Universal Orlando — scooter use on the train between parks
Donald a. thomas, jr.
211 ashton glen
Durham, nc [protected]
919/757-3797 - [protected]@icwhen.com
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July 26, 2019
Mr. william a. davis, ceo
Universal orlando resort, inc.
1000 universal studios plaza
Orlando, florida 32819-7601
Dear mr. davis or to whom it may concern;
While universal orlando as well as universal studios in california remain my favorite two parks in the country, we've now had two bad experiences at the orlando complex.
I have stage 4 lung cancer at 61 years of age. so, to best enjoy the park this past week, we invested in a scooter which we rented on the studios side. this would help with coping with the heat and reduce the amount of walking. we were assured that the scooter would be no problem to use on the hogwarts express between the two parks with our two park passes. we also invested in express passes for our party of three to reduce standing and walking time.
The plan went well for us. we invested the (great deal) of extra money and we're enjoyed the benefits. we traversed half of the studios side; enjoyed diagon alley, then rode the train to hogsmeade station. we circled the entire islands of adventure, then at about 5:15pm we were ready to board the train and return to the studios park.
As we approached the entrance to hogwarts express, one female employee, picked us out and told us we could not ride the train because "the lift was not operating". my wife and I looked at each other then I asked the employee, "what was plan b?"
The young lady looked at us as if we did not hear her. she repeated that the lift was not working and we were not allowed to take the train since we had a scooter.
We paid for the use of the scooter. we were originally told that we could use the scooter on the train.
"this is not a problem we caused", I pointed out. "how do we get to the other park?"
"you must go to the front of the park, exit the park, navigate a portion of city walk, then re-enter the studios," she essentially replied. I didn't even know if I would be allowed to exit the park using that route with a park-owned scooter. was she suggesting that I return the scooter as we left islands of adventure, then rent a different one when we re-entered the studios park?
I pulled to the side and discussed the situation with my wife. as we spoke, I realized how incredibly stressful and ridiculous this was. we had paid all this extra money for conveniences, we expected to be able to avail ourselves to. universal assured us that we could use the scooter to transfer on the train. universal is a well thought out, advanced, state-of-the art park and doesn't have a rational plan b if one lift designed to cater to the handicapped goes out?
Then I devised my own plan b. I re-approached the one young lady at the entrance to the train and held out the scooter key while leaving the scooter parked to the side. she made no effort to take the key.
"none of this is our fault," paraphrasing what I said. "me and my party are not going all the way to the front of the park, attempt to exit with a park scooter, then re-enter the studios side; only to have to travel half the park again to resume where we left off. we will ride the train without the scooter."
She showed no emotion and made no effort to take the key I was trying to turn over to her.
"if you are unable to cope with this, please call your supervisor," I concluded. "do you understand our point of view?"
She showed no emotion and never smiled. she never made an effort to radio to see if there were any alternatives for us or to check on the eta of the lift working again. instead, she took the keys and we used our express passes to board the train.
Oddly, we noticed no lift on the hogsmeade side. I think the only lift we would have needed would have been on the diagon alley side which was being used when we arrived.
As we left the park, I checked in where we should have returned the scooter. oddly, no one bothered to notify the staff at the rental booth of the circumstances. the scooter staff was apologetic and pledged to make a record of the situation.
I admit that I am not as physically handicapped as many people are and we were blessed that this was the last quarter of our day when the weather had cooled a bit, but no handicapped guest should be treated this way by an unfriendly, untrained, staff member for a situation that universal orlando should logically have a rational plan b to assist their guests.
We, once again, left the park with a sour feeling and having lost use of the scooter for a quarter of our visit. we invested a lot of money believing in universal's hospitality and we were not happy as we left.
I have attached copies of our tickets and our fast passes. we shredded our receipt for the scooter, however we picked it up on a reservation and I am sure that your records will be easy to locate.
Thank you in advance for improving your park's infrastructure so other's never go through this in the future. while many people may not take the time to write, they will leave your facilities not feeling good about their experience.
Donald a. thomas, jr.
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