun.[16]

Universal Studios Japan[edit]

E.T. Adventure[edit]

Main article: E.T. Adventure
  • In November 2004, a 35-year-old woman from Osaka Prefecture, Japan suffered nerve damage in her right wrist, resulting in the loss of use of two of her fingers and ultimately losing her job. This occurred when her hand got stuck in a safety bar as an employee pulled it down to secure it. The woman sued the park and received ¥414.3 million in an out-of-court settlement.


  1. ^ "Fire erupts at Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando". CF News 13. 2011-01-01. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  2. ^ "Universal Worker Seriously Injured By Coaster". WFTV. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  3. ^ "Man Loses Sight While Riding Universal Roller Coaster". WFTV. August 2, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Man Loses Sight After Roller Coaster Ride". Wesh Orlando. August 3, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Man Injured On Harry Potter Roller Coaster". Click Orlando. August 2, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Universal Announces Changes To Coaster". 2011-08-17. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  7. ^ Garcia, Jason (2011-10-19). "Universal Orlando's twin dragon coasters will never 'duel' again". Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Newspapers). Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  8. ^ "Coaster reopens two days after rider's heart attack". St. Petersburg Times. 2003-09-26. Retrieved 2006-12-20. 
  9. ^ Rippel, Amy C.; Pack, Todd; Meitner, Sarah Hale (24 September 2003). "Woman Collapses After `Hulk' Ride". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  10. ^ Susan Jacobson (2013-08-02). "Universal roller coaster closed after rider is injured". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  11. ^ "Passengers stuck on Universal Florida roller coaster for more than two hours". Fox News. 2013-10-09. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  12. ^ "Universal's Mummy Ride Closed Again After Woman Injured". Local 6. 2004-09-23. Retrieved 2006-12-20. 
  13. ^ "Universal Orlando Guests Get Covered In Oil". WESH 2 Orlando. 2008-06-13. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  14. ^ Fla. man dies after police Taser him at Universal Studios complex
  15. ^ Autopsy: Police restraints killed Winter Haven man]
  16. ^ Joseph Serna (May 12, 2014). "Man shot by police at Universal CityWalk was armed, authorities say". LA Times. Retrieved 6 July 2014.