Universal Studios Resort Issues Ban on Photographers

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Universal Studios has issued a ban on photographers and on services they provide at hotspots throughout the park.

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China Daily reports that several freelance photographers who frequent the Beijing Universal resort and offer their services to guests visiting the parks have taken to Xiaohongshu, an online social media platform similar to Instagram, to share that Universal has issued a ban on freelance photography within the Beijing parks, that went into effect on April 2. The park is reportedly removing the private photo-shoot service that has been offered to guests by professional photographers.

Not only is the service banned, but the photographers who offer the service are banned from the parks as well and are being denied any access to the parks.

“Starting from April 2, Universal Park is taking action to prevent photographers from offering photo-shoot services inside the park, especially in the area of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” reads a post on Xiaohongshu from a photographer named She Ying Shi Xiao.

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While photographers affected by the ban aren’t happy about Universal’s decision, others applaud the move. “It is an amusement park, not a photo-shoot studio,” commented Xiaohongshu user Mu Zi De Li.

Recently, professional photographers who offer photo-shoot services at Universal Studios Beijing Resort and the guests who are utilizing their services have flocked to certain scenic and iconic spots within the park, making those areas crowded and sometimes chaotic, especially during peak hours and peak days in the park.

“To be honest, it was very disturbing to see visitors posing in front of their photographers in the park, especially in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, [where the] passage is rather narrow, and their posing activities just blocked other visitors,” reads one of the online comments, posted by user Xiao Tai.

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Others who visit the parks and make use of the photo shoot services have shared their disappointment.

“It was convenient to hire a photographer inside the park,” said user Yi Zhi Chong Tian Tu Zi.

Often, freelance photographers purchase an annual pass at the parks so they are able to be on location every day. They also accept bookings for photo shoots in the parks, and some make a living offering their services at Universal Beijing.

“I usually started at 10 a.m. and worked for 6 or 7 hours at most a day,” explained one photographer who offered his services at Universal. He said that he already had a full week of bookings ahead of him.

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According to an employee at Universal Beijing Resort, the newly-issued ban, which caught most freelance photographers by surprise, is for copyright protection and an effort in the interest of guests at the parks. Recently, visitors to the parks have complained that the photo shoots get in the way of guests’ experiences at the parks and can even infringe on the rights of other paying guests.

Though the ban that went into effect in early April is new, such services offered by freelance photographers have been forbidden at the Universal Resort since it opened to guests in September 2021, according to a customer service representative employed at Universal Beijing.

Universal Beijing Resort’s official website states that “Photography, videotaping, audio recording, or live streaming of any kind except for personal and non-commercial purposes” is prohibited in the park.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!