Universal Buys Wet & Wild PropertyUniversal Orlando: Universal Orlando has purchased more than 50 acres of land under and around the Wet 'n Wild water park, giving itself more flexibility for future growth.
From TH CreativeThe giant theme-park resort, which has been rapidly expanding under new owner Comcast Corp., paid $30.9 million for the properties, based on documentary-stamp tax payments.
Posted June 28, 2013 at 3:43 PM
The concentration of hotels and the security that comes with land OWNERSHIP (W&W was operating on leased property) will provide attendance. That same security will allow Universal Creative to cut loose and make the water park a much ... um ... classier attraction.
Bottom Line: Aquatica better step it up.
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Rob PastorThe big question may well be, how long will that land remain a water park? Perhaps, it will be used for other expansion purposes.
Posted June 29, 2013 at 7:47 AM
From TH CreativeStep One: Drain the lake. It takes up way too much valuable property.
Posted June 29, 2013 at 8:16 AM
From Orrin CarstarphenI can see this becoming an offsite "budget" hotel for Universal.
Posted June 29, 2013 at 5:07 PM
From Brian EmeryTH Aquatica is a great Park. My personal favorite water park in Orlando area. So why do they have to watch out and Step it Up?
Posted July 2, 2013 at 10:34 AM
From Mark FairleighAny idea what other land may have been bought around that property?
Posted July 2, 2013 at 5:47 PM
From TH CreativeParking lot.
Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:37 AM
From Rob PastorThe lots total apx. 51 acres and include Wet & Wild & as TH said, the parking lots used by the park. Perhaps a new wildcard is the indication that Sea World may be having some financial problems. Interesting how that could possibly impact their water parks down the road....Many possible scenarios here. A lot will have to do with any additional land purchases pursued by Universal. Very interesting times in Orlando and many questions.
Posted July 3, 2013 at 6:45 AM
From Mark FairleighMy reason for asking is that I'm hopeful Universal isn't going to settle for just another water park. They've been bold and aggressive and that idea just seems pedestrian and a step back.
Posted July 3, 2013 at 7:55 AM
We keep hearing the possibility of a third gate. Seems farfetched given that the property in question is across I-4, but still fun to speculate how Universal could make a third park work in that area.
From robert morrisCurious to see if Universal continues to try and purchase more land on the North I-Drive section.
Posted July 3, 2013 at 8:14 AM
Primarily the lower end hotels and upgrading them to make a hybrid Hotel Plaza Blvd
From TH CreativeThat Walgreen's ain't goin' anywhere.
Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:23 PM
From TH CreativeBrian wites: TH Aquatica is a great Park. My personal favorite water park in Orlando area. So why do they have to watch out and Step it Up?
Posted July 6, 2013 at 9:23 AM
I Respond: Because The Disney water parks draw their attendance numbers from package deals (hotels/theme park tickets/water park tickets). Universal can do the same (Cabana Bay gives them four hotels to draw guests from). Sea World needs to step up its game if it wants to compete with this approach to marketing.
From Phil B.Universal/Comcast continue to impress with their aggressive efforts to gain a larger share of the theme park market. As much as I would love to see a 3rd gate, the small footprint and the cost of leveling a whole park is just not economically feasible. However, tweaking the park, and reinventing it with a concept/theme much like the Disney and Sea World water parks would be a welcomed improvement over the existing collection of attractions that exist there.
Posted July 6, 2013 at 1:40 PM
Perhaps if there was a way they could make deals to acquire the other properties in the area of that parking lot (Days Inn, Rodeway Inn, Red Lobster, etc.), then they could have enough land to open a sizeable 3rd gate, while keeping a revamped W&W just across the way, giving them a second resort area comparable to what they already have at USO and IOA. They could even build some form of dedicated transportation system, such as a monorail, to shuttle guests between the two resort complexes for park hopping.
Sure it would take a lot of money, red tape to get through, time to make it all a true reality and it's all fanboy "Blue Sky" kinda talk. But man, I wouldn't put anything past Universal/Comcast at this point. It's almost like they are literally playing Roller Coaster Tycoon in the real world.
From TH CreativePhil B. writes: "Universal/Comcast continue to impress with their aggressive efforts to gain a larger share of the theme park market."
Posted July 6, 2013 at 3:45 PM
I Respond: Or to at least sustain what they've already acquired.
Related: There is ABSOLUTELY ZERO local buzz in the Central Florida commercial construction community about a third gate.
From Phil B.I wouldn't imagine there being any buzz of a 3rd gate within that community at this point in time, and if anybody on this site would know, I'd double down on you being that person TH. Even if there was internal talks of how it could be accomplished in UniCom, it would take years of planning, and acquiring before solid inside information started to trickle out. No sense in putting the cart before the horse at this stage. Better to let the fan community have fun speculating what may or may not ever happen, as opposed to creating the buzz yourself(UniCom) and then leaving people disappointed if plans happen to fall through. Which we all know happens quite often in the theme park industry.
Posted July 6, 2013 at 4:19 PM
From TH CreativeOh sir ... My tablespoon of reality is not meant to dissuade anyone's imagination ... I'm simply saying that outside the theme park fan arena (in the very small and tight community that is Central Florida commercial construction) to date, there has been no indication that a third gate is in the works.
Posted July 6, 2013 at 5:44 PM
To give you some sense of local history, when I was working at WDW in 1983, there was already chatter that Universal intended to build a theme park on the property along Kirkman Road ... Which they did six years later.
From Robert NilesFrom what I understand, Universal will use the parking lot acreage as a staging site to build a time machine it will use to go back and prevent itself from selling the land it has let go around the Universal Orlando Resort over the years. ;^)
Posted July 6, 2013 at 5:58 PM
At least Universal's learning from its past mistakes here.
From Phil B.There's a ton of that Lockheed Martin land that still sits there undeveloped. Maybe down the road they'll try to make a move to reclaim some of it for future expansion.
Posted July 6, 2013 at 7:45 PM
From N BThe first thing Universal should do is change the name and that awful logo. Wet n Wild sounds like a waterbed company.
Posted July 7, 2013 at 11:31 AM
From Mike Gallagher^^+2
Posted July 7, 2013 at 2:32 PM
From TH CreativeOrlando Business Journal reports that Universal has earmarked $5 million in upgrades for the park.
Posted July 8, 2013 at 7:16 AM
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2014 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar.
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive