Aerial Photos Show Ghostly Universal Park as Crowds Plummet

in Universal Orlando

Aerial photo of Universal Studios Florida

Credit: @bioreconstruct on Twitter

Theme parks in Central Florida are known for their popularity and how busy they can be. It’s clear that post-pandemic, the appetite for the theme park experience has not dwindled, with places like Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resort seeing record attendance numbers (and revenue) in the last three years. But the story couldn’t be different when looking at these photos of Universal Orlando crowds, with Guests shockingly few and far between.

Universal Orlando Resort globe
Credit: Universal Orlando

Comcast, the company that owns NBCUniversal and thus Universal Parks & Resorts, which runs the popular Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood in the United States, posted big numbers in their fourth quarter — generating $2.1 billion in revenue. The total for the full fiscal year comes in with a 49% increase on the previous year with a whopping $7.5 billion, and at one point, Universal Orlando Resort outpaced Disney World in terms of attendance.

Universal Parks has not faced the same concentrated backlash as its competitor has in recent years. Disney removed perks like the FastPass+ option in Florida, replacing it with the paid Genie+ offering; they also dramatically increased ticket and food and beverage prices. While similar things are in effect at Universal, Guest satisfaction is seemingly still in the green, more so than at Disney World.

Universal Studios Florida at Universal Orlando Resort
Credit: Universal Orlando

So, while attendance spikes at Universal, these aerial photos offer a different story. Showing a relatively empty Resort across Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) shared images of various construction work at Universal, where it can be seen that crowds had plummeted. Twitter:

Aerial overview of Diagon Alley.

Aerial look at CityWalk. Seems like the splash pad or play fountain is being replaced. For several weeks this area was a popular grassy-type space with seating that guests could move around.

Aerial look at Today Cafe area in Universal Studios Florida. A snack stand across the street has been removed. Also seen at left is entrance to Villain Con Minion Blast.

Aerial look at where a snack stand used to be in Universal Studios Florida. Message board still there, and seems to be operational during the project.

At present, Universal is knee-deep in lots of construction projects. At Universal Studios Florida, work is underway on retheming the cult-favorite Shrek 4-D attraction. Shrek 4-D is permanently closed and will reopen this summer as Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast. Both the Despicable Me and Minions franchises are hugely popular, and it can be expected that Villain-Con Minion Blast will be as in demand as Despicable Me Minion Mayhem which is already at the Resort.

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

Then Universal Orlando crowds will build even more in 2025 when it opens the highly-anticipated third theme park, Universal’s Epic Universe. The new Park dubbed the “Disney killer,” will feature lands themed to franchises like Classic Monsters and How to Train Your Dragon. Epic Universe will also be home to SUPER NINTENDO WORLD and a new Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion, heavily rumored to be set around the Ministry of Magic.

Epic Universe at Universal Orlando Resort
Credit: Universal Orlando

Related: Unexpected Update For Universal Orlando’s Newest Attraction

And if Universal wasn’t already expanding enough, the company made a shock announcement earlier this year with a new family-friendly theme park concept coming to Frisco, Texas, and an all-year-round Horror experience heading to Las Vegas, Nevada. The new experience in Las Vegas is rumored to be akin to Universal’s industry-leading Halloween Horror Nights, which happens at both Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles.

Have you noticed low crowds on your recent visit to Universal Orlando? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

Universal Orlando Resort comprises of Universal Studios Florida Theme Park, Universal’s Islands of Adventure Theme Park, Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Theme Park, and Universal CityWalk.

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