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...

22 Comment(s):

Don said...

I hope ET stays. Does it need an update, sure but as you stated it's a family ride.
Moving the entrance somewhere else the Kidzone area can be whatever they want.

I would like to see Toon Lagoon go. As an international guest I hardly know any of the properties and the way they are executed isn't great. Dudly can leave as those ride vehicles are impossible to get in and out of (but Universal needs a Splash Mountain beater). Popeye can stay and is the best of it's kind. A new theme would be ok by me.

It make sense for Universal to get rid of W 'n W. Many rides can be (re-)themed and transported to the new waterpark that will be heavily themed. The W 'n W lot can hold a huge convention hotel/resort that also can be an addition to the overall Universal Orlando Resort with only a bridge separating it from the rest. If this hotel is complementary to the convention center it could speak to convention goers that take their family who can visit Universal from 1 easy location. If build over the road it can be huge.

Thank you very much for your feedback, Don! I agree with you an all fronts (especially when you stated that E.T. needs to stay - with an update - and that Popeye too needs to remain). We'll see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Well, first I wonder if Spielberg is not renewed, would it go to Disney? Probably. He has a lot of to offer.

Second, Universal is far less attached emotionally to its "stuff" than Disney. Their strategy seems to be one of: build it quick while its hot, don't' fall in love with any ride or attraction, and be ready to move onto the next big thing.

In other words, Universal will rotate the stock much faster than Disney.

Just to pick some numbers: Universal builds for 5-7 year life cycle of a property, Disney builds for 10-15.

At Universal, if the 7 years pass and popularity is high, that's great and the ride might remain. Might - if there is nothing terribly hot or trendy to go in its place.

Anonymous said...

Yikes...No need to attack WDW and Avatar...

Anonymous said...

I don't think they were attacking WDW or Avatar, more like pointing out where that project stands. If pointing out where Disney currently is in the overall project is attacking to you then maybe they've touched on something inside of your mind that your already subconsciously thinking. In my mind the constant upgrades from Universal/Disney and the two companies competing by putting in new, bigger and better attractions means one thing, we win, the theme part consumers are the real winners in this battle. 204

mike said...

Et needs to stay. No ifs and or buts about it. Would love to see a family dark ride added without the removal of et. Even with all its faults et has been one of my fav rides at universal. Would love to maybe upgrade the queue outside of the building leading up to the forest. That forest is amazing on a hot summer day.

I have a question. I dont know about the space but is it possible for universal to be expanded without removing anything? Would love to see an expansion of world show case with maybe a dark ride or a space movie if anything how about an original ride about the shooting of a new story

Anonymous said...

The rumor related to the change in the parade route is true as well. I was just at Universal yesterday and the maps show the new route. It enters the park at Hollywood and circles back using the original route plus the street that fronts the lagoon.

Anonymous said...

Universal is built out to its property lines. Changes require:

1. Moving the pieces around inside the existing property.

2. Buying up the housing/commercial property that surrounds the property now.

3. Going "down the road" someplace and again, buying up housing/commercial property to build what would be a 3rd park.

Take a look at the free, Google Earth program, Google Maps, Apple Maps. They use satellite imagery (major cities often current year), and you'll be able to see the challenge Universal faces to expand.

Universal will never be as large as WDW, not unless it moves out "to the country" and buys thousands of empty acres and starts over.

E.T. said...

I'm old and tired. Please let me go home to my planet full of weird creatures. I have been saying tourists names for so long that I don't even bother anymore. Let me take my Speak-N-Spell and leave in peace.

Josh said...

When I visited Universal for the first time this past spring, I was told that ET has a different contract than the overall Spielberg one. As other sites have also reported, I was told that ET's contract was recently extended by ten years. I'm not sure how recently but at least in the past 2-3 years.

If you say that it needs to be replaced because it's old and tired, then Universal needs to build some good family rides without screens or spinning. That is a demographic that Disney fills incredibly well, but that is also why Universal also could really pull more families by introducing ET-type rides.

mike said...

Josh I completely agree about the family rides. I think it'll be a smart move to use the lost continent in IOA to build at least 2 family rides. Maybe dr.s related? While in the kids zone or twister area in universal another family ride. Would bring in a lot more guess having family style attractions.

I went to the park last week and noticed they still have that old building behind rrr it and the bathrooms. What is stopping them from expanding into that building?

Anonymous said...

Yaaaaaaawn. King Kong King Schmong. Spongebob is obnoxious. I'll take new Harambe, Avatar and Star Wars land every time.

Anonymous said...

Yaaawwnn, Disney is based on there past, Universal is cutting edge. There is not one decent ride on Disney property. Just midgets in costumes and gay danceers.

Anonymous said...

I hope they get rid of the rocket coaster. That was a mistake. One of the worst coasters ever. Doesn't fit.

And no more video screen/motion simulator rides. The novelty of those has worn off. Go back to making rides with real sets and live animatronic characters, like Jurassic Park or Revenge of the Mummy.

Anonymous said...

So excited to see yet ANOTHER screen based ride from Universal. Let's be real here, they are trying to be "cutting-edge" but there is nothing cutting-edge about the same concept repeated over and over again. We all know Kong is going to be screen-based and so will the next ride. *yawn*

Hoping Disney knocks it out of the park with Avatar and brings us something really innovative.

Trent said...

Don't you just love hearing people knock Kong down for being a screen-based ride, yet looking forward to Avatar when the E-ticket for the latter is going to be a Soarin' clone?

Fox Mulder said...

It would be sad if Universal got rid of E.T., It will end of the old Universal.

It seems Universal is using licensed properties instead of the great properties it has in it's own vault.

Why call it Universal Studios if what's in belongs to other studios just call it movie land, It would be like going to McDonald's and finding McDonald's is selling Whoppers.

As for SpongeBob being almost dried up as a franchise, I think it has a few years left in after all they have a new movie coming out next year but we'll see how well the movie does in February.

Anonymous said...

E.T. needs to remain,upgrades to the lighting,sound and effects have to be done. a spongebob kids area would be perfect, the concept would hold for at least 10 years. woody and curious George have been going good for 12 years and were out of date when they opened!

the lost continent has been messed with enough already. this is a one of a kind beautiful area. Poseidon's fury and mythos are one of a kind and the best visual part of the resort.
p.s. the enchanted oak tavern was better than three broomsticks!!

enough with the screen based and 3D attractions, there are 5 at the studios. none of the can compare to spiderman!

leave marvel island alone just beacause Disney owns them,half of the properties are not universal films anyway.

finally two places for expansion are, world expo, were the two tents are for Halloween between simpsons and MIB.
and the barely used amphitheater in toon lagoon.

Anonymous said...

Visited Florida once in 2010. The E.T. ride broke down and we were stuck waiting in front of the Speak and Spell machine. By the time the ride was back up and running i wanted to take a sledge hammer to the damm thing!

Anonymous said...

I Personally belive E.T Adventure should be either removed, Or revamped.I Went on it as of Nov. 28-29 And i noticed the track squeaking, And the cars were backed up about to the water part. They should take it down, Or take it up a notch.

Danny said...

I agree that E.T. should stay. In my opinion, they need to preserve at least one original attraction that epitomizes what "old school" Universal was all about because their history is important and should be paid with due reverence(unless of course they build some type of museum in the current Garden of Allah Villas). On another note, I'm surprised that the rumors for T2:3D have quieted down. It looks to me that they no longer are intending to replace it after all, given its popularity and the upcoming installment projected for summer 2015. KidZone needs to be completely replaced, but why are they not jumping on DREAMWORKS like their other new parks across the world? That's the perfect fit.

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