ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Universal’s Volcano Bay has been open nearly two weeks and the reviews have not been favorable for the theme park.
Parkgoers have given Volcano Bay two stars on Yelp and TripAdvisor.
Jason Spencer told Channel 9's Jamie Holmes that he took his wife and kids to Volcano Bay on Sunday. He said he waited all day to get on a slide, only to have the ride close.
“What would happen is you'd get a 200 minute wait, and then the ride would just suddenly shut down for operational reasons,” Spencer said.
Spencer isn't alone in his experience.
Online reviewers are mostly critical of the wait times and the crowds.
"Sadly, worst experience ever," wrote one reviewer. "We were at the park seven hours and didn't get on a single slide."
Another wrote: "Extremely disappointed. Tapu tapu (wristbands are) a joke. Wait times of 220-minutes and every ride uses it so you cannot ride anything in between."
Rick Munarriz, a Universal stock analyst for the Motley Fool, told Eyewitness News that Volcano Bay’s wait times will remain long because the park's maximum capacity is too high, and there aren't enough high-capacity rides to keep the crowds moving.
"I think Volcano Bay is beautiful. It's gorgeous. It's going to be amazing. But right now, the max does not work. They're trying to fit 20 people into a Volkswagen bus. It doesn't work,” said Munarriz.
Another reviewer saw potential safety issues with electrical wires near water.
Spencer's daughter slipped and went to the hospital with a cut on her chin. He said Universal's staff was very helpful but said there are a number of slippery spots and he advises locals to wait until more kinks are worked out.
"I believe in Universal,” Spencer said. "I just did not expect a Universal park to be such a disaster. They'll figure it out. They'll get it worked out, but I wouldn't go now.”
Universal has been proactive in attempting to speak to negative reviewers. Officials from Universal have contacted many of them online, apologizing for their experiences and said they would like to speak to the guests directly and have also offered numerous refunds.
A Universal spokesman provided Channel 9 with the following statement:
"Many of our guests are having exactly the kind of great experience we want them to have inside Volcano Bay. But we also know we’ve disappointed some of our guests. We’re sorry for this and we are working hard to make the Volcano Bay experience everything we want it to be for all our guests. We are seeing the kind of temporary challenges you get when you open an entire theme park, especially one as ambitious as Volcano Bay. We are working hard to take care of our guests and working hard to get better every day."