It was a scary night for people at Universal Studios Orlando's Islands of Adventure on Friday evening, as evident in 911 recordings released on Monday. Dozens of riders were stuck on the brand new "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey." The ride is located inside Universal Orlando's New Wizarding World of Harry Potter's Castle.
Just after 8 p.m., the ride had some sort of malfunction and stopped, "as it should have," according to a Universal Orlando spokesman. Employees then helped guests get off the ride. One passenger called 911 saying that he felt like he was, "upside down." The Forbidden Journey is a simulation ride and does not go upside down, but that passenger was safely removed.
It's not unusual for rides to stop or malfunction from time to time and anyone who has spent any length of time at an Orlando-area attraction knows such events do occur.
On Monday Universal echoed the sentiment in a statement sent to FOX 35 News which read, "This was a minor moment in the history of an innovative attraction that has performed flawlessly for more than a half-million people. These moments occasionally happen across our entire industry."
The statement went on to say that ride and safety systems reacted, "exactly as they were supposed to," and that employees, "performed flawlessly as they helped guests safely off the ride."
What is unusual is for local emergency crews to assist with the evacuation of a ride or attraction. According to the Orlando Fire Department, there were over 130 passengers taken off the ride and no one was injured. The Forbidden Journey was reopened on Saturday morning.
If you were on the ride, please call the Fox 35 newsroom at 407-741-5027.