Additional Information About Universal's New Water Park

The Universal Orlando Resort is getting ready to add another park to its already impressive Central Florida lineup. This time they are planning on opening a new "water theme park" that is expected to be very impressive.
If you have followed us in the past, you will surely remember that we have been following this developing story for a long time (remember WonderSea Island?). This time we have gathered additional details about this great project.

A few days ago, permits filed through the South Florida Water Management District website revealed some very interesting information about Universal's new water park, which include some of the many themed attractions that will be available to Guests as well some key features that will impress many.

The following text can be found in the official permit that was previously mentioned. Take a look:

The project is a proposed water theme park to be constructed to the south of the recently opened Cabana Beach Resort. The site is a vacant tract of land that occupies a plan area of some 25± acres. The site is generally triangular in shape, bounded by I-4 to the south, Turkey Lake Road to the west and the new hotel to the north. A generalized plan view of the area under consideration is included on Figure 1.

We understand that new construction will include slides and pools plus various recreational facilities. A tall “volcano” with slides will be constructed in the southern portion of the site. There will be a series of low-rise buildings constructed throughout the site with several containing equipment pits. 

The site is to be graded by cutting and filling, the full extent of which is not known to us at this time. We do however understand that some construction elements will be located several feet below the water table.

The largest below grade construction will be the bunker that is associated with the Volcano. The finished floor slab of the bunker is understood to be elevation +117 feet, some 20± feet below existing grade. Pool shells will also be located below grade with the deepest such feature being at the wave pool next to the Volcano equipment bunker. The volcano... will be built with a steel framework.

We recommend that the pool shells of the project including the shells of the lazy river and the rapids ride be provided with an underdrain system.

Associated with the project will be at-grade pavement areas to include service/access roads and surface parking. Buried utilities will be constructed/provided to support the new project. A retaining wall will be built along a portion of the property line next to the I-4 on ramp. This wall will be up to 8 feet high.

As noted earlier, the site is located at the south end of Universal Resort, to the south of the recently opened Cabana Beach Resort. The property occupies a plan area of some 25± acres, being bounded by Turkey Lake Road to the west and the I-4 ramp to the south/east. The ground cover consists of exposed sands with grass/weeds with areas in the northwest that were formerly used for construction trailer parking and staging/storage of materials and equipment for earlier construction projects. There are a few berms located around the perimeter of the project site (Turkey Lake Road side of the property and the I-4 ramp areas).

A review of the USDA Soil Survey for Orange County as contained on the internet indicates the vast majority of the site to be mantled by surficial Soil Group 20 (Immokalee fine sand). The typical profile for this soil group is 80 inches of clean to slightly silty fine sands (i.e. SP and SP/SM materials). The normal wet season high groundwater table is reported as being within one foot of the natural ground surface. (This estimate is for sites that do not have any drainage improvements).

Universal Orlando's new water park is expected to open in 2017 or 2018. Nothing has officially been announced at this point, so the project examined in this post should still be considered just a rumor.