Summertime in theme parks can mean sweet (and sometimes super weird) foods, exciting outdoor attractions and general fun. However, it’s also a time when the weather is hot and tempers can flare over minor incidents. Such happened this year when one Universal Orlando guest punched another while waiting in line for the new VelociCoaster ride at Islands of Adventure. Or, you might even say, she got raptor-aggressive with the other guest.
Honestly, if you want to know how quickly this incident got out of hand, it actually started over a spilled drink. Yes, really. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Shaeika Allen and her family were in line for Universal’s new addition The VelociCoaster when a woman in front of them in line let he brother cut in. Unfortunately, he was reportedly carrying a drink when he ducked into the queue and spilled it on Allen in the process of cutting in.
It’s not that unusual for family members to cut into or out of ride lines after jumping out to grab a drink or (assumedly more usual) use the bathroom, though the report is unclear about whether or not the bulk of the conflict was over the spilled drink or the line cutting. However, what is clear is the incident escalated and the two families began fighting. According to reports, then Shaeika Allen ultimately took things a step further and began punching the woman from the other family in the face, resulting in bruises and cuts.
A report taken did indicate the punches were bad enough the woman either needed stitches or glue to stanch the wound. Shaeika Allen was initially arrested on a felony battery charge over the incident, though those were later dropped to misdemeanor charges. The date this actually happened was earlier in the summer on a Friday in July--only a few short weeks after the ride opened at Islands of Adventure, and when queue lines were likely still particularly long.
Later, officers were able to track down park video footage of the woman, who is from New York, and what happened during the ride queue. The case is currently still open, per reports.
We know for a fact that since opening the VelociCoaster has seen intense wait times. CinemaBlend was there on opening day and it stood at a whopping 180 minutes when we were in line (and some guests have said they waited much longer than that). Since then, the line has started to work itself out and has been seen at under an hour at times, though It’s still easy to see how tensions could erupt when people are forced into a queue next to one another for an extended period of time. However, how that escalated into punching and an arrest is unclear.
Theme parks may be bringing magic and eschewing fun around nearly every corner, but this isn’t the first time an arrest has happened in a theme park nor will it likely be the last. We’ve seen actual brawls at Disneyland in the past. Earlier this year, a Florida man was arrested after using stolen credit cards to buy packages for vacations at Universal Orlando, as well. We’ve also seen some arrests and confrontations between guests at parks who have had trouble adapting to the changes and safety protocols put in place in theme parks since Covid began. Life, uh, finds a way to ruin good things.
Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.
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