Report: Iconic Universal Orlando Land to Shut Down Permanently

in Universal Orlando

Dudley Do Right's Ripsaw Falls water ride at Universal Islands of Adventure

Credit: Universal

There are significant projects on the horizon for Universal Orlando Resort, including the closure of a beloved and iconic land.

Universal Orlando Resort has long been a beacon of excitement, drawing visitors from around the globe with its innovative attractions and immersive experiences.

A large rotating globe with the word "Universal" prominently displayed stands as the iconic entrance landmark for Universal Land. It is surrounded by lush greenery, mist, and white fences, with palm trees and park attractions visible in the background.
Credit: Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

As one of the premier destinations for theme park enthusiasts, Universal Orlando Resort is continuously evolving, ensuring that there is always something new and thrilling on the horizon.

From the anticipated grand opening of DreamWorks Land to the revolutionary Epic Universe and the transformations of existing attractions, Universal Orlando is poised to redefine the theme park experience.

DreamWorks Land is Approaching its Grand Opening

Excitement is building as DreamWorks Land at Universal Orlando edges closer to its grand opening. Beginning this month, fans of DreamWorks Animation will soon have a dedicated area within the park where they can immerse themselves in the worlds of beloved characters like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Trolls. This new land promises to be a vibrant, family-friendly destination filled with attractions, interactive experiences, and entertainment that bring these animated favorites to life.

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

Rediscovering Classics at the Summer Tribute Store

Starting May 24, Universal Orlando Resort guests can step back in time and relive some of their favorite movie memories at the new Summer Tribute Store.

This store, inspired by iconic films such as Ghostbusters (1984), Back to the Future (1985), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Jaws (1975), and Shrek (2001), offers a nostalgic journey through a 1980s-themed retail space. Located in the Hollywood area of Universal Studios Florida, the Tribute Store is designed as a throwback to a 1980s shopping mall, complete with three immersive “mega” rooms: Mega Video Rental, Mega Castle Arcade, and Tribute Theatre.

Guests can explore various photo opportunities and countless Easter eggs inspired by familiar characters and moments from each of these films. The store will feature a variety of themed merchandise, including apparel, accessories, and home goods.

Highlights include a colorful new Shrek assortment, an E.T.-themed outdoor collection, Ghostbusters gear, and nautical merchandise from Jaws. Later this summer, interactive bubble wands inspired by Trolls, Minions, and Jurassic World will be available, adding an extra layer of fun as they interact with specific floats in the Universal Mega Movie Parade debuting on July 3.

Guests walking into Universal Studios Florida
Credit: Universal

Epic Universe is on the Horizon

Universal Orlando’s most ambitious project yet, Epic Universe, is set to revolutionize the theme park experience. Slated to open in the near future, this new park will expand the boundaries of imagination and adventure with a range of innovative attractions and experiences.

Celestial Park: The Heart of Epic Universe

Celestial Park, the central hub of Epic Universe, redefines the concept of a theme park. Encompassing acres of rolling gardens, waterways, and pathways, it offers a serene yet thrilling environment inspired by astronomical and mythological elements.

Guests can enjoy a variety of activities, from relaxing in lush gardens to boarding a comet for an exhilarating roller coaster adventure. The park will feature dining options ranging from full-service restaurants to quick-service spots, including Atlantic, a surf-and-turf restaurant set inside a Victorian aquarium, and The Blue Dragon Pan-Asian Restaurant, which offers authentic Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisine.

Concept artwork for Celestial Park at Universal Orlando Resort Epic Universe theme park.
Credit: Universal’s Celestial Park Constellation Carousel

Portals to Extraordinary Worlds

Celestial Park serves as the gateway to four distinct worlds within Epic Universe:

  1. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic: This area will blend 1920s wizarding Paris from the Fantastic Beasts films with the iconic British Ministry of Magic from the Harry Potter series, offering a magical journey through different eras of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  2. SUPER NINTENDO WORLD: Guests will step into the worlds of beloved characters like Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Donkey Kong, experiencing a new way to play and interact with these iconic figures.
  3. How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk: This vibrant land will transport guests to a world filled with Viking adventures and the opportunity to soar with dragons, inspired by the popular How to Train Your Dragon film franchise.
  4. Dark Universe: Here, visitors will encounter the experiments of Dr. Victoria Frankenstein and explore a shadowy landscape where monsters roam, creating an atmosphere of myth and mystery.
The Universal Helios Grand Hotel Resort coming to Epic Universe.
Credit: Universal Epic Universe’s Helios Grand Hotel

Attractions and Experiences

Celestial Park will offer a range of attractions and experiences, including:

  • Starfall Racers: A dual-launch racing coaster that sends guests rocketing through the skies aboard comets, reaching speeds of up to 62 mph and heights of 133 feet along 5,000 feet of track.
  • Constellation Carousel: The grand centerpiece of Celestial Park, where riders can take a fantastical whirl aboard constellations that glide forward, backward, and even make 360-degree rotations.
  • Astronomica: An interactive wet-play area that doubles as a giant compass rose, featuring crystal blue fountains that spring to life and dance around guests.
  • Unique Dining Experiences: From Atlantic’s surf-and-turf offerings to The Blue Dragon’s Pan-Asian cuisine, there’s something for every palate.
  • Retail Locations: Including the Nintendo Super Star Store and Moonship Chocolates & Celestial Sweets, offering a variety of merchandise and sweet treats.
  • Exciting Entertainment: Various fountain shows throughout Celestial Park’s seven acres of water, featuring fountains that sway, dance, and reach heights of up to 135 feet.

