Home » 10 New Attractions Rumored to be on Their Way to Universal Orlando

10 New Attractions Rumored to be on Their Way to Universal Orlando

Jurassic Park Jeep Safari (3)

The Universal Orlando Resort has experienced unprecedented success since the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure in 2010. Backed by owner Comcast with its deep pockets, the resort is now going through a major period of expansion. Comcast has promised to spend an eye-watering $500 million every single year at its US theme parks, expanding their attraction line-ups, installing immersive themed lands and building new on-site hotels.

2014 will be a big year for Universal Orlando, which plans to open the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley in the summer. Huge crowds are inevitable as Potter fans line up to experience the Hogwarts Express, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and a host of themed shops and restaurants.

Universal Orlando is yet to confirm what’s coming after Potter, but it has made it clear that the spending will continue. A host of rumors have been circulating about potential new attractions for the resort. In reality, it’s likely that most of these have at least been considered by Universal Creative – but not all of them will go ahead.

Here are 10 rumored new attractions that could appear at Universal Orlando over the next few years.

1. Jurassic World (Islands of Adventure)

Jurassic Park safari ride

Image via Disney and More

It has been widely rumored for months that Universal is planning to expand the Jurassic Park area of Islands of Adventure with a major new attraction. Now that a fourth Jurassic Park film – Jurassic World – has been confirmed for 2015, an eventual addition to the area does seem likely.

Suggestions have included an on-rails jeep ride similar to that seen in the original film (although this is probably too close in plot to the existing Jurassic Park River Adventure to get the go-ahead), a roller coaster set in an amber mine and an indoor, movie-style attraction. Most of these concepts have been proposed before, but dropped for various different reasons (you can read about them in this article).

2. The Lorax (Islands of Adventure)

The Lorax

One criticism levelled at Universal Orlando, despite its recent successes, is that it offers very little for families with younger children. One exception is the Seuss Landing area of Islands of Adventure – although those with toddlers will find that even the tame attractions located there are off-limits for tiny ones.

Reports suggest that Universal is to expand Seuss Landing’s line-up with a high-tech attraction based on The Lorax, the 1971 book that was given the movie treatment in 2012. The attraction would feature scooters that sit on a motion base, along with a mix of 3D effects and physical sets. However, the latest (unconfirmed) rumors suggest that the Lorax project has been put on hold for now.

3. King Kong (Universal Studios Florida OR Islands of Adventure)

King Kong

In October 2013, we covered rumors that a new ride themed around Skull Island (the home of King Kong) is on its way to Islands of Adventure, sitting close to Jurassic Park River Adventure. The rumors are that the headline ride will not be a simple recreation of King Kong 360 3-D at Universal Studios Hollywood. Instead, it could be a major dark ride with outdoor sections featuring high-capacity, safari-style vehicles.

Will Universal really look to add both a Jurassic World ride and a King Kong attraction to the same area of Island of Adventure, though? Or are alternative rumors that the tired Disaster! is on its way out of Universal Studios Florida to be replaced by a Kong attraction more likely to be on-the-mark? Either way, it seems likely that King Kong will be on his way to Universal Orlando in one form or other.

There have recently been signs of upcoming construction in the Jurassic Park area, and plans have been submitted for an enormous ride building. This has fueled speculation that the Skull Island project at Islands of Adventure is moving ahead. If we were gamblers, we’d put our money on Kong arriving at Islands of Adventure. Given the construction timescales involved, probably in 2016.

4. Whomping Willow spinning ride (Islands of Adventure)

 

Whomping Willow

Long-time Disney and Universal correspondent Jim Hill has long suggested that Universal will seek to further expand its Harry Potter offerings once its done with Diagon Alley (after all, Potter fans appear to have insatiable appetite for attractions based on the young wizard’s adventures). Those rumors have died down a little recently, but there are still suggestions that the remainder of the Lost Continent area of the park could eventually be consumed into the Wizarding World.

One of the rumored attractions is a spinning flat ride themed around the Whomping Willow, possibly similar in style to the Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl attraction at Universal Studios Florida.

5. Chamber of Secrets show (Islands of Adventure)

Basilisk

If the Lost Continent is to be replaced, then expect Posideon’s Fury to undergo a makeover to convert it into a high-tech show set in the Chamber of Secrets, presumably featuring the enormous, snake-like Basilisk.

6. Shrieking Shack walkthrough (Islands of Adventure)

Shrieking Shack

The final rumored attraction for a Lost Continent-based Wizarding World expansion is a walkthrough based on the Shrieking Shack, the mysterious abandoned house in Hogsmeade where Remus Lupin transformed every month into a werewolf.

7. Mount Crumpit (Islands of Adventure)

Mount Crumpit

Over the years, there have been numerous rumors that a Matterhorn-style roller coaster built around a recreation of Mount Crumpit from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas could be added to the Seuss Landing area of Islands of Adventure. These are still circulating today, with the ride said to be one of a number of expansion options under consideration.

8. Ministry of Magic (Universal Studios Florida)

Ministry of Magic

Rumors of a third phase in the development of Universal Orlando’s Wizarding Worlds haven’t solely focused on The Lost Continent. Our friends over at Orlando Informer have also reported rumors that additional rides could be added to Diagon Alley – and that blueprints for the attractions have already been shared with potential contractors. If it is eventually built, the Ministry of Magic is likely to replace the aging and unpopular Fear Factor Live.

While courting J.K. Rowling back in 2003 in its attempts to secure the Harry Potter license, Universal is claimed to have put forward a proposal for a stunt show based around the Harry Potter characters, featuring a stunning final battle between Harry, Ron, Hermione and an animatronic version of the evil Lord Voldemort. Ironically, the most likely location for this would have been in the Fear Factor Live amphitheater – which could now be set for demolition to make room for an entirely different Harry Potter attraction.

9. A movie-themed water park

Wet 'n Wild Orlando

Rumors have long been rife that Universal Orlando will seek to move its Wet ‘n Wild water park, which is currently located on International Drive, over to the main Universal Orlando property. These rumors, of course, are ridiculous. It would be ludicrously complicated and expensive to do so, given the immense amount of underground plumbing work that exists underneath Wet ‘n Wild. And why bother, when Wet ‘n Wild is still pretty popular and profitable in its own right? Universal continues to invest in the park, adding a new water slide, Aqua Drag Racer, in 2014.

But that hasn’t killed rumors that a second, on-site water park will open on a site close to the Cabana Bay Beach Resort (although new hotels have also been rumored to be located on that site). This would feature heavily-themed attractions based around movie properties, in a similar style to Universal’s theme parks.

10. The Smurfs dark ride (Universal Studios Florida)

The Smurfs

E.T. Adventure has been removed from Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan, so it seems only a matter of time before it suffers the same fate at Universal Studios Florida. And what could replace it? According to a report from Screamscape last year, an attraction themed around those loveable blue icons The Smurfs, which would reuse E.T. Adventure’s ride system.

What would you most like to see?

It’s a great time to be a Universal Orlando fan. After Diagon Alley, what would you most like to see come to the resort?

You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions through Theme Park Tourist’s “New Attraction Watch” section, and by signing up for our weekly newsletter.