Universal Studios Begins “Total Overhaul,” Multiple Attractions Prepare for Permanent Closure

in Universal Studios

Rotating globe with the Universal Studios logo, under a clear blue sky, welcoming visitors to an adventurous theme park experience.

Credit: Universal

Major developments are on the horizon for Universal Studios Orlando (also called Universal Orlando Resort), and they’re not all related to the currently constructed theme park, Epic Universe.

Aerial photo of Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort.
Credit: @Bioreconstruct on X, formerly Twitter

Universal Orlando Resort is on the cusp of significant transformation, as it prepares to debut the highly anticipated DreamWorks Land. This vibrant overhaul of the former Woody Woodpecker KidZone is just the beginning of sweeping changes that are set to redefine the park.

Alongside the excitement, there are murmurs of potential closures for several iconic attractions, including Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Fast & Furious: Supercharged, and The Simpsons Ride. While Universal has yet to confirm these rumors, insiders suggest that the park is gearing up for a substantial shift in its attraction lineup.

DreamWorks Land: A new beginning at Universal Studios Florida

This summer marks the grand opening of DreamWorks Land, a colorful and immersive area within Universal Studios Florida. Scheduled to debut on June 14, this new land draws inspiration from some of DreamWorks Animation’s most beloved franchises, including Shrek, Trolls, and Kung Fu Panda.

Universal DreamWorks land - Shrek, Donkey and Puss posing in front of the Universal Studios Globe.
Credit: Inside The Magic

DreamWorks Land promises to be a family-friendly haven with interactive play areas, character meet-and-greets, and an all-new indoor live show experience. Visitors can look forward to exploring Shrek’s Swamp, riding the Trollercoaster, and interacting with Po in the Panda Village.

The new land will also host Annual Passholder Previews at select times from May 24 to May 27.

DreamWorks Land aims to offer a multisensory experience that will captivate guests of all ages. One of the highlights is DreamWorks Imagination Celebration, a live show that will bring stories from DreamWorks Animation to life in a way never seen before. The area will also feature unique treats and numerous photo-worthy moments, ensuring that every visit is memorable.

Rumored Closures: Universal Studios in transition

As Universal Orlando Resort ushers in this new era, rumors of significant closures loom large. Hollywood Rip Ride RockIt, the towering roller coaster known for its customizable music experience, is said to be a prime candidate for closure. Despite its popularity, the ride has faced operational challenges and maintenance issues, leading some to speculate that its days are numbered.

Fast & Furious: Supercharged is another attraction under scrutiny. Despite its relatively recent addition to the park, the ride has received mixed reviews, with many guests feeling it doesn’t quite capture the high-octane excitement of the film franchise. Its potential closure could pave the way for a new attraction that better aligns with Universal’s evolving vision.

The loop of Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios Florida at nighttime
Credit: Universal

The future of The Simpsons Ride is perhaps the most intriguing. Universal’s contract rights with The Simpsons are set to expire in 2028, prompting speculation about the long-term viability of the attraction. Given the cultural significance and enduring popularity of The Simpsons, any decision to close or replace the ride will be met with considerable interest and likely some controversy.

New experiences already confirmed for this summer

While the potential closures may evoke a sense of nostalgia and loss among longtime fans, Universal Orlando Resort is also introducing an array of new experiences designed to delight and entertain.

CineSational: A Symphonic Spectacular

Debuting on June 14, CineSational: A Symphonic Spectacular is set to be a showstopper. This new nighttime lagoon show will celebrate the emotional power of music by featuring iconic scores and scenes from Universal’s vast catalog of blockbuster films. Guests can expect to see and hear favorites from Harry Potter, Jurassic World, Jaws, Shrek, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, and many more.

The show will utilize cutting-edge technology, including 228 fountains, 4K projection mapping, and more than 600 drones, to create a breathtaking display. The meticulously crafted scores will enhance the emotional impact of each scene, making CineSational a must-see for all park visitors.

A happy family enjoying their time at the entrance of Universal Studios, with the iconic rotating globe in the background.
Credit: Universal

Universal Mega Movie Parade

On July 3, Universal Studios Florida will unveil its largest daytime parade to date: Universal Mega Movie Parade. This spectacular celebration will feature 13 brand new floats, nearly 100 performers, and a variety of special effects. Iconic movies like E.T., Back to the Future, Jaws, Ghostbusters, and Jurassic World will come to life in a vibrant and energetic display.

The parade will showcase memorable moments from these films, with highlights including a 16-foot Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters and a Gyrosphere from Jurassic World. Fans can also look forward to themed merchandise and interactive bubble wands that will enhance the parade experience.

Hogwarts Always: A Castle Projection Show

The magic of the Wizarding World continues with the debut of Hogwarts Always on June 14 at Universal Islands of Adventure. This new projection show will take guests on a journey through iconic moments at Hogwarts, all set against the backdrop of the majestic castle.

Featuring four different endings that celebrate each Hogwarts house, the show will culminate in a dazzling pyrotechnic display. Familiar voices like Professor Dumbledore and Hagrid will add to the immersive experience, making it a highlight for fans of all ages.

Hogwarts at Universal Orlando Resort's Islands of Adventure
Credit: Brian McGowan via Unsplash

Universal Studios Orlando is embracing change

As Universal Orlando Resort prepares for a total overhaul, the blend of new attractions and potential closures signifies a period of transformation and growth. While the rumored end of beloved rides like Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Fast & Furious: Supercharged, and The Simpsons Ride might be bittersweet, the introduction of DreamWorks Land and other new experiences promises to usher in an exciting new chapter for the park.

Karen Irwin, President & COO of Universal Orlando Resort, aptly summarized the park’s vision: “We are thrilled to debut an array of never-before-seen experiences for the entire family to enjoy from day to night. These new experiences – coupled with the amazing attractions currently in our theme parks – will allow our guests to create lasting memories that will make this summer truly unforgettable.”

What do you think of the major developments happening at Universal Orlando Resort? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

View Comments (10)