The park also features the Universal Helios Grand Hotel, a 500-room hotel designed to transport guests to a world where the heavens and earth unite, complete with its own dedicated entrance into Epic Universe. In addition to its innovative attractions, Epic Universe integrates energy efficiency and sustainable construction practices, setting a new standard for theme park development.

An artists rendition of Epic Universe at Universal Orlando Resort, opening summer of 2025.
Credit: Universal

What’s Next for Universal Orlando Resort?

As Universal Orlando continues to evolve, several changes and new developments are on the horizon.

Poseidon’s Fury Replacement

Poseidon’s Fury, which shut down permanently over a year ago, has left fans speculating about what will replace it. Rumors suggest that a Legend of Zelda attraction could take its place, although nothing has been confirmed by Universal yet. This potential addition would bring another beloved Nintendo property to the park, enhancing its appeal to fans of the popular video game series.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit Closing Down

The popular Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster is reportedly in need of re-tracking, which could lead to its permanent closure. While this news is disappointing for many fans, it also opens up the possibility for new and exciting attractions to take its place.

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

Fast & Furious Supercharged on the Way Out

Fast & Furious Supercharged, often considered one of the least popular attractions at Universal Orlando, may be on its way out. Rumors have circulated for some time about its potential closure, and while nothing has been confirmed, the attraction is set to close during Halloween Horror Nights later this year to make way for a haunted house.

The Simpsons Land: A Nostalgic Staple

The Simpsons Land, based on the long-running animated TV show, has been a staple of Universal Studios Florida since it opened in 2008. This vibrant and colorful area, located in the park’s Springfield section, offers guests a chance to immerse themselves in the quirky world of The Simpsons.

Featuring iconic locations such as Moe’s Tavern, Krusty Burger, and the Kwik-E-Mart, the land provides both interactive experiences and themed rides like The Simpsons Ride, a motion simulator that takes guests on a wild adventure through Springfield.

Over the years, The Simpsons Land has become a favorite among visitors for its humor, detailed theming, and the chance to interact with beloved characters from the show. Guests can enjoy Duff Beer at Moe’s Tavern, savor a giant pink donut from Lard Lad Donuts, or take a spin on the Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl ride.

The Simpsons ride at Disneyland
Credit: Inside the Magic

The Future of The Simpsons Land

However, a major overhaul is likely on the horizon for The Simpsons Land as its licensing agreement with Universal is set to expire in 2028. This means that The Simpsons may no longer be a part of Universal Studios Florida in the near future. There are rumors that the area could be re-themed to a Pokémon land, which would bring another iconic Nintendo property to Universal.

If this happens, it would create a cohesive presence of Nintendo properties across all three Universal parks, enhancing the overall guest experience.

Pokémon and Zelda: The Future of Universal Orlando Resort

Should the rumors of The Simpsons Land being re-themed to Pokémon and Poseidon’s Fury being replaced by The Legend of Zelda come true, Universal Orlando would significantly bolster its appeal to fans of Nintendo franchises.

Pokémon, with its vast array of creatures and adventures, would provide a rich and engaging theme for a new land. Guests could explore a Pokémon Center, encounter favorite characters, and perhaps even participate in interactive experiences akin to Pokémon battles.

A Legend of Zelda attraction, on the other hand, would bring the legendary adventures of Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf to life. Imagine traversing through Hyrule, embarking on quests, and engaging in epic battles—all within the immersive environment that Universal is known for creating. These additions would not only diversify the park’s offerings but also attract a broad range of visitors, from families to gaming enthusiasts.

Ash, Pikachu, Brock, and Misty looking backwards during a sunset
Credit: The Pokemon Company

A Sustainable Future

In addition to these exciting new developments, Universal Orlando is committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

The construction of Epic Universe is a prime example, as it integrates energy-efficient practices and sustainable building methods. This commitment ensures that the park not only provides a fantastic experience for guests but also minimizes its environmental impact, setting a benchmark for future theme park projects.

Continued Innovation

Universal Orlando’s dedication to innovation is evident in its ongoing efforts to enhance guest experiences. Whether through the introduction of cutting-edge technology in attractions or the development of unique themed environments, the resort continually pushes the boundaries of what a theme park can offer.

An empty Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Orlando Florida
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

This drive for excellence ensures that visitors always have something new and exciting to look forward to.

Universal Orlando Resort continues to innovate and expand, offering new and exciting experiences for guests of all ages.

From the upcoming DreamWorks Land and the highly anticipated Epic Universe to potential new attractions replacing older ones, there’s always something on the horizon at Universal. Whether you’re a fan of classic films, cutting-edge roller coasters, or immersive-themed lands, Universal Orlando has something for everyone. As these new developments unfold, visitors can look forward to even more unforgettable adventures in the years to come.

What do you want to see in the future from Universal Studios Orlando? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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