Yesterday it was officially announced that Wet 'n Wild Orlando would be closing for good on December 31st 2016. This revelation was understandably met with some sadness from both locals and frequent Orlando visitors, as Wet 'n Wild has been a fixture of the Orlando attractions area for over 35 years, making it the longest-operating water park in the US.
Though its tough to lose this amazing water park, those of us who have been following the developments over the last year at Universal Orlando Resort have known that the closure of Wet 'n Wild was coming for quite a while now. In fact, an analysis of the current state of Universal Orlando Resort (and its current plans for the next 2-3 years) reveals that the closure of Wet 'n Wild was really the only option for the resort. Here are the two reasons why Universal Orlando Resort didn't have any choice but to close Wet 'n Wild.
1. Getting Volcano Bay ready for 2017
When it was announced that Universal Orlando Resort’s Volcano Bay water park would open in 2017, many wondered how Universal could realistically open a 50+ acre water park in just two years, especially considering the land for the park had only just recently been cleared, and no construction had commenced.
However, like we hypothesized back in March, the solution to this problem is a remarkably simple one: dismantle attractions that are in good shape at Wet 'n Wild and bring them across the street to be rebuilt at Volcano Bay. Universal Orlando Resort certainly doesn't need two water parks right next to each other and now that we know that Wet 'n Wild is scheduled to close 12 months before the opening of Volcano Bay, we feel comfortable predicting that guests will see former Wet 'n Wild attractions (in some form or another) inside the Volcano Bay water park on opening day.
Still don't believe us? You need look no further than Universal Orlando Resort's official blog post confirming the closure of Wet’n Wild, which alludes to this very possibility, saying “the groundbreaking spirit that has defined Wet ‘n Wild will continue in the development of Universal’s Volcano Bay". That's certainly not a definitive statement, but how else would Wet n' Wild influence Volcano Bay if there weren't plans to bring at least some of the water park's rides over?
Of course, we wouldn’t imagine that every Wet 'n Wild attraction could possibly make it over to Volcano Bay, but slides that are in good condition like the recently-opened Aqua Drag Racer as well as perennial favorites like The Black Hole are almost certainly going to be among those that are being considered for inclusion at Volcano Bay.