Will Universal Orlando's Volcano Bay be done on time?

Edited: February 12, 2017, 5:09 PM

Like many of you, I'm sure, I've been looking forward to see what Universal Orlando does with its new Volcano Bay park. How will Universal take traditional water park attractions and bring them into the more intensely-decorated environment of a theme park? And how will a park consisting entirely of virtual queues work in practice?

But when Universal announced a May 25 grand opening for Volcano Bay, I also started wondering... will Universal get this park done by then?

That retweet of a Volcano Bay construction photo elicited an eruption (sorry, couldn't resist!) of comments from fans who'd been wondering the same thing.

It looks as though Universal's actually close to finished with many of the water slides in the park. It's all that theme-park-style decorating that remains to be done. If this were just another water park, I'd feel completely comfortable that Universal will hit its May 25 deadline. But since Universal is insisting that Volcano Bay will be a theme park, I'm growing concerned.

Granted, Universal is known for pulling off intense construction schedules (remember how fast Transformers went up?), so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. But looking at photos like these, I gotta admit, I'm feeling that doubt.

What do you think?

Replies (9)

February 12, 2017, 3:06 PM

I'm with you on this one, Robert. It's not as if we're talking about just a 'land'. This is an entire park. I know Universal are good with their speed of construction, but three and a bit months does look like a tall order.

February 13, 2017, 1:38 AM

I think they'll pull another "Sapphire Falls". But remember that where Disney is working one shift on construction sites Universal goes on 24/7. But yeah, it's going to be race with a close finish.

February 13, 2017, 6:53 AM

OT, what does Disney's construction practices have to do with whether Volcano Bay will be ready in time? Do the builders go and work on the other site in their spare time?

February 13, 2017, 9:05 AM

Looks great to me, just add water and all set...

3 months to go and I am sure it will be complete. Maybe we can get an office pool going here, pick a date for the opening...

February 13, 2017, 9:13 AM

>>>OT, what does Disney's construction practices have to do with whether Volcano Bay will be ready in time? Do the builders go and work on the other site in their spare time?

Its the same contractors and subcontractors who work on both. Many designers have contributed to both as well. If there's no subcontractor to do the work because they're too busy on Pandora, then it doesn't get built.

February 13, 2017, 9:38 AM

They always wait until the very last moment to pour the concrete. The landscaping is also delayed until near the end.

February 13, 2017, 11:13 AM

If this turns out to be the theme-park quality attraction that Universal is promising, AND if that level of detail is available for the late May opening... I think this project would illustrate a HUGE amount of respect for Universal's guests - to move this project from blue sky to reality swiftly, throwing double shifts of construction at it to get VB open for the earliest summer Universal possibly could.

I hope it all works out, and I can't wait to see it. And I am generally apathetic about water parks, so that everyone knows where I'm coming from on this one.

Edited: February 15, 2017, 6:06 AM

OT Writes:"But remember that where Disney is working one shift on construction sites Universal goes on 24/7."

I Responded: Not true. Disney manages construction activities on all three shifts.

February 15, 2017, 10:09 AM

Universal's challenge is daunting -- though I believe they will likely accomplish the task at hand. What will be difficult will be launching the systems that run the park. Down the road the team at WDI has already been cycling the new Avatar attractions for several weeks/months -- working out the hiccups. Universal might not have the luxury of time to roadtest things like TapuTapu. What's disconcerting about that would be if Universal opened the gates to VB and stuff didn't work properly -- a publicity headache when (at the same time) team Disney's latest amazing expansion is being heralded (loudly) during a week-long series of reports on ABC's Good Morning America.

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