When visiting Universal's theme parks, we try to pare down our gear to a bare minimum, and only bring those necessities that fit comfortably in our pockets: admission, ID, a credit card or cash, and a cell phone. However, many guests (especially those accompanying young children or those with special needs) find they simply can't travel that light. When your burden becomes too much to bear, make a beeline for a bank of lockers and lighten your load.
Incidentally, Universal is rather liberal in what it allows guests to bring into its parks. Obviously, any form of weapon or illegal substance is prohibited, as is clothing with “offensive language or content” or that “represents someone as emergency personnel.” You are also disallowed from entering with large duffel bags, folding chairs, beach umbrellas, or hard-sided coolers. You may, however, bring food and snacks for your personal consumption, along with any medically necessary nutritional items and baby food, as long as it is non-alcoholic, not in glass containers, and carried a soft-sided cooler or bag no bigger than 8.5”x6”x6”. There are also no facilities for refrigerating or reheating outside food in the park. Keep in mind that all items are subject to inspection before entering CityWalk, so be prepared to open your bags at the security checkpoint (or use the “no bags” line to speed your entry if unencumbered).
All of Universal Orlando's lockers are automated and use a biometric locking system. The locker banks are easy to find, and each bank has a small touchscreen computer in the center. Begin by approaching a locker computer, selecting your language, and touching “RENT a locker.” (When the sun is bright, the screen is almost impossible to read, so have someone block the sun or use a different computer.) After selecting your language and locker size (if applicable), you press your thumb onto the keypad and have your fingerprint scanned. We’ve seen people walk away cursing at this step, having repeated it over and over with no success. Don’t press down too hard-m-the computer can’t read your thumbprint that way. Instead, take a deep breath and lightly place your thumb on the scanner.
After your do your thumb scan, you’ll receive a locker number. Commit it to memory, or write it down! Place your property in the indicated locker, which should have a flashing green light, and press the illuminated button after you have closed the door to lock it.
When you are ready to retrieve your belongings, go to the same kiosk machine, select “REOPEN your locker,” enter your locker number, and scan your thumb again. Remember that only the person who used his or her thumb to get the locker can retrieve anything from it. The locker should relinquish its contents; if you have any trouble, find a nearby employee to assist.
Universal Orlando offers three types of lockers:
Paid All-Day Lockers
These lockers charge one flat rate for a full day, and can be opened and re-locked by the original user as many times as you like during your visit. All-day lockers come in two sizes: regular (approx. 11”x16”x16”) for $8 per day, or larger “Family size” (approx. 14”x15”x23”) for $10 per day.
All-Day Lockers can be found in the following locations:
Universal Studios Florida All-Day Lockers
- Next to the Studio Audience Center inside the front gate (regular size).
- Behind the restrooms near the Studio Audience Center (family size).
- Near the exit turnstiles, next to wheelchair and stroller rental (regular size).
Islands of Adventure All-Day Lockers
- Outside the exit turnstiles at Group Sales (family size).
- Inside the front gate near wheelchair and stroller rental (regular and family size).
Free Short-Term Lockers
Universal enforces a mandatory locker system at its big thrill rides. Small lockers (approx. 10”x10”x16”) outside these attractions are free for an amount of time that varies with the length of the standby line. So if the line is 30 minutes, for example, and the ride itself is 10 minutes, you get 40 minutes plus a small cushion of about 15 minutes. The lockers then cost $3 for each half-hour after that, with a $20 daily maximum.
Free short-term lockers are located at the following attractions:
Universal Studios Florida Free Short-Term Lockers
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Revenge of the Mummy
- MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Islands of Adventure Free Short-Term Lockers
- The Incredible Hulk Coaster
- Dragon Challenge
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
On most of the above rides, all bags, purses, and other objects too large to be secured in a pocket must be placed in a free locker during your ride; wallets, cell phones, and compact cameras are generally permitted, as are small hip belts or fanny packs that can be securely fastened and tucked beneath a shirt.
However, in 2014 Universal began strictly enforcing a “no loose items” policy at The Incredible Hulk Coaster and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. At these rides, guests are closely examined for phones, keys, and even spare change before being allowed to join the queue. If the ride breaks down while you are in line, and you exceed your free usage period through no fault of your own, a locker attendant can override the charge upon request.
When you want to ride a thrill ride but don't want to bother with a locker, you can use each attraction's “Child Swap” area as a “Bag Swap,” and leave a non-rider with your belongings. This can be an especially useful technique for the Harry Potter rides, since the free lockers are too small to hold wand boxes from Ollivanders, and the locker banks for Forbidden Journey and Gringotts are frequently overcrowded.
Paid Short-Term Lockers
Universal does not enforce mandatory locker usage on its water rides, but does conveniently (or capitalistically) provide paid short-term lockers outside each attraction that is likely to soak you and your belongings. The lockers are the same size as the free ones (approx. 10”x10”x16”) and operate identically. The difference is that they cost $4 for the first 90 minutes, and $3 for each additional hour after that, with a $20 daily maximum.
Paid short-term lockers are located only in IOA at the following attractions:
Islands of Adventure Paid Short-Term Lockers
- Jurassic Park River Adventure
- Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
- Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges
Last updated by Seth Kubersky on December 17, 2014