Universal Building 4th Theme Park In Orlando
Even though Universal Orlando just opened the revolutionary Volcano Bay waterpark last year, it seems they already may be planning to build a fourth park.
Universal Studios is reportedly in development on a fourth theme park for its Orlando location that could rival nearby Walt Disney World. Currently, Universal Orlando consists of two theme parks (Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure) and one water park (Volcano Bay), along with an entertainment complex. However, that could all change with the addition of a new park.
Let’s take a quick look at the lead up to this. Rolling back several years, Universal acquired the Harry Potter license and made theme park history. Then, they built a historic themed waterpark. In 2015 Universal acquired a ton of new land and then even more land in 2017. And now, according to the latest rumors swirling around the internet, they’re planning to add a fourth park to their Florida resort—one that could include everything from Lord of the Rings to Jurassic World. There’s been a lot of speculation since then about what kind of new attractions Universal is planning but not a lot of information… until now.
Over the past few years, Universal has been purchasing hundreds of acres of land alongside Sand Lake Road. In October of 2017, Universal purchased another 101 acres of land for $27.5 million which is adjacent to their previous purchase made in 2015 (North of Universal Boulevard and West of Destination Parkway). The latest acquisition gives Universal more than 570 acres to work with for expansions, which is multiple times larger than the property it currently owns and operates as Universal Orlando Resort. Ever since their last purchase of land, rumors have been buzzing the interwebs that Universal may be looking to expand it’s resort. Now, there seems to be some confirmation of major projects in the works.
Permits filed with the state indicate Universal is looking at a project involving 320 of their 570 acres involving the same plot of land. The permits detail the proposed plan to build wastewater and runoff systems for the graded site. For those unaware what the term “graded” means, it is the process of altering a site to make it suitable for vertical construction. The fact that the plan included new runoff systems indicates that the new construction will likely involve the alteration of large amounts of land.
However, more importantly, there is currently a road expansion project for the road connecting Universal Boulevard to the potential park site. The addition of new lanes, drainage system, and signage indicates that the volume of traffic is expected to increase by the time the project is complete in the spring of 2020.
Universal has been seeking more talent for Universal Creative, so it’s clear they are already preparing in the personnel departments. According to inside sources over at the Disney and More blog, The new park project is being referred to by park officials as “Project 314”. No one knows why that code name was chosen, but we will go way out on a limb and guess it has something to do with land size..
With a new park comes new speculation as to what new lands will be constructed. Of course, Super Nintendo World will be there, but no official announcement has been made by the park yet. Super Nintendo land will most likely be centered around Peach’s castle and include a Zelda ride, a Mario kart ride, a Donkey Kong themed roller coaster, and accompanying play areas.
Other insiders are speculating that Universal is also brainstorming with ways to bring Pokémon into the mix as well. Pokémon is the one of the biggest missed opportunities for Universal thus far, so it’ll be interesting to see where and when it’ll come into play.
Universal reportedly also has its eyes set on a few other Hollywood franchises as well for new lands. Those include Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter’s Ministry of Magic, Star Trek, and even a new Jurassic World land.
Preparation of the new land indicates Universal can begin construction on the new park very soon, a process that can take anywhere from 3 to 5 years. Hotels in the surrounding area are already being constructed. If all goes as planned, Universal’s fourth theme park could be completed as early as 2023—which is typical for Universal, who works at a much faster pace than their rivals over at Disney.
Universal declined to comment about the speculation surrounding a possible fourth theme park, but we would love to hear your thoughts on this new project! Leave us a message in the comments below or on any of our socials!
For tickets and more information, visit the Universal Orlando website by clicking here.
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