Universal Orlando Temporarily Banning Visitors From Bringing In Bottled Water, Won’t Say Why

If you’re planning a trip to Universal Orlando in the near future, leave your bottled water and other beverages at home: In a U-turn from its usual policy allowing visitors to bring their own drinks into Universal CityWalk and other theme areas, the park is putting a temporary ban on carry-in liquids.

Without any details for the reason behind the move or how long the ban would last, a park spokesman confirmed that the prohibition isn’t here to stay, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

“This is the result of a review of our procedures and is not permanent,” he told the paper in an emailed statement.

While other parks like Disney allow guests to bring in lunches as well as beverages, Universal Orlando had occupied a space in the middle, allowing small snacks and bottled water.

So it was surprising to visitors used to the old ways when they showed up unaware of the new rule (which does allow for medicines and baby formulas to be carried in).

“I just couldn’t believe it,” said one guest, who added that the line to get in slowed to a crawl as he and others were asked to dump their water bottles. “I just was thrown off.”

When something like this happens there’s of course speculation that perhaps Universal wants to line its own coffers by forcing visitors to buy branded bottle water inside. Or maybe it’s a security measure to ward against alcoholic beverages coming in during its Mardi Gras special event.

“It might be that they’re concerned about security, but in the end they’re going to end up selling more food and beverages through not allowing people to bring in the liquid,” a hospitality associate professor pointed out to the Orlando Sentinel.

In the meantime, Universal Orlando’s tips for visitors planning trips to the park still includes bottled water on the list of items acceptable to bring along.

Universal Orlando blocking bottled water [Orlando Sentinel]