Rumor: Pokemon in Development for Universal Orlando

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In addition to the Super Nintendo World land we know will open as part of the upcoming Universal’s Epic Universe, there are rumors going around that work has recently started on something in Orlando for another Nintendo property… Pokémon.

While there aren’t many details at this time, I have heard murmurs about something being designed that will be based on the Pokémon property, including the possibility of a Pokémon Gym being designed. It’s still too early to know for sure what that means, but let’s dive into some speculation on where—and when—we might see something related to Pokémon show up in Orlando.

Nintendo attractions labeled on Epic Universe concept art

I have spoken about the expansion land beside Super Nintendo World at Epic Universe being earmarked for additional Nintendo attractions, and Pokémon was definitely at the top of the shortlist, but, is it really that likely that they are ALREADY working on an expansion land when they have so many other things to do first for the new park?

Another theory is that the building marked “Unknown” on the concept art image above could be a Pokémon Gym, and it could possibly be ready on opening day, along with the rest of the park. That way, Pokémon already has a presence in the park from the start. Maybe they could offer some type of interactive experience? Heck, maybe the reason it is facing the hub is so you can pick up (purchase) your Pokémon hunting kit with a Pokedex and search around the hub, or even the entire park, to find Pokémon hiding in the windows, etc… That might just be wishful thinking on my part though.


Another possibility is that work may already be underway for those rumored plans of a Pokémon land replacing KidsZone at Universal Studios Florida. We thought those plans were canceled last year, but perhaps they were just postponing them for a bit so they could catch up on other projects?

And one more theory I want to throw out there, and this is a weird one, but what if this has something to do with the closing down of four stores and combining them into one parcel at Universal CityWalk? Could an interactive Pokémon Gym, (along with more Nintendo merchandise,) be a possible addition to CityWalk?

Permit to combine 4 CityWalk retail locations into 1 parcel (Image: @uoapb)


While most of the folks I have spoken with assume the work being done now likely has something to do with Epic Universe, I can’t help but wonder if bringing something related to Nintendo into CityWalk could be a way to utilize the property in some way between now and the opening of the new park. Why wait three years when we could see something open in just a matter of months? Even if it was just a small Nintendo themed store in Universal CityWalk, with a Pokémon gym themed section and a couple Pokémon character figure photo ops, it might be worth doing. But hey, that’s just a guess.

What do you think? Do you think the KidsZone plans are back on the table? Or that work is already starting for something related to Pokémon at the new park? Or do you have a different theory? Leave your thoughts below, and stay tuned for more rumors and news for Super Nintendo World in Orlando as it happens. Check out our recent posts for more information on the permits and site plans released for Super Nintendo World and How to Train Your Dragon land at Epic Universe.

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Stay tuned for more theme park news and rumors! Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email below to never miss an update. Graphics: Alicia Stella | Pokémon Images: The Pokémon Company | CityWalk Permit: @uoapb

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6 Comments
  • Stephs Two Girls

    Reply

    So hope you are right… the sooner something Pokemon is in there, the better!

    • KevyB

      There are so many options. I saw a high-res blowup of Classic Monsters Land (Orlando Weekly, I believe), and the building in front of that immediately made me think of Pokémon, and I don’t even know anything about the Pokémon world. But there’s a statue in front that strikes me as two anime characters with something kinda like the shape of Pikachu’s tail at the top. The top of the partially-obscured logo on the building behind this made me think of the logo for the Yellow team in Pokémon GO. This seems like a weird location, but it makes sense. A Nintendo expansion will probably be entered via the hub and not from inside Super Nintendo World. Something like Zelda would definitely need its own entrance. This placement allows for that, and when the expansion appears it’ll be three Nintendos in a row. And who knows what the hub attractions will be themed to. The stuff across from this building might also be Pokemon-themed, like a carousel and/or spinner, creating another themed area along the outer walkway.

      That said, I still wouldn’t be surprised to hear it’s going into KidZone. There is nothing on the docket after the Bourne thing opens. I don’t think USF can make it to the opening of Epic Universe without something major. IOA will be “coasting” on their two big coasters, but what has USF gotten that compares? Since 2015 they’ve gotten the underwhelming Jimmy Fallon thing, the much-hated Fast & Furious atrocity, a new nighttime show and Bourne on the way. Considering the first year they’d even think of adding something new here would be 2025, they can’t let this decade stand as is. Not when they’ve done nothing but brah about how every year had some major new development.

      Something massive, like the Ministry of Magic, is unlikely. The Pokemon retheme of KidZone makes the most sense. The “shooter” ride doesn’t sound that expensive, and retheming the other rides here certainly won’t be. USF could retheme it with something else, like Pets or a DreamWorks not going into EU, but none of those IPs will make the splash that Pokémon will.

      Also, Osaka needs a ride for its open plot. It won’t be Donkey Kong. Pokémon makes the most sense there as well. Building it in Florida first means they can make sure it’s a hit, so they won’t have another F&F debacle on their hands.

      But I do like your idea of a Pokémon Gym going into CityWalk. It could be part of a Nintendo Shop, which you know they will have. In fact, you know they’re already mad that they don’t have one NOW!

  • bdbdbd74

    Reply

    Any idea on which 4 stores are closing?

    • Admin

      Island Trading Co and Fresh Produce are already closed. P!Q and Fossil are the other two shops expected to close shortly. You can see more information at this article.

      • bdbdbd74

        🤦🏻 I must’ve skimmed past that part, sorry!! Tnx for the update Alicia!

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