Last updated: 05:00 PM ET, Thu April 23 2015

Universal Orlando Adds Metal Detectors to Three Roller Coasters

Destination & Tourism | Donald Wood | April 23, 2015

Universal Orlando Adds Metal Detectors to Three Roller Coasters

Visiting Universal Orlando is one of the most exciting vacations imaginable for children and adults of all ages, but elevated safety concerns have led park officials to install metal detectors at three of its most popular roller coasters.

According to Sandra Pedicini of the Orlando Sentinel, guests looking to experience the thrill of The Incredible Hulk, Dragon Challenge and the Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket (pictured above) roller coasters will have to empty their pockets and go through a metal detector before getting on the ride.

Park officials are hoping that the process will help eliminate cases where items fall out of visitors’ pockets and either get damaged or cause injuries to innocent bystanders and other riders.

When asked by Pedicini about why Universal Orlando made the safety upgrades, park spokesman Tom Schroder said, “It's in response to what people are carrying in their pockets these days. 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.”

Travel agent Laura Schindler shared an image of the metal detectors:

The new rules have been met with both positive and negative reactions from guests. While the improved safety should have all visitors happy about the park’s attention to detail, the inconvenience of having to rent a locker or hand possessions over to someone else not going on the ride can be a burden.

Safety is the key, though. One example of the accidents that can be caused by objects falling out of someone’s pockets happened in 2011 on Universal's Dueling Dragons twin-coaster. The scary incident resulted in a 52-year-old man from Puerto Rico losing his eye, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Using metal detectors is something many amusement parks across the world have utilized to ensure a safe and secure experience for all of the patrons, but it is unusual to see the devices stationed at individual rides.

While asking people to remove loose objects from their pockets was once enough, the lack of cooperation from many guests has forced the park’s hand. At least now the roller coasters will be safer for passengers and bystanders.

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