The future of Universal Orlando is looking bright with several projects currently in the works - some have been confirmed, others are strong rumours. In this section we cover what will be coming soon to the resort, including the theme parks and what you can look forward to.
On the 11th September 2013 Universal’s President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Burke announced at a conference in California that they plan to open one new attraction per year for the foreseeable future - a pace that no other major theme park can match.
Wizarding World Expansion - Confirmed:
The biggest news for 2014 is the expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter area from one theme park into two. As well as visiting Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure with all its current delights such as the Forbidden Journey ride, you will soon be able to explore Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida. This brand new area is will have “iconic Diagon Alley shops, an immersive themed restaurant, and an innovative new attraction based on Gringotts bank.” We expect this attraction to be a state of the art rollercoaster though details have still not been formally announced. What’s more you’ll be able to travel in the Wizarding World between the two theme parks on the Hogwarts Express!
No exact opening date has been announced but simply “2014” - our guess would be that Universal will try and open this area for the summer season but of course there are no guarantees of that.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort - Confirmed:
The resort hotels at Universal have long been known for their fantastic location but also for their high prices. All the resort hotels which are currently open are classified as “Deluxe” hotels. 2014 will change all that with the introduction of this new resort.
Cabana Bay will be a moderate and value priced property which will offer both standard rooms and family suites with kitchenettes. The resort will feature two pools, a lazy river, a bowling alley and much more.
The resort will open in early 2014 with no specific date listed. The grand opening will be July 1st 2014 when Universal guarantees all amenities will be available.
Guests staying at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort will receive early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and complimentary shuttle buses to the theme parks (no boat transportation to the resort will be available). They will not however get the benefit of free Express Passes that are available by staying at the deluxe on-site resorts.
Jurassic Park Expansion - Rumor:
A Jurassic Park Expansion has long been rumoured for Islands of Adventure but it looks like it may now be really happening. A permit has been filed to house a construction trailer on-site for 18 months starting July 2013 . There are currently no detailed on what could be added to the area though a Jurassic Park 4x4 ride has been long rumored.
The Lorax Ride / Smurfs Ride - Rumor:
Yet another rumored expansion for Islands of Adventure. An email has been circulating by Universal asking for feedback on a possible Lorax ride. The character already makes some appearances in the park and there is some logic to the creation of a ride. The ride would be housed in the Seuss Landing area of the park. The survey also asked about the possibility of a Smurfs ride which presumably would also be in the same area, or possibly replace E.T. Adventure in Universal Studios Florida. The survey gave both the ideas of a 3D simulator and a traditional dark ride and asked respondents for their opinions on each. Although this is merely a survey it does give us some indication of what may soon be arriving at the theme parks.
Universal also plans to more than triple the number of onsite hotel rooms to 10,000 to 15,000 in the distant future.