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Alec Vergara

Comcast Committed?

Published: August 8, 2014 at 10:08 AM. Edited: August 8, 2014 at 3:42 PM

An update from my previous article

Let’s get this out of the way some of this stuff has no been confirmed yet.....

There have been rumors floating around about in last September Comcast (Which owns Universal) that they have committed to bring a new attractions and renovations at least once per year for years to come (Comcast commits to giving Universal 500 million dollars to bring at least one new attraction a year so), this raises the question what could they spend the money on? It looks like they already started with the first attraction being King Kong.

I have talked about before what will be the next big project will be for Universal after the huge success of Diagon Alley, and so far what the new project seems to be is the highly anticipated Skull Island. When it comes to trying to figure out what the release date for the ride will be sources say it could be in 2016 to go along with the film release, also some interesting details on what the new attraction could be like. (New King Kong attraction to be squeezed between Jurassic Park and Toon Lagoon) Although, this is just a rumor if it is to be true this could be very exciting and something that has never been seen before on any attraction it could also be the largest capacity on any attraction. With that being said this is not the only attraction that Universal is gearing up for several things in the years to come.

If to be true what could be spent with remaining money it looks like their main focus will be to bring more attractions to Universal Orlando rather than to Universal Hollywood given that Orlando has much more capacity than Hollywood does. Could we possibly see an expansion to Marvel Island given the recent reports? (Marvel plans for eight movies by year 2017) If so that could mean huge numbers for Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios, and if it does happen what ride could they add to the Island? Well actually before we get to ahead of ourselves let’s realize that since Disney purchased the rights to Marvel there will be at least for a long time a battle as to see who gets the theme park rights. In the mean time we could still always dream and wonder out of these eight movies coming within the next 3 or so years what could potentially become an attraction.

Some of these things have not been confirmed yet, but it there is potential here. What would you like to see?

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Replies (24)

N B

Published: August 8, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Well, the rumors are flying about a Harry Potter themed hotel, a new water park called "Volcano Bay", Fear Factor coming down to put in a Ministry of Magic and a possible expansion in JP in the Triceratops Encounter area. I also heard about Kids Zone area being razed and and all new themed area going in.

I rely on Robert Niles and his word before anyone else as his track record speaks for itself, so I take all of these rumors very lightly.

Comcast has quickly figured out that investing in the parks pays off quickly. Potter phase 1 and 2 are clearly selling merchandise at a fever pace. You would be hard pressed to find a child wandering around Diagon Alley without an interactive wand, which costs half as much as park admission for one person.

I have never seen a theme park resort change in such a short amount of time, and they just keep going. The Hard Rock is getting completely revamped floor by floor, the CityWalk has a bunch of new restaurants.

None of the pictures really show the massive scale and detail of Diagon Alley, which is by far the most amazing land anywhere, at least in my opinion.

I watched people break down into tears when they first enter... Hogsmeade had the WOW factor, but DA is on a whole other level.

I can't imagine what that place will be like in 5 years.

Rob Pastor

Published: August 8, 2014 at 1:51 PM

NB: You described the phenomena quite aptly. Add one new attraction rumor, a propelled & themed Iron Man coaster on Marvel Island....All of this is amazing. Last year, Universal's head honcho said we will not recognize the resort in 5 years. Doesn't sound like he was bluffing. I'm on my four week countdown to a two week vacation entirely on Universal property. As usual, once I park the car, it stays in the garage, except for a couple of breakfast's at Denny's a couple of blocks away.
James Trexen

Published: August 8, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Wait a minute. How can there be an Iron Man coaster if the Disney-Marvel deal prohibits any expansion?
Rob Pastor

Published: August 8, 2014 at 3:18 PM. Edited: August 8, 2014 at 3:34 PM

I don't believe that is correct. Disney would need to approve, but their decision could not be arbitrary and approval would be nearly automatic unless they could prove that the attraction damaged the character's standing, at least that's what the people from Parkscope that post on OI that sre lawyers are saying. But they can only do the comic book character, not the Downey movie character....(Note: Storm Force was an expansion of the original attraction line up)...But this is just a rumor at this point. Supposedly discussed but not greenlit.
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: August 8, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Here's the basic life cycle of a new theme park project:

1. Spitballing "blue sky" ideas.
2. Getting management approval to develop an idea
3. Getting a construction budget approved
4. Hiring contractors
5. Filing permits
6. Construction

When word leaks about a project, we get to the rumor phase. However, rumors of stuff in step 1 should be a lot less believable than stuff in steps 4 or 5, when stuff is getting real. And by step 6, well, it's out of the bag at that point, isn't it?

I try to ignore stuff in step 1, except as thought exercises that I never label news. But other sites have different standards.

Alec Vergara

Published: August 8, 2014 at 3:55 PM

I agree with you Robert that's why in this post I was trying to emphasis on the "just a rumor part" I didn't want to get anyone's hopes up. I just like hearing people's ideas.
Alec Vergara

Published: August 8, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Do you believe any of this could be true?
James Rao
Writer

Published: August 8, 2014 at 4:24 PM. Edited: August 8, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Comcast better start figuring out what they are going to do to combat Google Fiber.... its coming, and Comcast isn't going to have that $500M a year to spend unless they make some changes. Upping top paying subscribers to 150 megabits isn't enough when Google is delivering 1 gigabit for less money.

