Universal Orlando Installs Metal Detectors at 3 Roller Coaster Entrances

Universal Orlando has added metal detectors outside three rides at its theme parks to keep riders safe from flying objects while riding roller coasters.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Universal Orlando has permanently added metal detectors outside three roller coasters at its theme parks to keep riders safe from flying objects while the rides are operating.

Universal began testing the metal detectors last month in an effort to deter visitors from taking keys, loose change, phones and selfie sticks onto rides, Orlando Sentinel reports.

Fans of the 17-story Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios Florida will now have to walk through metal before getting on the ride. Metal detectors have also been placed at Dragon Challenge and the Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure next door.

Universal has long encouraged visitors to place their belongings, such as loose change, bags and purses, in free lockers stationed at the rides. Now, the theme park has also stationed extra employees at the roller coasters to staff the detectors and hold metal-detector wands.

A representative for the theme park said there are no plans to install the detectors at other rides.

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Universal executives began considering installing the metal detectors following two incidents in 2011 at the Dueling Dragons twin-coaster attraction in which riders were apparently struck by loose objects,

In one incident, a 52-year-old man from Puerto Rico had to have his eye removed after getting struck. This prompted Universal to halt its practice of launching the two coasters simultaneously, which allowed vehicles to come within 18 inches of each other.

However, metal detectors aren’t a new concept for Universal Orlando. During the theme parks’ Halloween Horror Nights, an adult-oriented nighttime event where alcohol is sold, Universal Orlando has stationed metal detectors at the entrance for years.

And the organization isn’t the only theme park to install metal detectors for security reasons. Six Flags theme parks put up metal detectors at the main gates in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

However, another popular Orlando-based theme park, Walt Disney World, has opted not to install metal detectors after experimenting with the devices at its entrance in 2004. A representative for the brand noted that metal detectors don’t say ‘fun’ to guests.

Most parks still rely on verbal instruction or signs that tell riders to store objects in provided lockers.

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