Our very own source of Universal Orlando rumors is back once again, this time bringing some controversial updates. While most of the previous rumors that our source shared sounded likely to happen in the next few months (i.e. the Twister rumor), these appear to be long-term projects that may take more than just a couple of years to happen (if they do, in fact, materialize). As always, we want to thank our source but still remind you to take everything with a grain of salt:
So I have some juicy detailed rumors for you this morning. I do want to preface this by saying these are rumors coming from a source who has connections with someone in Creative [these are Universal's own "Imagineers," which come up with ideas about new additions].
1. E.T. Adventure Removal. No surprise here, but said source suggests that Universal is waiting for the E.T. contract with Spielberg to expire in 2015/2016 (they couldn't remember when it officially expires). Once that happens, they can officially start working on [that side of] the KidZone. Remember that rumor about a SpongeBob coaster? They did suggest that KidZone could turn into a SpongeBob area, complete with an E-ticket ride, SpongeBob shows, flat rides, and more character experiences.
I'd definitely take the SpongeBob rumor with a grain of salt, mostly because SpongeBob is almost dried up as a franchise.
2. Toon Lagoon is going to be expanded, somehow, in some way. No other details at this point just that it is planned. [On a related subject, the Lost Continent is also in line to be completely replaced]. Of course, Seuss, Hogsmeade, and Marvel will not be going anywhere as they are big draws to the park, and will probably always be.
3. The New Water Park. We know about its location (next to Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort) and we've seen the permits about its theme and even the construction trailers. What is surprising is that Universal will be absorbing Wet N' Wild Orlando completely. Once the new water park is built, at the very least, Wet N' Wild Orlando will no longer exist. Will Universal purchase the entire Wet N' Wild company? Doubtful. Again this is the "rumor" that has been passed along. True or false, I guess we will all have to wait and see.
It's insane how many projects are in the process of being planned and being constructed. Either way Universal is getting stronger and stronger by the year, while Disney is still pouring foundation concrete for AVATAR Land.
Now it is time for us to chime into the discussion. First of all, we are shocked to hear that there is even a small possibility that the E.T. Adventure might be removed in the next few years. This classic Universal Orlando attraction is the only one that has been operating since opening day, and it is one of only a handful of classic dark rides that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Other reliable sources (like Parkscope) confirmed that the E.T. Adventure was going to be safe, and that the KidZone project would not have included the removal of the attraction. Have plans changed? Will this be phase two of the KidZone redo? Is this rumor incorrect? Your guess is as good as ours at this point in time.
The Toon Lagoon rumor is certainly not a surprise. Many, many times in the past we have heard about possible replacements, sometimes including the re-imagining of the existing ride, other times including the complete removal of everything currently standing in that plot of land. As we stated at the beginning of the post, we are sure it will be many years before this particular area will be touched.
Finally, the Wet N' Wild rumor comes as a small surprise. While we are sure Universal will soon do away with the not-so-appreciated water park on International Drive, we originally thought that both water parks (the new one and the existing Wet N' Wild Orlando) would coexist for a t least a few years. Now, our source stated that Wet N' Wild might close immediately after the opening of the new one. Why the hurry? What plans do they have for that area? Are they already looking into building yet another hotel, or is something bigger coming? As always, we will have to wait and see.
Now it is your turn. What are your thoughts about these rumors? Of course, we would like to remind you once again that these pieces of information are RUMORS, and may therefore never materialize or the rumored plans may be altered due to changes in the resort's vision or for any other reason not specified in this post. That said, we think it is nice to speculate about what could happen in the future...