Flight of the hat… or, how Universal’s Lost and Found returned a cherished item

Flight of the hat… or, how Universal’s Lost and Found returned a cherished item
Flight of the Hippogriff & Hat.

Flight of the Hippogriff & Hat.

Ever wonder what happens when you lose something at Universal Orlando? As I mentioned in a previous post, my daughter’s hat recently took its own flight, so I now have the 411 on how to hopefully find an item through Universal’s Lost and Found!

 

Step 1: Contact the attraction’s attendants immediately

My Downs daughter has had her floppy denim hat for 14 years but it got away from her dad on Flight of the Hippogriff in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Islands of Adventure. We followed all of Universal’s recommended procedures, beginning with immediately telling the ride team trainer, Erik. He, along with the guy who was sitting in the car behind our daughter, helped us look for the hat through the fences around the attraction and along the queue. Brandon allowed me to ride again so I could look down into the trees and bushes and to make sure the hat wasn’t sitting on top of a structure. Erik told me the crew would be walking the areas under the track after the park closed, which is done every night on every ride. If you lose something, be aware that your item probably will not be turned into Lost and Found until after the park closes.

 

Step 2: Visit the Lost and Found office before leaving the park

Lost and Found is located within the Guest Services office in Islands of Adventure and at the Studio Audience Center in Universal Studios Florida. Team member Monique gave me a business card with the phone number I was to call the next day. No description was taken at this time because all found items are logged into a computer database with a detailed description first. Universal team members are not allowed to reveal statistical information to the public but Disney World does release their Lost and Found figures; they yearly log 18,000 hats, not to mention a daily average of 210 pairs of sunglasses, oodles of cell phones, cameras and other items. Logging all these lost personal items really must be a chore and Universal’s number of lost items is probably similar.

Lost and Found at Islands of Adventure.

Lost and Found at Islands of Adventure.

Lost and Found at Universal Studios Florida.

Lost and Found at Universal Studios Florida.

 

Step 3: Call the Lost and Found phone number the next day

Call 407-224-4233 and press Option 2 between 10 am and 7pm. There is also a form available at http://visitorsatisfaction.com/CONTACTUS/; do not send a picture of the item as they are not able to open attachments. I spoke with Heather who took a complete description of our hat, my demographic information and gave me a report number that I could give when I called back. This info went into a different database. She sincerely showed an interested in helping us find our lost item, as did everyone contacted.

 

Step 4: If your item isn’t found on that first call, call back in a few days

I waited three days before I called again. Amy didn’t find anything under “floppy” but did under “denim fishing hat, with pins.” She said she would mark this as a possible match, send the info “downstairs” and I would be called by another team member. That person will have the item in hand when calling. After not hearing from anyone (and getting a bit anxious) I called the next morning, speaking with Michael. He said I was third in the system and just hang in there – it sounded like this was it. Not five minutes later, John called! The moment he mentioned the Smokey the Bear pin (from our trip to Great Smokey Mountains), I knew it was our daughter’s treasured hat. I asked about the other pins, the really important ones from USF/IOA and they were ALL still on the hat! John truly seemed to be as excited as I about this Eureka moment! He said the hat would be mailed to us, free of charge.

 

Step 5: Contact Guest Services and submit a Thank You report

I called Christian three days later and asked him to submit a “good job” report. Diane had taken the report for Erik and Brandon before we left the park, but I wanted kudos to also go to the rest of the people who had helped since. I think it’s important to let Universal know how important these people were to you while visiting their Orlando property. Not only are congratulatory statements sent to the team members immediate supervisors, their names go all the way up the corporate ladder. Even though team members are under no obligation to immediately look for lost items, it should be noted that looking for things every day IS in their daily procedures. And if you find something, please don’t keep it – turn it in. It could be someone’s favorite hat.

Flight of the Hippogriff & Hat.

Flight of the Hippogriff & Hat.

