Universal Plans Multiple New Attractions In Demolished Area

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Credit: Universal

According to many insiders, Universal Orlando Resort has become the industry leader in the world of theme parks.

Universal Orlando, home to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, is known for its iconic theme park attraction, including Revenge of the Mummy, Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, E.T. Adventure, Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt, Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, and Skull Island: Reign of Kong, to name a few.

Wizarding World of 'Harry Potter' Hogsmeade at Universal Orlando
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

In addition to all of these, Universal also houses the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Hogsmeade Village in Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida are both home to world-class attractions that draw in millions of Universal Park Guests each and every year.

If you have children– or if you’re a kid at heart– you’ve probably spent a lot of time in the Woody Woodpecker KidZone over the last couple of decades. Just recently, however, Universal closed down the area permanently to make way for “new and exciting” attractions.

An announcement from the company read:

“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.

Stay tuned – more details about the new experiences coming to Universal Studios Florida will be revealed in the months ahead.”

Universal Orlando Resort
Credit: Universal Orlando

This has left fans wondering what might be taking over the area. Here’s the latest on what we’re hearing.

What attractions closed in the Woody Woodpecker KidZone?

Though E.T. Adventure and the SpongeBob & Friends Meet and Greet were located in the KidZone, these attractions remain open and will continue to be operating throughout construction. This was a huge deal for Universal Orlando fans because of rumors that E.T. Adventure could be on its way out.

Instead, it seems that the iconic attraction– which has been at Universal Studios Florida since the very beginning– will be open for the long haul.

Five attractions in the Woody Woodpecker KidZone, however, did not make it.

Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, Fievel’s Playland, DreamWorks Destination, Curious George Goes to Town, and the Shrek and Donkey Meet and Greet were all closed down permanently, at least for the time being.

Demolition has already started on Fievel’s Playland, and there is an expectation that most of the area will be demolished before new construction begins.

Woody Woodpecker Nuthouse Coaster
Credit: Universal Orlando

What’s rumored to replace these attractions at Universal Orlando?

With these attractions closed down, it has led many fans to ask the simple question: What’s next?

Nothing has been confirmed, but there are hints as to what we can expect in the area. Universal added DreamWorks characters to its construction walls, leading many to believe the area will now be themed to DreamWorks entirely.

Orlando ParkStop recently reported on a new patent that Universal just filed that included an animated meet and greet and in the picture, you can see Kung Fu Panda drawn in the art.

Kung Fu Panda Animated Meet & Greet Rumored for KidZone Replacement at Universal Studios Florida

With this patent giving us a glimpse into what’s coming, the expectation will be that the entire area could be themed “DreamWorks Destination.”

This would mean that the Shrek and Donkey Meet and Greet could make a return, and that the dance show DreamWorks Destination-– which was a clever way for Guests to meet several DreamWorks characters all at once– could make a comeback, as well.

In addition, there have been rumors that there will be play areas that include the DreamWorks characters– perhaps even Shrek’s swamp or Troll Village– and, perhaps, a couple of rides as well. The biggest one? a Trolls ride.

Trolls at Universal Orlando
Credit: Universal

Could a Trolls ride be coming to Universal Orlando?

When the announcement of the KidZone closing first was reported, there was a lot of speculation that we could see Universal Orlando build The Secret Life of Pets: Off The Leash ride, which can already be enjoyed at Universal Studios Hollywood.

This doesn’t seem to be the case.

With DreamWorks being the theme– and an Illumination-themed area expected to come to the area where the new Minions ride and Minions Cafe will be— it would stand to reason that anything that’s not DreamWorks will be involved.

This leads to the property that Universal is reportedly most believing in: Trolls.

'Trolls' DreamWorks
Credit: DreamWorks Animation

Trolls is the most popular DreamWorks property in terms of merchandise at Universal Orlando and it would stand to reason that, if Universal is planning a dark ride, this would be the property to do it.

There are rumors that this ride could be in a building and have a similar tracking system as Secret Life of Pets: Off The Leash, but this hasn’t been confirmed.

If a Trolls ride on a large scale doesn’t happen, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Trolls be incorporated into a smaller ride, similar to what we saw with the Woody Woodpecker Nuthouse Coaster.

Here’s DreamWorks’ official description of Trolls:

From the creators of Shrek comes the most smart, funny and irreverent animated comedy of the year, DreamWorks’ Trolls. This holiday season, enter a colorful, wondrous world populated by hilariously unforgettable characters and discover the story of the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach.

Featuring original music from Justin Timberlake, the film stars the voice talent of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Russell Brand, Zooey Deschanel, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop, Quvenzhané Wallis, with John Cleese and Gwen Stefani.

DreamWorks’ Trolls is a fresh, broad comedy filled with music, heart and hair-raising adventures.

DreamWorks Destination
Background Image Credit: Universal Logo Credit: DreamWorks

What other expansions are planned for Universal Orlando Resort?

Outside of the expansions and construction happening in the Woody Woodpecker KidZone, there are several other construction projects happening at Universal Orlando, as well.

At Universal Studios Florida, the theme park is currently in the midst of finishing up construction on Villain-Con Minion Blast. The new attraction will take over the area where Shrek 4-D was once housed in the summer.

poster for the new minons villain-con attraction at universal orlando resort
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Villain-Con Minion Blast combines innovative screen technology, state-of-the-art gaming interactivity, and elaborate physical sets to create a one-of-a-kind, game-based adventure where guests encounter immersive environments, nefarious villains and tons of mischievous Minions from Illumination’s films in a whole new way. The world-class attraction transports Guests to Villain-Con – the biggest criminal convention on the planet – to take part in an epic competition to see if they have what it takes to become the newest member of The Vicious 6, a notorious group of supervillains from the hit film, Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022). Guests who are up for the challenge will grab an interactive blaster and step onto a motion-based pathway to put their skills to the test. They’ll wind and glide through various scenes where they earn points by blasting a variety of items and causing as much mayhem and destruction as possible.

In addition, Universal is also in the midst of constructing Minions Cafe, which will be located right next door to the attraction.

Universal Orlando minions
Credit: Universal

Universal Orlando has only confirmed that Super Nintendo World will be a part of Epic Universe, but through permits and construction work, there have been several more assertations unveiled, as well.

Though not confirmed, it’s expected that Epic Universe will have a Universal Classic Monsters land, a How to Train Your Dragon land, and an addition to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, rumored to be Ministry of Magic. In addition to the IPs, the theme park will also have a Central Hub, which will be “space-themed” and possess several attractions, including a racing coaster.

All of the attractions in the theme park haven’t been announced, but it’s clear that this is going to be a massive area when it’s all complete. As a matter of fact, Universal has already confirmed that this will be the largest Universal Park in the world when it opens.

Universal's Epic Universe
Credit: Universal Orlando

A hotel is being constructed at the back of Epic Universe, which is rumored to have its own entrance to the theme park, and there are also two hotels being built across from the theme park, all of which are expected to be open and ready for Guests to enjoy when Epic Universe opens in the summer of 2025.

With all these hotels and attractions under construction, it’s clear that the future is bright for Universal Orlando Resort.

Are you excited about all the new attractions coming to Universal Orlando? Let us know in the comments below!

For more than 30 years, Universal Orlando has immersed Guests in amazing “woah” moments that free them from the stress of their worlds. Across the award-winning destination, they can let go and live in the moment with those they care about most as they embark on incredible theme park adventures, like causing mischief with the Minions from Illumination’s “Despicable Me,” coming face-to-face with ferocious dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, walking the corridors of Hogwarts castle in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and so much more.

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