When should we start hearing official announcement of a fourth Universal Orlando Park?

December 19, 2018, 10:56 AM

I read in an article somewhere maybe it was on this site that Disney’s Star Wars Galaxy Edge after it opens we should finally hear some news about what’s going on with the planned upcoming 4th Gate at Universal Orlando. When all the hype dies down after Star Wars Galaxy Edge opens I read in this article then it goes on to say possibly we could see more details emerge about the fourth gate. I don’t know possibly how many lands their will be, what the names of the lands will be, map layout, names of shows, rides, attractions, etc. If not next year we hear about the 3rd gate since IOA and USF are still adding things to their park and refurbs too I guess. Are we looking at 2020, 2021? For a possible park map layout, number of lands, access of transportation?

Replies (14)

December 19, 2018, 1:55 PM

I've said before that, given Universal's track record with announcements, we should expect to get the official word about the new gate sometime around that park's fifth anniversary celebration.

December 19, 2018, 2:59 PM

Are you talking about Walt Disney Worlds 50th anniversary? Sometime around then we will hear more about Universal Orlando’s 4th gate plans? I mean we can say this is official that a 4th Universal Orlando Park will obviously happen before a 5th WDW gate correct?

Edited: December 19, 2018, 4:41 PM

No.....he is saying that 5 years after the new park opens they will announce it and do a grand opening... Universal is strange like that...

I would think that Universal is going to hold off on anything official until 9 months to a year before they open. That isn't to say that we on Theme Park Insider won't know, but there is little to be gained by officially announcing so far in advance and then needing to spread out little teasers until the park opens.

At some point, they are going to need to file blueprints and other plans with the city planners...making them public documents...which then we will pour over until we know everything there is to know before actually stepping foot in the place...

December 19, 2018, 5:02 PM

At the earliest, I would expect an announcement in late 2020/early 2021 when WDW starts ramping up promotion for their 50th anniversary. However, this would probably be in the form of an "It's happening, save the date," announcement, with little detail about the park itself. I wouldn't expect full details (lands, attractions, etc.) to be revealed until Universal is confident of an opening date and is ready for people to start booking trips for the park, which would probably be 6-9 months prior to opening. For reference, Volcano Bay was announced two years out and the whole slate of attractions was revealed a little under a year before opening, so I'd expect something similar here.

Edited: December 20, 2018, 5:07 AM

I don't think I have read a more confusing post/thread in TPI history ... And that's really saying something.

Halo writes: "... what’s going on with the planned upcoming 4th Gate at Universal Orlando ... " And then Halo writes: "If not next year we hear about the 3rd gate since IOA and USF are still adding things to their park ..."

I Respond: I don't know is on "third" but whose on first?

RN writes: "I've said before that, given Universal's track record with announcements, we should expect to get the official word about the new gate sometime around that park's fifth anniversary celebration."

I Respond: Already confused by "third" and "fourth" and now I'm confused about a "fifth." Is there a sixth in the house?

Regarding when UO might announce plans to open another park Halo asks if it will happen, "When all the hype dies down after Star Wars Galaxy Edge ..."

I Respond: So somewhere around 2035?


Seriously, with the economy slowing and Universal's history of changing owners and buying, selling and re-buying (is that a word) property, any prediction about whether or not there will be another UO park is based in conjecture. I appreciate Steve Burkes zeal and public commitment, but a new park is likely going to cost between $2 billion and $3 billion. Any conclusion that UO will definitely build another theme park may well be premature.

And (believe me) as much as any themed entertainment fanboy that hangs out in this corner of the internet, I want to see UO build another park.

December 20, 2018, 8:50 AM

TH ..... not sure how you can question if UO will build a new theme park ? Do you think all the construction going on along Sandlake is to get people to the Florida Mall quicker ? No .... it's to get people to Universals third gate (yes 3rd .... VB is not a theme park in my books)

Sandlake is a hell hole right now, and that one lane they are building high above the rest of the road is 12"+ thick solid concrete, and must be costing a fortune, so factor that into being for the new park as well. And then there's the JYP bridge over Sandlake. I'd wager UO is paying a lot towards the infrastructure changes.

It's coming TH .... of that there is no doubt.
As to when .... now that's the $64m question ......

December 20, 2018, 9:19 AM

The original plans for the property that now carries IOA was for a shopping mall. Universal has sold that Sand Lake property in the past. And (again) the Universal parks have changed ownership several times in the past.

If I had to place a bet do I think Universal will build a fourth gate (Volcano Bay is a theme park just like DSTP)? Yeah. It will probably happen.

But there's nothing guaranteed.

December 20, 2018, 6:03 PM

Nothing's guaranteed, TH, but I think it's safe to say based on the activity and plans that we've seen so far (as well as the IP we HAVEN'T SEEN at the current property so far) that it's definitely planned as another gate. To your point, it may not be 100% certain to actually happen because, over the course of 5 years, economies crash and markets change. But I do think it's 100% Comcast's current intention and that the their capital budget has been developed for this gate.

December 21, 2018, 6:46 PM

Given that its been announced to staff (and you only do a general announcement like that if its pretty certain to go ahead), then I don't think there really is much doubt.

But there is wisdom in not believing anything until the concrete has been poured... Although as Disney showed us with Pop Half Century, even that's not a guarantee.

January 26, 2019, 3:09 PM

I’m certainly hoping their will be more than 4 themed worlds at Universal Orlando’s fourth gate. 4 worlds seem small but now that I think of it it will be 4 words with multiple themed lands. I hope their is a possibility of being 6 worlds. I hope this isn’t official that their will be 4 worlds. Universal hasn’t come out and said a official statement of being just 4 themed worlds and how many multiple lands their will be.

January 27, 2019, 3:05 PM

Just an FYI ... I am writing a TPI one man show to be performed at the Orlando Fringe Festival ... Robert, don't be bitter

February 4, 2019, 3:31 PM

I am hoping it’s possible a fifth and sixth world will be considered since the recent document says it will be Universal Orlando’s largest park to date when finished. I think 2 more IP’s could work to add 2 more worlds with mini lands just my opinion. If theirs only 4 worlds that’s ok but we don’t know if it’s official.

Edited: February 10, 2019, 6:20 PM

Fantastic Worlds. 1 park, 6 worlds.

Central hub - Universal City. Classic monsters, historical "throwback" rides, fine dining
Jurassic World - VR "ball" experience, coaster, animatronics, themed shopping/dining
Dreamworks - How To Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Shrek - Dark rides, simulator, themed dining
Harry Potter - Ministry of Magic, Fantastic Beasts - Dark rides, coaster, themed shopping/dining
Nintendo Land - Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong - VR, simulator, dark rides, coaster, themed dining
Lord of the Rings - Mines dark coaster, Eagles flying coaster, Shire themed shopping, Rivendell fine dining.

Hey, a fan can dream, right?

February 14, 2019, 10:34 AM

DB Cooper are you prettty confident about the throwback rides coming back with newer technology and lord of the rings coming to the new park? I do want Jurassic World but am curious what will happen to JP at IOA. Yes I hope theirs 6 worlds but insideuniversal net is already confirming their will only be 4 worlds. Is their really anything official about that as we know of? I haven’t heard Universal officially come out and say their will be 4 worlds publicly.

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