Universal Orlando Resort is planning significant expansion and construction projects in hopes of out-dueling Walt Disney World Resort.
Universal Orlando has been undergoing several construction projects over the course of the last few years. Universal constructed Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and the Jurassic World VelociCoaster has become a staple at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, now with Universal Express.
The biggest construction project happening at Universal Orlando is none other than Epic Universe. The new theme park, set to open in 2025, will house many exciting lands, including SUPER NINTENDO WORLD. The SUPER NINTENDO WORLD at the Orlando theme park will be almost an identical match of the one that just opened at Universal Studios Hollywood. In addition, the theme park will have a Universal Classic Monsters Land, How to Train Your Dragon Land, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and a Central Hub, which will be space-themed.
But, it’s not just Epic Universe that is under construction at Universal Studios Orlando.
Universal Studios Florida recently closed down the Woody Woodpecker KidZone permanently.
Disney Dining recently reported on Twitter account @bioreconstruct’s aerial photo that gives us an update on the construction happening in the KidZone, including demolition.
Aerial look at the demolition of KidZone in Universal Studios Florida.
Aerial look at the demolition of KidZone in Universal Studios Florida. pic.twitter.com/hADv5KHaTp
— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) March 3, 2023
As you can see in the photo, both Fievel’s Playland and Curious George Goes To Town have been demolished. For now, the Woody Woodpecker Nuthouse Coaster and DreamWorks Destination remain intact.
As demolition gets underway, it’s been reported The Woody Woodpecker Coaster is rumored to be rethemed to a Trolls coaster. Universal has already teased that the land will be rethemed to DreamWorks, which means that DreamWorks Destination and the closed Shrek Meet and Greet could both be a part of the new expansion.
But, DreamWorks isn’t where it’s all stopping. And, as a matter of fact, there’s something “even bigger” coming this summer, most likely a year before the new DreamWorks area opens.
As a matter of fact, the bigger brand that has been called the “Disney killer” by many is none other than Minions.
Universal is in the midst of finishing up construction on Villain-Con Minion Blast, which will open in the summer at Universal Studios Florida.
Orlando ParkStop’s Alicia Stella shared more information about what we can expect for the “blaster portion” of the attraction:
“The image in the tweet below may be what these handheld blasters could look like. The graphic, which was discovered within the mobile app’s image assets, shows what appears to be the ability to connect the blaster to your smartphone. This fits within rumors that we will be able to track our scores from the attraction and even view leaderboards.”
This image has shown up in the internal files of the latest USH app update. Looks like an icon for the app functionality of the Villain-Con attraction. USH and USF likely use a shared database, which is how it got there.
Credit: death_cares pic.twitter.com/kbGKfHEyqi
— Cygnus (@CygnusParkYT) February 10, 2023
Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022) absolutely blasted Disney Pixar’s Lightyear (2022) at the box office this past summer, and this has led many to believe the Minions could be a major draw for the theme parks in the future. In addition to the new attraction, the Minion Land will also house a Minion Cafe when it opens, which we previously covered.
Universal has been open about wanting to build more attractions that appeal to families, such as the new theme park coming to Texas, and this is another example of them making a concerted effort to have updated attractions– which include play areas– to appeal to not just families with older children, but even those with young children.