The rule at Universal Orlando Resort is if you go on any sort of “thrill” ride, you can’t bring your stuff with you. Those rides currently include Harry Potter & the Escape from Gringotts, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack and Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios, and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Islands of Adventure.
For these rides, items such as purses, knapsacks, bags, umbrellas, etc. have to go into a locker, which the parks have always offered free for a certain amount of time (the time is based on how long the queue + ride is, with a little extra time added in for cushioning).
Throughout the history of the two parks, the free lockers were a reasonable size – roughly 11.5″H x 9.5″W x17″ deep – big enough to hold an average-sized knapsack, a popcorn bucket, a drink cup that still had liquid in it, and a few more small and medium-sized things. But in December 2018, the free lockers became MUCH smaller – roughly half the size of the “old” free lockers. Oh, and if you want the size locker that used to be free? That’s gonna cost ya.
So what can you do about that?…
The lockers that used to be free now cost $2 a pop for a limited time. Here are the visuals:
TOP LEFT: Locker signage at entry to Men In Black
TOP RIGHT: Locker area of Men In Black
BOTTOM LEFT: Close-up of locker price signage
BOTTOM RIGHT: “Standard” lockers on left, “Large” lockers (roughly the size of the ones that used to be free) on right
Click here to read the specifics about Universal Orlando’s lockers at the attractions.
Here are some suggestions on how to handle this:
1. Plan ahead
Of course, it’s easier said than done, but if you like those kinds of rides but don’t like the idea of shelling out $2 every time you want to go on one of them, plan how much stuff you bring with you into the park. I can bring my phone, wallet, car keys, a bottle of Purell and my asthma inhaler in my pockets and don’t need a locker at all (except for Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket and Hulk, which both require you to empty your pockets…but I don’t go on those 2 rides, cuz I’m a chicken and don’t like tall drops).
If you have a refillable cup, just make sure it’s empty – it does fit into the locker sideways.
2. Split the lockers
You get your free locker by using your entry ticket. Assuming you’re in a group, spread the love. If you have too much stuff for one locket but your family member has next to nothing, put some of your stuff in his/her locker.
3. Use the baby/child swap to your advantage
If you have young(er) kids with you who aren’t going on the ride, take turns holding all of the stuff (and the kid[s]) while the other adult takes his/her turn to ride, and don’t use the locker at all.
4. Take advantage of Universal’s package pick up service
If you buy an item at either Universal park, you can have it shipped, for free, to the front of the park, where you can pick it up before you leave. That way you don’t have to worry about fitting that bag with your brand new, huge Bart Simpson plush into the locker.
BTW, Universal will also ship to your hotel room (for free) if you’re staying on site at the resort, and they can even help you with shipping options if you want to send your newly purchased item(s) straight home.
5. Suck it up and pay the $2
Personally, I think it’s kind of cheap for Universal to make this kind of move – they already have your $100+ for the day, and now they’re charging you $2 for each locker because they don’t allow you to bring stuff onto a ride? Not cool. But if your opinion is that it’s only $2 for each locker and that’s just a spit in the ocean in comparison to everything else you’re spending on this visit, then go for it.
Things to keep in mind
- Universal also has larger, paid, all-day lockers that can be used, well, all day (sizes and prices vary. Their cost, as of this writing, is less than the total of all the $2 lockers, however, your stuff would be in one place so every time you’d want to use your locker, you’d have to go back to that spot. That could be inconvenient. Click here to read more about the all-day locker rentals.
- Even though Universal has shrunk the size of their “free” lockers, it’s still the only “major” theme park in Central Florida that (A) doesn’t allow bags on some attractions AND (B) offers free lockers. At SeaWorld Orlando, items aren’t allowed on roller coasters but all lockers have charges attached to them. And at Walt Disney World, guests can bring their loose items onto virtually every attraction and for the few that don’t, such as Flight of Passage in Pandora, there are spaces right near where you’re seated on the attraction to store your items, at no cost.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary