Universal Orlando Resort has a lot of new projects in the pipeline, with Skull Island: Reign of Kong set to open next year, Volcano Bay tentatively scheduled for the folllowing year, and Nintendo Land on the horizon for 2018 (potentially). However, though these new lands and expansions have all been confirmed by the park, there are quite a number of unconfirmed rumors that point to even more changes coming to Universal Orlando Resort both in the short term as well as in the coming years.
Even though these rumors all come from reputable sources, plans can always change and these in-development projects could grind to a screeching halt at any moment. However, as of this moment, there are at least four big changes coming to Universal Orlando Resort that oculd see some classic attractions removed, a few new rides built and one of the last remaining scraps of avialable building space at Universal Studios Florida finally used up...
1. The end of San Francisco, and the rise of Los Angeles
Though Universal hasn’t confirmed as much yet, we’re pretty confident that a new attraction based on the billion dollar Fast and Furious franchise is on its way to Universal Orlando Resort. And thanks to the success of Furious 7 (as well as the Fast and Furious: Supercharged attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood) , it looks like the proposed Fast and Furious attraction has been fast tracked and will be taking over an entire section of the park in the near future.
According to Orlando Theme Park News, the entire San Francisco area of the park could be demolished in the near future (as early as this fall), with Disaster closing for good later this summer and Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue either closing outright at the close of the busy summer season or moving to the former Fear Factor stage on the other side of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.
Once all the current attractions have moved out of the San Francisco area, work will begin in earnest to convert this themed land into the home of the Fast and Furious series: Los Angeles. Though this new area will likely house only a single attraction (and perhaps a restaurant or two), the Fast and Furious ride set for Universal Studios Florida is said to be quite the impressive affair, requiring the space currently taken up not only by Disaster and the Beetlejuice Graveyard revue, but also a few backstage buildings as well.
Though we don’t know anything about what a full-fledged Fast and Furious ride might look like, sources suggest that this attraction will be quite different from its Hollywood counterpart, featuring its own story and ride system separate from the Supercharged part of the tram tour in Hollywood.
2. Will Nintendo Land be replacing KidZone?
While we’ve had some fun in the past speculating about what kinds of attractions could come to Universal Orlando Resort as a part of the Nintendo Land expansion (confirmed to be coming to Universal parks around the world in the near future), both Nintendo and Universal have been oddly silent on what exactly guests can expect from this in-development area.
However, just because nothing has been confirmed doesn't mean there is no information. Rumors persist that details for a kid-friendly Nintendo Land are currently being hammered out between Universal and Nintendo, with the idea currently to build the new land where the outdated (and poorly trafficked) Woody Woodpecker's KidZone area is.
Considering the size of this area though, it would be tough to build an immersive land around Nintendo characters that could rival Diagon Alley (a condition which was reportedly a cornerstone of the Nintendo-Universal partnership). Still, if Nintendo has changed their minds and is looking to build their brand with a collection of inexpensive flat rides themed to Nintendo properties, KidZone would be the perfect place for them to do so.