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Fans slam reservations by Universal Hollywood pass holders

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April 5, 2021, 7:00 p.m.

Universal Studios Hollywood opened reservations for its annual pass holders this morning. And that, uh, didn’t go well.

Many fans logged into the Universal website at 12:01 am, following the reopening of the website FAQ which stated that pass holders can make one reservation per day, starting at 12:01 am. However, a member of the Universal team later clarified that the 12:01 am window was scheduled to start on Tuesday, April 6, and that the park did not intend 12:01 am to be the time to launch initial reservations on the 5th, which was the date announced for reservations open to pass holders.

Finally, Universal Studios Hollywood tweeted at 9:28 a.m. that the reservation link was available. However, many fans who had been pressing their browser refresh all morning missed it because Universal did not set its website homepage to expire immediately, meaning that many fans would simply reload the same old cached page – without the reservation link.

Based on responses on Twitter, a few fans who accessed the site incognito, or with caching turned off, managed to enter and secure a reservation for one of the designated “bonus days” for pass holders. -pass before the publication of the tweet. But many site visitors were greeted with an “Unknown Customer” error every time they tried to click on the reservation link on the USH website.

Unknown customer

The Universal Studios Hollywood home page linked to a booking page which offered options to pass holders and people holding day tickets that they were unable to use before parks closed due to the pandemic in March 2020. Pass holder link sent visitors to a redirect who was supposed to lead you to reservation selection page. If you got this final URL from someone who entered, the access attempt will redirect you directly to a login page that appears to be intended for members of the Universal team.

But for many visitors to the USH website, the redirect instead threw them to the Unknown customer page instead of the date selection page. It’s a neat way to deal with the overwhelming demand from customers. Other theme parks (okay, Disney) have implemented virtual queuing systems to handle an overflow of website visitors trying to make reservations, rather than just throwing errors that drive them. people clicking over and over again, perpetuating the overload of the website’s servers.

I joked with some of the other fans who had also spent hours clicking without going in saying that maybe Universal could at least have served us pictures of Minions messing things up in a different way each time. that we are unable to access the reservation page. But an orderly queue with an accurate waiting time to get in would have been even better.

In the early afternoon, Universal posted this statement on the reservation page: “Thank you for your patience as we are seeing high volume. If you are not able to make a reservation immediately, please continue to check.”

I reached out to Universal Studios Hollywood for further comment and also asked what was the remaining availability for the designated pass holder bonus days, including the April 15 preview. So far I haven’t received any response, but will update as soon as I get a response. (Update: I got in! View comments. There seemed to be availability for all days, but I didn’t bother to check all the dates between May 15th and 17th. I wanted to reserve this preview date ASAP.)

Universal Studios Hollywood officially opens on April 16, but pass holders cannot use their passes for admission until May 17. Until then, pass holders must instead book one of the designated bonus days to visit, at no additional cost. Day tickets go on sale to the public on April 8.

Update 2: Universal released another update tonight.

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