For those unfamiliar, Adam the Woo has become a small internet sensation. A down-to-earth, G-rated channel that covers the adventures of a guy who likes to travel and explore destinations and topics he is passionate about. If you’ve never seen Adam’s work, I am going to populate this article with some of my favorite videos he has created over the years.
First and foremost, I am a fan. Have been for a while. I love 80’s movies, theme parks and more than anything… Adam the Woo is just a likable guy on camera. Even if he’s just talking about random subject matters, there is something magnetic about him. It’s also worth noting that I have never met Adam, nor does he know I am writing this article. Which I think keeps me a bit more centered in how I view his situation.
Now this situation is an interesting one. One of the reasons Adam the Woo has become so popular is that some of his videos feature “urban exploring,” which is another term for checking out abandoned locations. Sometimes this involves getting permission from the property owner and sometimes Adam the Woo just goes for it. Either way, the end result is always interesting.
As a theme park fan, I am most interested in extinct attractions and what they look like now. Hell, I have an entire section of my site devoted to the topic in my toolbar. I can also attribute some of my own success to covering the topic. However, Adam created some videos over five years ago where he decided to visit some off-limits areas at Universal Orlando and filmed what Nickelodeon Studios and Triceratops Encounter look like years after they had been closed to the public.
Five years later, Adam the Woo is visiting Universal Orlando and filming a segment where Jimmy Fallon is taping a bit for “The Tonight Show” while it was in town and he gets a tap on the shoulder. The next thing you know, Universal Security is escorting him out of the park and has given him a lifetime trespass order never to return to the property.
Within hours of Adam releasing the above video explaining what had happened, fans started flooding social media with the hashtag #unbanadamthewoo to try to get Universal’s attention to potentially reverse their decision. The reasons why? Mostly I have seen things like “he’s such a nice guy” or “this was over five years ago when he did this” or “he’s harmless” mentioned most often. And indeed, those reasons are valid.
However, lets take a look at it from the other side. Say you’re a homeowner. While you’re gone one day, someone gets into your house (you left the door unlocked) and films the inside and puts it on YouTube. You never see this person again, they stole nothing and no damage was done. What do you do?
Now certainly after a period of five years, you could absolutely let bygones be bygones. And Universal Orlando could definitely decide that Adam the Woo did no harm and he hasn’t done anything like that on their property in quite some time and let it slide. But take a step back and look at the message that sends to other potential explorers.
Let’s say that you too decide to jump behind-the-scenes to check out Triceratops Encounter at Islands of Adventure. You know it’s possible thanks to Adam the Woo’s video! Now let’s pause there. Think about that. As a viewer, you may not know exactly how he got backstage to get that footage, but you do know it’s possible. Just the existence of the video alone pauses a potential danger to those venturing into areas no longer designed to be a guest area. The idea, which may have never crossed your mind before, is now in your brain. You may act on an instinct to try it yourself, or you may not.
Often times these spaces are used as storage and can even be overgrown with unkept foliage. Meaning if they somehow get hurt, the park becomes liable. This is where the difference between being a homeowner and a business owner slightly differ.
More importantly, lets say you, the reader of this article, decide to venture into an area you’re really curious about in a theme park, but it’s restricted. You get stopped by security. Gasp! Ask yourself: would the answers of “I’m harmless,” “I’m a nice person” or “you probably won’t remember this in five years” get you off the hook? Does it make it any better?
Finally, look at the message it sends to other potential urban explorers who may want to do a little backstage digging of their own. It simply says this: if you go poking around in restricted areas on Universal Orlando property, even if we don’t catch you at the time, if we find out – there will be consequences. Now regardless of how much you like Adam the Woo (I do too!), the response Universal Orlando gave was not only the right one, it’s the most logical one.
Let me also say, I believe in forgiveness. And as Adam has experienced, so do other theme parks in Orlando. Could Universal grant him access back to their property again? It’s very possible. After all, as many fans (and myself) have pointed out, he’s a likable guy. However, until he gets a chance to make that case to the powers that be, try to understand why Universal Orlando did what they did. Okay?
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Images and Video Copyright: Adam the Woo