Universal Orlando has kept up with opening at least one new attraction every year for a while now. But with the Jurassic World VelociCoaster officially open, and several years before we see Epic Universe completed, many are wondering what could be next for the theme parks in the meantime?
Here are some of the current rumors for what new rides and attractions we could see next at Universal Orlando. See the video version of this story below for additional visuals.
In recent years Universal Studios Florida has received new attractions, including Fast & Furious Supercharged and The Bourne Stuntacular. While the company is focusing on building Epic Universe, it seems they may be planning to leave Islands of Adventure alone for a bit, especially since it just received two new world-class roller coasters.
So, what could we be getting at Universal Studios Florida, and will any current attractions have to close? One rumor points to Shrek 4D closing. And yes, I know, this is one we have talked about time and time again, but this time it really could happen… Maybe.
Over the years there have been numerous rumored replacements for Shrek 4D. One concept that seems to keep coming up, would be to tear it down to build The Secret Life of Pets dark ride, like they have in Hollywood.
Another concept that keeps resurfacing is for another Minions attraction, since it would be located across the path from Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. This new Minions attraction has been rumored to be themed as Villain-Con, as seen in the first Minions movie.
Villain-Con, which was a convention where villains could meet and mingle while sharing different ideas and learning about the latest bad-guy technologies, did happen to take place in Orlando in the film. That would make it a good fit for this park. In fact, you can even spot the Villain-Con logo on merchandise for sale here.
Originally it seemed the attraction concept was for a trackless ride, where you would move from table to table across the convention floor, while different villains try to sell you on their wares. However, now it sounds like the trackless tech was scrapped, turning the idea into a walk-through style attraction instead.
In this version you would walk from booth the booth, and be able to test out various zappers and villainous devices. Screens would open up so you can test out each wacky weapon, in a sort of shooting gallery-type scenario, before moving on to the next one.
One possible upside to creating this attraction over the others, is they might be able to keep the same building, not only saving on materials costs, but also getting it done and open more quickly.
Some rumors out there have suggested we could still get the Secret Life of Pets ride somewhere else in the park, like replacing the former Blue Man Group theater. This structure was originally part of Nickelodeon Studios, which was a part of the theme park, so it stands to reason it could be part of the park again.
I’m not so sure they would take that route though. I could see this structure being used as another multi-purpose building, sort of like the Tribute Store by The Mummy. Or it could be utilized for theater shows since it’s already set up for it.
Others are guessing we could see the Pets ride in KidsZone. The DreamWorks Destination meet and greets just took over the old Barney show here, and personally, I’m taking that as a sign of things to come for the area.
While the Minions Villain-Con idea may be the easier solution for a Shrek replacement, it’s still possible they could go for the Pets ride there instead. Although, just this week, the NBCUniversal CEO mentioned ‘Illumination’ as one of the properties heading to Epic Universe, so perhaps we could see Pets at the new park.
Learning more about Epic Universe today. From NBCUniversal CEO: Will be biggest #Universal theme park in the U.S. Park will be "anchored on our strong IP content" like Nintendo, Dreamworks, Illumination. Opening in "a couple of years."
— Gabrielle Russon (@GabrielleRusson) June 14, 2021
While it seems like a Shrek replacement may still be up in the air, there is one attraction I do actually think we will get at Universal Studios Florida before Epic Universe opens. And this one would replace Fear Factor Live, right next door to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.
You may recall we talked about a possible virtual reality attraction for Epic Universe where you get to fly on a broomstick. Rumor has it, that concept may instead find its way to Universal Studios Florida, and fast.
In our previous story about the concept, I talked about how it could be the world’s highest capacity VR attraction, allowing us to pilot our own flying broomstick by combining a motion base, VR headset, and new technologies that track the rider’s movement.
Since this concept may already be designed, and would take up a (somewhat) small footprint, I think they could remove it from the new park’s plans, and drop it into this park instead.
I wonder if it could be connected to Diagon Alley, converting the backstage gate between the stage in Carkitt Market and The Hopping Pot to a new ride entrance. That would mean you wouldn’t need a facade on the other side, just hide it with more trees. Or, they could expand the London waterfront and give the new VR attraction its own entrance there.
What would it be themed as? I have no idea, maybe a Nimbus flying broomstick factory? I do not think it would be themed as the British Ministry though, as that may still be planned as the remaining attraction for a new Wizarding World land at Epic Universe.
This is still just a rumor, but it doesn’t appear that Fear Factor Live is returning. And if they started on it soon, it could offer this park something new before Epic Universe opens.
Other rumors for Universal Studios Florida include a possible new parade and new annual events including concerts and food festivals (some of which we’ve already started to see be tested). Plus, Zelda and Pokemon rumors haven’t gone away, but most folks believe we wouldn’t see those lands until Epic Universe opens.
What do you think? Do you think replacing Shrek and Fear Factor with any of these concepts will be enough to tide us over until we get an entirely new theme park? Be sure to check out the video version of this story for additional visuals, and stay tuned for more theme park news and rumors!