Doug Jenkins

Published: April 5, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Why get rid of Toon Lagoon? It has 2 of the more fun rides in the whole park! They will be forsaking the smallest customers by doing away with this and Woody Woodpecker area.
Dudley DoRight rules!
Robert Niles

Published: April 5, 2014 at 5:37 PM

I think Toon Lagoon might be staying for a while, as Universal doesn't seem to be making any progress on the LoTR front. (Insiders, email me if I'm wrong!) But if Universal were to get the rights to LoTR, the toons are toast.

Still, if that doesn't happen soon, Universal at least should move to ditch the newspaper comic IP in the land, as it connects with no one under the age of 40 anymore. Personally, I'd love to see more Jay Ward IP in the land to replace the newspaper stuff, but Universal's not going to make that investment so long as it sees any realistic chance that it will be gutting the whole land for a reoplacement within the next 5-10 years. That really does leave this land in limbo for now.

Published: April 5, 2014 at 5:57 PM

The trade of Oswald makes me wonder if there is some IP or other property worth enough to NBCUniversal to 'trade' as part of a deal for Marvel park rights. Patents, characters, commercial property. Maybe NBCUniversal wants the A&E cable network?

They have gotten creative in the past...

Rob Pastor

Published: April 5, 2014 at 6:09 PM

The Parkscope insiders that post on Orlando United were saying today that Universal will start tearing down Woody Woodpecker, Curious George and Barney in Kidzone this fall. But they didn't have info on what the replacement would be.
Robert Niles

Published: April 5, 2014 at 7:31 PM

To the anoymous comment above: I have heard that Steven Spielberg almost was part of a trade for the Marvel Orlando theme park rights, before he decided to stay with Dreamworks (which has a distribution deal now with Disney) and not return to Universal.
José María Sandoval

Published: April 5, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit looks great!

Published: April 5, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Does Universal have the right to continue building new Marvel attractions in IOA?

Could they legally retheme Hulk into an Avengers coaster or build a new Thor dark ride?

Robert Niles

Published: April 5, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Anon Mouse

Published: April 5, 2014 at 11:13 PM

What does Universal have to replace all the existing characters in Kidszone and DreamWorks? Whether they are "tired" is irrelevant. Kids enjoy them. Disney has no problem with recycling old characters constantly. In fact, they are doing it in Tokyo. Oh well. It seems like Universal is left with few options. Sprouts is a cable channel. It isn't a particular character. Sprouts features shows like Dora The Explorer, which Universal has sold Dora products in the park, but I doubt they own or license the characters as a theme park attraction.
Anthony Murphy

Published: April 6, 2014 at 7:21 AM

I am a little concerned about the Lost Continent, what I give the best land in all of IOA. I mean, there is Mythos and while the Posiden thing is a little corny, it has some impressive effects.

I also am a big fan of Disaster. I was very impressed with it last year.

Gabriel Schroll

Published: April 6, 2014 at 9:24 AM

I must have missed the articles or news on Universal's fifth hotel. Can someone enlighten me? Does it have a name? A theme? Where is it going to be built? Any timeframe? Will it be another moderate/value-style hotel like Cabana Bay, or will it be another deluxe resort like the original three?

And regarding the Wet 'N Wild property redevelopment, does anyone know if that means it's going to remain a water park? Or will Universal consider razing that whole plot and perhaps put a hotel or another park there, with some kind of skybridge or themed overpass for pedestrians connecting it to the rest of their property across the highway?

Finally, I agree about getting rid of the newspaper area in IoA, but the water rides in Toon Lagoon are both great, not only for the fun of the ride, but for the impact on the landcape and aesthetics. I would really hate to see Toon Lagoon disappear in favor of LoTR.

Published: April 6, 2014 at 8:54 AM

My family and I would be extremely disappointed if Toon Lagoon went away. To us, it is the VERY HEART of IOA. The Popeye ride is the best water raft ride we are aware of for both theming and the ride. We also love Dudley DoRight - it could perhaps use a little more animatronic magic but nothing more.

Toon Lagoon adds an immensely appealing sense of whimsy and lightness to IOA. It could be freshened a bit with some new character/storylines, but PLEASE retain the basic structure / concept and the two rides that are among the best themed water rides in the world.

That is the biggest concern we have with the proposed Demolition list. We also do really like Disaster and Twister, but not as much as Toon Lagoon. Fear Factor, Sinbad, Barney and Curious George can go away. Woody Woodpecker is fun for little ones but could be rethemed if necessary. (Reducing the number of family coasters is a bad idea.) We like Poseidon, Mythos and the Lost Continent theming, but it probably ultimately will make sense to annex it into Harry Potter.

Jay S.

Eli Grabelsky

Published: April 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Why Toon Lagoon? Those water rides are amazing I would hate to see them go! Probably the best in Orlando.

As for middle earth, why not just tear down that bottom corner of the park (Hollywood and the Kidzone) and make LoTR there? Other than maybe the Horror-Make up show, what is there? Everything (including T2 3D) is outdated. When I went in October to the show (in the middle of a 90 degree day none the less!) it was 2/3 empty. The IPs in both areas need changing. Am I crazy?

Published: April 6, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Disney, please put Oswald at all Disney Parks well as Disney Cruises.
Marc Ricketts

Published: April 6, 2014 at 8:24 PM

The Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio was founded 10-16-1923. Oswald shorts were produced by this company and distributed by Winkler Pictures through Universal. Margaret Winkler married Charles Mintz. Mintz wanted to renew the contract for Oswald at a lower rate, Walt refused, Universal owned the rights to Oswald, Mintz lured all the Disney animators except Ub Iwerks to his studio, and, as legend goes, Walt created Mickey on the return train from New York back to California. However, Walt Disney was never a Universal employee; they just distributed his company's films.
Joseph Smith

Published: April 7, 2014 at 6:38 AM

Or, Universal could invest in bringing its Woody Woodpecker IP and others back to relevance, perhaps on Sprout. Disney is a master at this: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and now the Mickey Mouse shorts were done to make sure kids keep connecting with the Mouse, and not just see him as an unrelatable giant costume character once every few years.

You don't need to constantly rip out IP properties; they can be invested in. There was an article in Businessweek recently about how Marvel went into the movie biz (pre-Disney) to keep merch sales more consistent, as they were sick of the stock swings while waiting for Sony and Fox to make a Spider-Man or X-Man film. Universal should think similarly with its in-park IP properties for the benefit of Comcast as a whole.

Also, Robert, you seem to want it both ways: "tired IP" doesn't work for Toon Lagoon, but it's fine for Waterworld and Avatar? I don't think many kids today at Disneyland know Mr. Toad, but they sure seem to like the ride.

Published: April 7, 2014 at 9:56 AM

I still think Toon Lagoon would be awesome if they re-themed everything Ice Age...
Tony Bartlett

Published: April 7, 2014 at 4:47 PM

I'm surprised Universal never tried to lock up the theme park rights to the Dreamworks cartoons characters in the US. I mean they really could have used the Madagascar characters, How To Train your Dragon, other characters from the Shrek movies & more. They could have been plenty of walk around characters and Dudley Do-Right if it had to be rethemed could have been theme to Madagascar style ride. Imagine the backstory behind it that could have been created or the penguins from those movies. Toon Lagoon could have definitely been rethemed to those characters. Unfortunately I think another US park has the rights to those characters now. Smh.

Published: April 7, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Loved the Oswald story. Thanks for sharing!