Universal Orlando announces its hotels for the Wet 'n Wild site
Universal Orlando Resort this morning officially announced the two hotels that it is building on the site of its former Wet 'n Wild water park.
The announcement did not include names for the hotels, nor an opening date, but did note that Universal will start taking reservations for the hotels early next year. Given that Universal typically starts taking reservations for a new hotel about one year in advance, that suggests a 2019 opening for the new facilities.
We told you earlier this year much more about what we will for now just call the Wet 'n Wild hotels. It includes two hotel complexes, on either side of Universal Blvd., for a total of 4,000 rooms. There will be three parking garages to accommodate guests' and team members' vehicles, and Universal will provide transportation from the hotels to CityWalk and its theme parks on the other side of Interstate 4.
These will be Universal's lowest-priced hotel rooms, with "nightly rates starting at less than $100," according to Universal's announcement. A stay at the hotel will include Early Park Admission benefits, although they will not offer Universal Express Unlimited, which remains only for guests of the original three on-site Universal Orlando hotels: The Portofino Bay, Hard Rock, and Royal Pacific.
Universal said that "vibrant and natural colors will set a free-spirited and beachy tone" for the new hotels, which will feature a "laid-back coastal feel."
The new hotels will give Universal more than 10,000 hotel rooms at its Orlando resort, meeting the lower end of NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke's stated goal of building between 10,000-15,000 hotel rooms on the Universal Orlando property.
Rate and review:
I think this will be the start of a major real estate shift on I-Drive. At $100 a night and offering EMH, these hotels could be a major issue for many of the other hotels. The convention center area will probably be fine because of business travelers, but further down the leisure travelers will see greater value staying at Universal than the franchise hotels.
Universal would seriously want to consider park opening hours all year round closing at 6 and 7pm regularly and early for private events not good enough when you have 1000's of hotel guests looking for something to do
Most of I-Drive between Sand Lake and Universal already is a giant roach motel.
The motels on that side of I drive are pretty terrible anyway and have been for years , with no investment and just basic motels. This will boost the overall look of I drive
Chain hotels will be completely unaffected by this. They usually have partnerships with the parks and offer other perks to their loyal guests. They also offer perks out of the theme park realm that many find far more valuable than a fast pass or extra hours. Frankly the park hotels offer such perks to stay competitive to the surrounding hotel properties. The hotels that could be affected are the boutique and independent hotels. If anything I’d bet that you’ll see more of those hotels take on brand names as franchised hotels to make them more desirable.
I hope there is more to come on this. One thing that has been pretty consistent with the UO/Loews hotels has been unique themes. These look awfully generic. I expect there will be more fully developed themes to come...at least I hope so.
@Rob - I think at the sub $100 price point that UO/Loews will have to sacrifice some of that unique themeing, especially if they are going to maintain the expected level of Loews service. That generic look is consistent with a lot of leaked imaging coming from these projects, so my expectation in that area would be pretty low.
Maybe we can finally see light rail in Orlando?
That looks ghastly.
The Wet N Wild hotels are not connected to the newly acquired land, or anything else they owned that is not part of the original property?
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