KidZone Demolition Permits Filed for Universal Studios Florida

Universal announced last month that the Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone area of Universal Studios Florida would officially close January 16, 2023 to make way for new additions.

Now, new public documents filed with Orange County show that demolition for parts of this area are currently being planned. These permits include Fievel’s Playland, Curious George Goes to Town, and some of the surrounding areas.

On November 1st, Universal Orlando announced that Fievel’s Playland, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, Curious George Goes to Town, DreamWorks Destination, and Shrek and Donkey’s Meet & Greet will close. The last day of operation for these experiences will be January 15, 2023.

The announcement also said that some of the offerings near this area are remaining open, including E.T. Adventure, Animal Actors, KidZone Pizza Company, and the SpongeBob store.

Official closure notice from Universal Orlando Resort

A notice of commencement filed by the company with the Orange County comptroller’s office lists multiple permits that appear to be related to the removal of some of the areas within Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone. These permits explicitly list the building numbers for two of the attractions within this area.

Notice of Commencement related to the KidZone replacement project, Source:

One of the permits associated with this notice is for the demolition of Building 75, which is the designated building number for Fievel’s Playland.

Permit for demolition of Fievel section of KidZone at Universal Studios Florida, Source:

Another permit describes the demolition of portions of Building 78, which is the designation for Curious George Goes to Town, as well as surrounding areas.

Permit for partial demolition of Curious George area, Source:

Given the wording of the permits it seems that perhaps the entirety of the Fievel area will be removed, while some element(s) of the Curious George section may remain, given that it only describes “portions” of that area to be removed. Or, there may be additional permits to be filed for the rest of the Curious George area.

In total there are currently at least four permits related to this project, and so far one includes demolition of “surrounding areas,” which is vague enough to possibly include additional structures beyond these two attractions.

Universal Orlando has not yet revealed its future plans for the KidZone area, only that most of it will be closing next month. They have said it is to make way for “beloved animated characters.”

Many believe this area will be rebuilt, and be themed to DreamWorks animated characters. Some have speculated that the Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster and former Barney theater structures could remain, but be rethemed to newer properties like DreamWorks’ Trolls.

Rumors have also said that the existing play areas might be demolished completely, and then replaced with newer play areas themed to popular DreamWorks properties like Shrek.

These new permits seem to back up the theory, at least when it comes to demolition of the play areas.

DreamWorks characters had already begun to take over the area, beginning with the addition of a dance party that took over the former Barney theater last year. Then KidZone became the new home of the Shrek and Donkey meet and greet after Shrek 4-D closed earlier this year.

While some have theorized that KidZone could possibly be replaced with Illumination properties, like The Secret Life of Pets, another recent announcement from Universal Orlando seems to have squashed that concept.

DreamWorks characters meeting at KidZone within the former Barney theater

Earlier this month Universal officially announced Villain-Con Minion Blast as the replacement for Shrek 4-D. This new attraction, located near the front of Universal Studios Florida, is coming with a slight retheme of the park’s entry street, which is going to be renamed to Illumination Ave.

Universal says the newly named Illumination Ave. will include “surprises inspired by popular characters from Illumination’s blockbuster franchises.”

Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast is opening summer 2023, Image: Universal Orlando

With Illumination getting its own home near the front of the park, along with the soon-to-be two Minions attractions, that leaves DreamWorks as the frontrunner for the KidZone replacement.

You can learn more about rumors for DreamWorks taking over KidZone in our recent story, or the video below. Stay tuned for more permit details, construction updates, and news for this project as it happens. Remember, KidZone’s last day of operation will be January 15, 2023!

Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email address below to never miss an update. Original Photos: Alicia Stella | Other images as captioned

Subscribe to Receive Email Updates

Consider supporting us on Patreon for as little as $1/month. All patrons receive behind the scenes posts and exclusive podcasts. Learn More

  • Kevin M Baxter


    I’m shocked these permits seem to correspond to what I predicted. Though I’m not too proud since this makes the most sense. Pretty much all of Fievel’s is unusable for a different IP while only the building façades of Curious George are unusable. Though the selectiveness of the one permit does pretty much prove Alicia’s earlier point that it’s not going to be a total rehaul. So who’s getting the coaster and who’s getting the water area?

Leave a Comment