 

debi dame

About the author

debi is a retired school support person, mother and grandmother who still loves riding roller coasters. Living on Florida's West Coast, she has been an Annual Passholder at Universal for 16 years along with her husband and disabled daughter. She is also a 31-year veteran of local craft shows, making and selling Christmas ornaments, polymer clay jewelry and quilts.
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11 comments
loveall
loveall

I work at universal. As a cashier and ut breaks my heart wben people leave things behind. .. I had the experience to reunite 2kids with thier harry potter wands and uit was an amazing feeling thanks for sharing your story. Glad your daughter got her hat back brings a smile to my face.

steveb
steveb

Lost my phone on Monday at Islands of Adventure - it was in their system today (2 days later).  Awesome system.  Glad I was still in town to pick it up.

Great job Universal Orlando!!

larilei
larilei

I do wish they find my daughter's glasses lost this past Saturday in Islands of Adventures,  reading this post gave me hopes on the crew & technicians that would be scanning the grounds, I was also told that there is limited access to Dragon Challenge. My daughter was devasted, she can't see without them & it was at the beginning of our day at the park. She had a headache all day. We will make it up to to her & go again in May. 

Jonathan
Jonathan

They never found my laynard that fell out on Cat in the Hat

Doug
Doug

While sitting at Finnegan's late in the day, this past July, I noticed my keys were missing.  Very traumatic and I had no clue which park, where or when they had been lost.  .  The 2 bartenders there, I wish I had their names, helped me get in touch with Lost and Found.  A manager came by to assist, but unfortunately, no luck.  The next morning I went by the L&F at US, but still, no luck.  Later in the day I stopped by the L&F at IOA and found they had just been turned in!!!  LUCKY ME! The folks there were very efficient, helpful and saved me a TON!

iamdollie
iamdollie

Thanks, Michael and Aly for your kind comments.  Universal has given our daughter AND our family a great deal of joy over the years and for you to give this positive feedback means the world to me!  We really LOVE the parks because of people like you!  I have so many stories of the great things you have done for our daughter.  I'm so glad the Orlando Informer has given me the opportunity to thank you ALL in a public forum.  You've made my day!!

P.S. - Erin turned 30 yesterday (I know - she looks 14) - she wasn't supposed to live past 20.  We celebrate every day we have with her and to have Universal Orlando Resort be part of her life for almost half of it has meant a great deal to us.  We just wish we lived closer - she's bugging us to GO almost constantly!

Aly
Aly

Hi Debi,

I also work Lost and Found (and Guest Services) at Universal and this article is so wonderful!  Thank you for all of the helpful (and accurate!) information about all of the steps involved in reuniting guests with their lost items.  It can be frustrating, and even overwhelming, when so many items get turned in and we have to log them in the system.  However, it’s guests like you providing this wonderful feedback that makes all of us feel we are doing good things in our job.  I am so happy for you and your daughter, so glad that she got her hat back, and I hope to see you at Universal again soon!

iamdollie
iamdollie

As I pulled up this article, there was a knock at the door - Fed X delivering THE HAT!!  Inside was a nice letter from Katie, Coordinator, Guest Services.  The hat is clean, never rained on and every pin still in place.  I'd like to mention that I was also called by Michael from Guest Services on Saturday; he informed me that he was sorry he had not contacted me sooner about Universal's Lost and Found statistics as they will connect you with the Public Relations department for that information.  Because I had already submitted this story for publication, he gave me one statistic - since July 11 there had been reported/found 809 cell phones.  As I maintained in my first article, Universal team members are really the BEST!

OrlandoInformer
OrlandoInformer

I think it is interesting how debi used bold on each team members' name. Shows how many people are involved in the return of just one person's item. Pretty incredible.

iamdollie
iamdollie

@larilei So sorry about your daughter's glasses - I'm sure the IOA staff will do the best they can at finding the glasses.  Just stay in touch with them.  I'm sure the reason why they don't have access to all of the area under the coaster is because much of it is in construction mode for the new Hogwarts Express train station and all that the new area will entail.  Hopefully, maybe one of the workers will find the glasses.  And in the future, I would suggest a glasses strap to hold your daughter's glasses on her head.  I see a lot of people using those on the rides.  Good luck!

Michael
Michael

Debi,

I am glad I could help!  Your article means a lot to us, as we try hard to reunite people with their lost treasures, but it is an act that usually goes unnoticed.

I know every person mentioned in this article personally, and they are all fantastic people!

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