Provided they figure out a response to the cable-killer that is Google Fiber, then the Blue Sky is the limit for Comcast and Universal. Although I am pretty sure there won't be any expansion in the Marvel area unless it is a retheme to some other property. No way Universal wants to keep advertising for Disney, and no way Disney wants Universal pulling attendance because of the huge popularity of their intellectual property.

Rob Pastor

Published: August 8, 2014 at 4:40 PM

James: I believe that the finite future of cable, and the often unfavorable churn rate, was one of the main reasons Comcast started diversifying into other areas. And once they saw the potential of theme parks as a cash cow, well, we all are seeing those favorable results.
N B

Published: August 8, 2014 at 4:49 PM. Edited: August 8, 2014 at 4:51 PM

What people don't understand is no matter how fast your internet speed is, you are limited by the WiFi hardware in all of your devices or your network card for devices with a dedicated ethernet port.

I don't think Comcast or AT&T will be hurting anytime soon, to be honest. Do you really want Google to have control of all internet traffic? They already store exabytes of people's personal information so they can sell it to the highest bidder.

It's like opening Hoover Dam and trying to get all the water down a 4 inch drain....

James Rao
Writer

Published: August 8, 2014 at 5:01 PM. Edited: August 8, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Diversifying into themeparks isn't going to produce the kind of revenue Comcast needs for 500M a year in new expenditures. They need the film division (Universal) to start making hit movies (BIG hits) and television (NBC) to stop hemoraging viewers. Their cash cow is cable and it is dying a slow but steady death.

N B, you try telling the American consumer that faster isn't better and see what that strategy gets you! Besides hardware will continue to improve. One thing we know is that as bandwidth increases so will the technology to gobble it up.

And no, I don't want Google to run everything which is why I am glad AT&T is setting up their own Fiberhoods, and why I want Comcast to get with the program! In KC, Google Fiber is eating the competition alive.

Rob Pastor

Published: August 8, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Heh guys, we finally got a good discussion going on the forums. So what do you think of the Brooklyn Bums, oops LA Dodgers, chances of winning the NL west? By the way, boo the St. Louis Cardinals..... LOL
James Rao
Writer

Published: August 8, 2014 at 5:40 PM. Edited: August 8, 2014 at 6:09 PM

NFL preseason has started, forget about baseball, bro!

The good news for cable dinosaurs like Comcast and Time Warner is that Google says their motivation is not to take over the world but rather to light a fire in the cable industry to improve quality without raising prices. And it appears to be working as both Comcast and Time Warner earlier this month increased subscriber bandwidth without increasing prices. Sure their profits will be impacted, but negotiated monopolies don't last forever. And sometimes consumers do catch a break!

But, back to the question, I do think Comcast is committed to the theme park business. As committed as their bottom line will allow.

Rob Pastor

Published: August 8, 2014 at 7:11 PM

The other big battle, and a major reason for the purchase of NBC & Universal is the ownership of content. Content is the leverage. And if you have both the content & the delivery system, then you can control the marketplace. And sooner or later there will be some controls over all of the free stuff. Too much money is being lost & the regulators will ultimately come in.
Jeff Elliott
Writer

Published: August 8, 2014 at 7:30 PM. Edited: August 8, 2014 at 7:31 PM

There are many things that I don't post about until they are well along in their life cycle. I could usually do a second and third column per week on just the wild rumors that everyone is buzzing about. I try to stick to the rumors that either A. make a lot of sense B. make someone look foolish or C. rumors that are far enough along that I don't look stupid when they completely change their mind a week later. I have tried to get more in the habit of only just teasing a new idea...but in some cases...like the name of the Carowinds new roller coaster...it is so hard to keep up with the rumors that I swear there is someone at the company changing their mind the second someone on the internet knows what it is...
Rob Pastor

Published: August 8, 2014 at 8:03 PM

We must all be getting old. It's a Friday night & we should all be out partying.
James Rao
Writer

Published: August 8, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Partying? It's after 10! Bedtime!
Alec Vergara

Published: August 18, 2014 at 5:40 AM

I just read your comments you guys are crazy
Anon Mouse

Published: August 18, 2014 at 10:30 AM

"What people don't understand is no matter how fast your internet speed is, you are limited by the WiFi hardware in all of your devices or your network card for devices with a dedicated ethernet port."

Wait, you said "no matter how fast", so the combined WiFi DOESN'T matter if you have VERY FAST internet speed.

You're actually limited by how fast the service is on the other side (where you're trying to access a page or uploading or downloading files or the amount of worldwide users or hackers that intentionally crash a site), or your ISP intentionally throttles your service.

Alec Vergara

Published: August 19, 2014 at 6:51 AM

I think you missed the point of this discussion Anon.
Anon Mouse

Published: August 19, 2014 at 11:10 AM

So?
Court E

Published: August 19, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Perhaps be thankful one of your topics finally spurred a discussion?
Alec Vergara

Published: August 20, 2014 at 4:07 AM. Edited: August 20, 2014 at 4:09 AM

I wasn't trying to be rude anon hope it wasn't taken that way. And court E I am thankful for every thread I write regardless whether it picks up or not.
robert morris

Published: August 21, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Rumor in Orlando is that Universal may up the 500 million a year and acquire SeaWorld for just under 4 billion and then spin the Busch Gardens Parks and Sesame Place off.

That would leave them with 3 major parks in Orlando, 2 water parks and Discovery Cove. Plus an indirect 3500+ hotel rooms the reside on SeaWorld's Land.

They would also pick up a second gate in Southern California along with a water park...and for logistical reasons keep the Texas Parks.

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