When you think about Orlando, you undoubtedly think about theme parks and fun.
Up until recently, you heavily favored Disney World too as the go-to destination in Orlando, however in the past decade, Universal Orlando Resort has been challenging that mindset with rapid expansions and even the addition of an on-site water theme park in Volcano Bay.
Volcano Bay opened in 2017 and the reviews were mixed but since opening day, the water park has worked out many of the kinks and has quickly become a fan-favorite.
Fast forward to 2018, and is Universal Orlando gearing up to announce a brand new theme park?
If you remember, Universal has acquired roughly 500+ acres along Universal Boulevard across from the Orange County Convention Center to the south and Sand Lake Road to the north. This massive plot of land would double the size of their current campus and allow for another couple of theme parks, a City Walk development and plenty of resort hotels.
In the past few weeks, there have been rumblings on blogs all over the internet that one of the big three parks will announce a major expansion and Universal Orlando makes perfect sense.
Walt Disney World is in the middle of one of the largest renovations in history. Completely overhauling Epcot, adding a new theatre and roller coaster to The Magic Kingdom, 2 massive expansions to Hollywood Studios, and plenty of work at existing hotels as well as 2 new hotels currently under construction. Their money would be tied up in this multi-million dollar expansion.
SeaWorld is currently adding a new area to its park as well as a one-of-a-kind water ride and eventually, adding a Sesame Street area to their Orlando park.
But Universal is opening Fast and the Furious attraction this year, Aventura Hotel this year, and then 2 new hotels on the former Wet N Wild plot next year, and working to add a new Harry Potter ride set to open next year, with a Nintendo Land coming in 2020-2021.
So what comes after that opens in 2020-2021? Well, just in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th celebration, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Universal fast track a brand new theme park to open in that time frame as well plus more hotels and possibly even a new City Walk area on the 500 acres off Universal Boulevard, giving them 3 theme parks and a water park, just 1 park shy of Walt Disney World and seriously adding stiff competition in Orlando.
Again, Universal adding a new theme park is all rumor at this point, but they’re pretty loud and even a reputable website like the Orlando Business Journal is reporting on it. So there’s merit to the rumor.
Time will tell, but a new theme park means more jobs. Although most temporary and part-time, it still adds to the labor force of Orlando and further makes us the theme park capital of the world.