We are a long way into the global pandemic at this point, and there have been a lot of changes to the way things are done at various venues and businesses over the last year. Due to these changes made for safety, theme parks such as Universal Studios have been able to reopen, at limited capacity and with new rules. But not every parkgoer is compliant all the time. Here’s how Universal Studios recently handled a guest on the popular Skull Island: Reign of Kong ride.
A reporter was recently visiting the park with their family and was on the popular Skull Island: Reign of Kong ride at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure in Florida when a guest decided to take off their mask. I don’t know if the guest was unaware that there are cameras that can be found throughout the theme parks, even within attractions and on rides, as well as employees keeping an eye out, but said guest took off the required mask. So, the ride sat.
In fact, it sat and sat and sat. The reporter later revealed the incident to Inside the Magic, noting that the ride was about to “enter safety checks” when the mask incident occurred. Per the report, the ride operator spoke directly and said that masks must be worn on Skull Island: Reign of Kong at all times, adding the important catch all: masks must be “covering both the guest’s nose and mouth.” Even after two warnings, the guest did not comply and had to be personally called out to put their mask back on. This is similar to how other attractions are reporting handling the mask rules.
The reporter was far enough back on the ride that the full exchange between the parkgoer and the ride operator was not heard, but the end result was that the guest ultimately left the ride--though they did put their mask back on first. The guest had probably waited some time in a queue before ultimately having to skip the ride due to the mask rule, but this is still a happier end result than some other moments we’ve seen in the parks, when non-compliant guests have had to be escorted out and more. The park worker seems to have stuck to the rules in this situation, as well.
If you’ve ridden Skull Island: Reign of Kong in the parks, you may know what the setup of the movie-based ride is like for passengers on the attraction. You are in a sort of truck-like vehicle with open sides while you are shuttled out of the Florida sunshine and into the virtual world of Skull Island. Right now, there are plexiglass dividers between the rows for additional safety, but masks are still required on board as you see all the wonders and terrors King Kong’s home has to offer.
Masks have been a part of the new park rules since Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure reopened in Orlando. Though rules have changed and been restructured some over time as guests have attempted to skirt rules, it looks as if masks will remain the norm in the parks for at least a while longer, even as people are getting vaccinated. We'll be sure to let you know if other similar incidents are reported.