With work walls having gone up around Poseidon’s Fury, now might be a good time to talk about some of the concepts that were dreamed up to replace The Lost Continent at Islands of Adventure.
Truly “The Giving Tree” of lands, the area lost its Merlinwood section to Harry Potter, and then even more to the Hogwarts Express. A massive land that once had 4 attractions, now has none that are operating.
Let’s talk about five never-built rumored replacements for The Lost Continent. We’ll also attempt to get down to why the only remaining attraction is currently surrounded by work walls, and what the future may hold for this land. Be sure to see the video version of this story for additional visuals.
MOAR Harry Potter
Even before the Hogwarts Express was added to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, there was talk of expanding the footprint for the boy wizard in Islands of Adventure. Rumors say even Diagon Alley itself was initially conceived to be located there, connected to Hogsmeade, but it made more sense thematically (and financially) to place it in the other park, connected by the train.
Instead, concepts for a Shrieking Shack walk-through attraction and a Whomping Willow themed flat ride were floated. The Shrieking Shack could’ve been set up as an almost haunted house style walk-through, replacing the existing Poseidon’s Fury walk-through, ending with some sort of show element, like Poseidon. And the Whomping Willow spinner could not only provide another kid-friendly ride, but also serve as a narrative entrance to the shack itself.
In a move that would’ve continued the snow-capped roofs of Hogsmeade into the next land, there were rumors of Universal building a “Christmas Land.” On the side closest to Harry Potter would sit a Christmas village, populated with various Rankin/Bass characters, like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The company had recently acquired these characters when they purchased DreamWorks Animation, which owns the back catalog of beloved holiday specials. Perhaps the Sindbad theater could even be repurposed for a show featuring these stories.
On the other side of the land, the section closest to Seuss Landing, would sit a massive and imposing Mt. Crumpit, from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The idea of a Mt. Crumpit Matterhorn-style roller coaster was initially being dreamt up for the park’s opening, but it was cut. The attraction would have us riding on the Grinch’s sleigh, through different parts of the story, before a thrilling ride down the mountain, just like in the book and films.
Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory
One concept that was pitched, but likely never made it into development, was to bring the world of Willy Wonka into The Lost Continent. The two existing attractions would be torn down and replaced with a massive boat ride, just like the one on the chocolate river in the original film.
The land itself would be themed as the town, complete with a candy store of course. The chocolate factory could even house more than just the boat ride, with a Fizzy Lifting Drink Lab and perhaps even the Wonkavator as a separate attraction. And hey, Universal would still be able to keep the snow capped roof motif up, as long as it was based on the Tim Burton film!
While this idea was never approved, we at least did get a chocolate factory of sorts, when the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium opened at CityWalk Orlando in 2016.
How to Train Your Dragon
Before making its way to Universal Orlando’s upcoming Epic Universe, there were rumors that How to Train Your Dragon’s Berk was going to replace The Lost Continent. And hey, at least this one is actually based on an island!
Just like the land we’re rumored to be getting at Epic Universe, this one would have featured a stage show, retheming the existing Sindbad theater. And, it also could have received a roller coaster where you get to ride on a dragon, but in this case, it might’ve been a family style suspended coaster, like the attraction in Motiongate Dubai.
The idea was likely being discussed because one, the company was excited to bring characters into the parks after acquiring DreamWorks, and two, because it might not have required too much retheming and could’ve retained many of the existing structures—just with a minor facelift.
The Legend of Zelda
And of course, one of the most recent rumored replacements for what’s left of The Lost Continent has been for The Legend of Zelda. Before the pandemic, it appears that Universal’s creative teams may have been dreaming up a new type of ride system that would’ve started as a boat ride, but then transforms into a suspended dark ride part way through the attraction.
Patented as “Hybrid Ride Vehicle Systems and Methods,” this concept could’ve been placed in a massive ride building that may have taken up the space currently occupied for Poseidon’s Fury AND the Sindbad Theater. Mythos restaurant and the market would be lightly rethemed to match the style of the video game series, but most of the work would be done on the attraction itself.
It’s rumored that this idea was shelved, at least until after Epic Universe opens, which will contain Orlando’s first Super Nintendo World. Only after then was the company going to consider adding additional Nintendo properties to the Orlando parks.
With work walls now up around Poseidon’s Fury, many have jumped to the conclusion that that means we’re getting this Zelda ride now, but I wouldn’t be so sure. Poseidon’s Fury may just be preparing to reopen for the first time since its temporary closure a year ago, and is receiving some general refurbishment.
After opening Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Jurassic World VelociCoaster at Islands of Adventure in recent years, attention may be turning back to Universal Studios Florida for some new attractions next, to tide us over until Epic Universe opens at least.
As for The Lost Continent, The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad stunt show closed permanently in 2018, and the Poseidon’s Fury walk through attraction has been closed temporarily for over a year. They’ll likely reopen Poseidon’s Fury in the near future, as the sole surviving attraction in a once great land that is The Lost Continent, but as many fear, it’s days are probably numbered.
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