Universal Orlando Resort appears to be turning the corner when it comes to managing theme parks during a pandemic. And then things had to go and literally catch fire. A small fire was reported this morning in an area of Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Visitors to the park today saw black smoke rising from the segment of the Toon Lagoon that is home to the Popeye waterfront and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat barges. At this point, it is unclear what the cause was or how much damage has been done.
First reported by Universal Parks News Today, the fire was apparently located at the Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges attraction. The good news is that the promenade, and much of the surrounding area, had recently been closed for a significant remodel, so there were no guests in the area. It’s unclear if the fire is related to the work being done, but that certainly seems plausible. The black smoke reportedly disappeared fairly quickly, so it appears that whatever caused the fire was quickly controlled.
Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat barges sank for a planned remodel earlier this month. However, rather than just shutting down the trip, a larger section of Toon Lagoon land was also closed, including the nearby restaurant and the Popeye boat ride attraction, which seemed to involve a larger renovation than anticipated. .
Initial reports of Islands of Adventure are that there were no injuries caused by the fire, and whatever happens should not extend the closure of the attraction. Still, fires are, you know, bad and they shouldn’t be happening inside theme parks where the public walks. Had this expanded and worsened, the damage to life and property could have been extensive.
More to come …