Saturday, July 24, 2010

Riders Trapped on New Harry Potter Ride at Universal Studios Orlando

A problem with the new Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey roller coaster at Universal Studios left passengers trapped on the ride Friday night.

A total of 132 people were on board the ride's 47 cars when it got stuck. Universal officials told Eyewitness News a technical problem caused the ride to stop, and left passengers sitting in a position where they were tilted back. Officials told us one rider thought he was upside down and called 911, but Universal officials say at no point does the ride go upside down.Fire trucks and ambulances stood by, as Universal team members escorted guests off the ride."They had their evacuation equipment in place, and they were using it to unload each of the cars.

Everybody was calm, everybody was professional," said District Chief Paul James of the Orlando Fire DepartmentEyewitness News caught up with some of the guests who were trapped on the ride for about an hour."It was actually kind of cool....It was neat to see the behind-the-scenes and, you know, what you wouldn't normally get to see by just riding the ride. It was kind of neat," said Amanda Dyer, one of the trapped riders

.But other guests weren't as positive, and said they felt Universal should have done more than offer them Fast Passes to ride other rides in the park."It would have been nice to get a little more than a fast pass for the remaining hour that the park was open.

We didn't even use it, we were like, 'we're just leaving'. I don't know, I mean, we were up there for almost an hour and a half total, like, with the line and then having to sit there and waiting to get down I mean, it was a waste of our night almost," said Rochelle Odom, trapped rider.No other rides were closed while the guests were evacuated, and no injuries were reported as a result of the problem.



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