Wet N Wild Orlando Permanently Closes Its Gates
After 39 years, the world’s first modern water park, Wet N Wild, closed its gates on December 31, 2016, in preparation for the next generation water park, Volcano Bay.
Wet N Wild opened in 1977 and was founded by George Millay, who also founded SeaWorld San Diego and assisted with development of Orlando. He is considered the father of water parks. He passed away in 2006. Wet ‘n Wild had a memorial plaque on display honoring George.
Universal owned the property since 1998, and leased it until 2013, when they purchased the land for over $30 million.
Wet N Wild’s Web site currently states:
“Wet N Wild Orlando is permanently closed. We are extremely appreciative to those that have contributed to our success over the past 39 years”.
About 250 employees were working for the water park, and they will all be transferred to areas throughout Universal. They will also be given priority selection when Volcano Bay hiring starts.
On closing day, there were multiple giveaways of hats, lanyards, and posters. Below is a giant poster that anyone who attended closing day was allowed to sign.
At 5:00 there was a closing ceremony with fireworks around the wave pool, thanking everyone for a great 39 years.
As of now Universal has not announced what will take the place of Wet N Wild, but rumors suggest new hotels and possibly a new entertainment district similar to City Walk.
Volcano Bay will be the next generation of water parks for Universal Orlando, featuring themed slides, a reservation wristband allowing a queue-less experience, and a 200 foot tall themed volcano equipped with immersive interactions! Wet ‘n Wild had a sign on display showing off a sneak peek of the new water theme park. Volcano Bay has been announced to open by June 1, 2017.
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