Universal Orlando Resort dropped a massive announcement about the future of Universal Studios Florida earlier this week.
A longstanding tradition for many Universal Orlando fans has been visiting the Woody Woodpecker KidZone–which includes classics like the Woody Woodpecker Nuthouse Coaster, Curious George Goes to Town, and Fievel’s Playland– but soon, that option will no longer be available to them.
Universal Orlando Resort announced on Tuesday evening that these attractions, as well as DreamWorks Destination and the Shrek and Donkey Meet and Greet, would be closing permanently in January to make way for “new exciting family entertainment.”
The company shared this statement on social media:
“Universal Orlando Resort will soon begin work on bringing exciting new family entertainment to Universal Studios Florida that will immerse guests in the adventures of beloved animated characters. To make way for these new additions, Fievel’s Playland, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, Curious George Goes to Town, DreamWorks Destination and Shrek and Donkey’s Meet & Greet will close on January 16, 2023 (Thel ast day of operation will be January 15, 2023).
The E.T. Adventure, Animal Actors on Location!, SpongeBob StorePants- including meet and greets with SpongeBob SquarePants and friends- and KidZone Pizza Company will remain open for guests to enjoy.
Stay tuned- more details about the new experiences coming to Universal Studios Florida will be revealed in the months ahead. For the latest updates about the destination, visit www.UniversalOrlando.com.”
Update from Universal Orlando Resort: pic.twitter.com/ecVeEHfvbd
— Universal Orlando Resort (@UniversalORL) November 2, 2022
While nothing has been confirmed, there have been strong rumors for at least a few years now that the KidZone was living on “borrowed time.” Even when Fievel’s Playland received renovations that included fresh coats of paint, most insiders believed that it was still only a matter of time before the area closed permanently.
The good news is that E.T. Adventure, SpongeBob StorePants, the SpongeBob SquarePants meet & greet, and KidZone Pizza Company will remain open.
But, what might be taking the place of these attractions in what actually is a massive area?
Here’s a look at the most popular rumors, but keep in mind that these are just rumors and nothing has been confirmed by Universal Orlando.
DreamWorks’ Trolls (2016) and Trolls: World Tour (2020) were two of the most popular DreamWorks Animation films to hit the big screen in the last decade and there is still a lot of value in the IP. There are rumors of a Trolls ride or even an entire land dedicated to the them.
Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash
One of the most popular attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood that doesn’t reside in Universal Orlando is none other than Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash. The dark-ride takes Guests on an adventure where they– as lovable pups– found their new owner. It has been a big hit at the Universal Park and there have been many reports that it could make its way to Universal Studios Florida at some point. Is this the time?
Super Silly Fun Land
The area at Universal Studios Florida is actually big enough that there could be a new ride and a play area of some kind developed. At Universal Studios Hollywood, there is a land called “Super Silly Fun Land” based on the amusement park that Gru visits with the girls in the first Despicable Me (2010).
This might would make sense if Universal elected to go with Illumination’s Secret Life of Pets as the ride in the area, but with a new Minions attraction already being developed and a Minions Cafe reportedly in the works in an another area of the theme park, it would stand to reason that Universal Orlando might elect to stay away from the IP here.
If you’ve been to the KidZone, you know that it’s always been an area that is for families to relax, enjoy some fun together, and get away from the hustle and bustle of waiting in line for rides. It’s unclear if Universal wants to keep it that way, but it would make sense that this is going to be the case when they have already shared that this will be an area with “exciting family entertainment” in which they’ll be immersed in the adventures of “beloved animated characters.”
Perhaps a Trolls ride is developed and then a play area is built that includes many of the DreamWorks Animation properties, like Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, and more. The whole area could be a complete DreamWorks land.
What do you think of these rumors for what might be coming next at Universal Studios Florida? Let us know in the comments!