Monday, July 16, 2012
Universal and the War with Photographers
Followers of Parkscope undoubtedly know that we are huge fans of what Universal Orlando is doing right now. From Potter to Transformers and beyond, we are very impressed. Having said that, we are bothered and amused by how Universal has been treating theme park photographers since the closure of Jaws and Amity on January 3rd.
Construction walls began to spring up around Universal Studios Florida the day after Jaws closed, and seemingly, security and other forces have been beefed up to prevent bloggers and guests from taking pictures of construction areas.
In Amity/Potter, Universal has actually hired entertainment team members to pose as outrageous caricatures of tourists to bother anyone who even thinks about stopping in the Amity construction tunnel. Security also roams this tunnel. If you take a picture, they will ask to delete it.
This overzealousness has found its way over to Cinematic Spectacular construction, to Soundstage 44, and it will undoubtedly find its way over to the Lost Continent when things start happening over there. We are usually very critical of how Disney operates, but we have not heard of reports of Disney Security preventing/asking guests to stop to taking pictures (outside of an incident at Pleasure Island last year.) In fact, Disney regularly releases official construction updates via its Parks Blog. Admittedly, Universal cannot do this until they actually announce the things they are working on.
Guests and bloggers are curious. Fans at home are also curious and enjoy construction updates. Construction updates drum up excitement about new projects and are essentially free advertisement for Disney, SeaWorld, and Universal. As long as photographers are not doing anything dangerous, we say, let them take pictures. No matter how hard you try, people will find a way to get pictures. People proved that this past Saturday by getting spectacular pictures of the former Soundstage 44 plot
Let people have their fun. Everyone will benefit. Please ease up on guests and photographers Universal. You are making yourself look bad, and it is not worth it. You have come so far. Embrace the excitement around the future of your parks.