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Bottled water ban at Universal Orlando lifted

New rule went into effect Monday, lifted days later

ORLANDO, Fla. – Universal Orlando reversed its decision to ban water bottles, officials said on Thursday.

Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said Thursday that the theme park resort has gone back to its original policy of allowing outside drinks like bottled water into the parks.

The ban's lifting comes after guests arriving at Universal Orlando Monday said they were surprised to find out they were no longer allowed to bring bottled water inside the park.

The new rule went into effect Monday morning without warning and was reversed on Thursday.

When Local 6 asked for further comment, Universal spokesman Tom Shroeder said. "We originally said it involved a review of our procedures and that it would not be permanent."

No other details on the ban lifting were immediately available.

Earlier this week, the park's security team helped guests throw away their bottles of water before entering the park -- a process that created a long wait at the security gate.

"Today, watching people get theirs out of their bags and thrown in bins -- the bins were getting fuller, and fuller and fuller. And my heart just went out to them," said visitor Irene Jones.

Universal Orlando had refused to tell Local 6 why bottled water wasn't being allowed to be brought inside the park or City Walk any longer. Schroeder would only say the park is reassessing its procedures and the ban would be temporary.

Jones said she and her family routinely bring their own water into the park as a cost-cutting move. Bottles run for as little as 99 cents in convenience stores near the park. Inside the park, bottled water runs $4 per-bottle.

"You're going on rides and you get thirsty," Jones said. "You're eating popcorn and that makes you even drier, so therefore you're buying, buying, buying drinks and you rack it all up by the day. That is not cheap."

Some people on social media speculated the ban on bottled water was in response to some people trying to sneak alcohol into the Mardi Gras festivities.

Universal wouldn't comment on the speculation.


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