Like its neighbor Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort is looking to expand in some interesting ways over the coming years. However, even though we have a good idea of what's coming to Walt Disney World in the coming years, many of Universal's projects are still shrouded in mystery, which has led to some downright strange rumors popping up in recent weeks. In light of all the speculation and misinformation running rampant online, let's take a moment to separate fact from fiction in regards to what is actually going on with Universal Orlando Resort.
1. The rumor: A new theme park is being planned for the land Wet ‘n Wild currently occupies
The truth: High rise hotels are on the way
Though Universal Orlando Resort never announced the official reason behind its decision to close water park Wet ‘N Wild, we hypothesized last month that Universal would be recycling some of the attractions for its forthcoming Volcano Bay water park and would use the soon-to-be vacant land to add another hotel to its ever-expanding lineup. Not only would these developments make logical sense, but they would back up recent comments by Comcast executives that beefing up hotel inventory is a long-term goal for Universal Orlando Resort.
However, in recent weeks an odd rumor has popped up online that implies that Universal is planning to build a new theme park on the land that is currently occupied by Wet ‘N Wild. However, what these reports don’t take into consideration is just how small Wet ‘N Wild truly is. At just 52 acres, Wet 'n Wild is less than half the size of Islands of Adventure (which, at 110 acres, is already the smallest major theme park in central Florida).
But putting aside the logistic challenges of creating a theme park that would be half the size of Islands of Adventure, evidence is mounting that Universal is actually working on a plan to bring a new hotel to this space. Theme Park Insider reports that high-rise hotels will indeed be constructed in this area, helping Universal make some progress towards its goal of having 10,000-15,000 hotel rooms on property (the resort will have 5,000 rooms when the Sapphire Falls Resort opens next year, so it does have a way to go towards meeting this benchmark).
While it’s nice to think about a new theme park for Universal Orlando Resort, the fact is that this resort is simply out of space right now, and unless they go on a buying spree around I-Drive (an unlikely development), a third theme park simply isn’t going to be a possibility. Which leads us to our next unfounded rumor…