Permit Points to Changes Coming to CityWalk – Could We See Escape Rooms or a Comedy Club?

A new permit that has been publicly filed with Orange County seems to suggest that one of the buildings at Universal CityWalk in Orlando will have its interior demolished.

Recent rumors have suggested that both The Groove and Red Coconut Club will not be returning, and some are reporting that they could be replaced with an escape room and a comedy club.

Recent permit for Project 235 at Universal Orlando, Source:

This new permit for Project 235 at the Universal Orlando Resort may have only surfaced this week publicly, but was first submitted for approvals last month. Known as BLD2021-18963 to the county, this permit describes work as “Interior Demolition.”

The notice of commencement lists Hensel Phelps Construction as the contractor, and the agreement number between Universal and them is listed as “CW-21-1040-MZ.” The “CW” in this case could stand for CityWalk.

Notice of commencement for this project, Source:

The last project to feature a similar project number from Universal was Project 289, which was for the new Universal Studios Store, also in CityWalk.

As for which building this “interior demolition” could be referring to, we actually have several candidates that could fit the bill.

Interior of the new Universal Studios Store at CityWalk Orlando

As reported by Orlando Entertainment News earlier this month, The Groove and Red Coconut Club are not expected to reopen again. While Red Coconut Club had reopened since the Covid closure last year, it did not feature live music or dancing. The Groove has not reopened at all since the Covid closure last year. Neither are open at this time.

Rumor aggregator website, Screamscape, has been reporting that these two locations would be replaced by an escape room and a comedy club. They posted at the start of this month that the escape room may be built first, leading many to wonder if this new permit could be related to that project in particular.

Trademark filed by Universal, Source

Adding fuel to this rumor, Universal actually trademarked the term “Universal’s Great Movie Escape” a couple years ago. The trademark lists it as: “Entertainment services in the nature of escape room attractions.”

With The Groove having never reopened in well over a year, some sources claim aspects of the interior—including audio equipment and lighting—have already been removed, which may make this the prime suspect for the new permit.

The Groove, Photo: Universal Orlando

Screamscape has also recently reported that The Legacy Store, which is currently housed in the former Universal Studios Store, will in fact only be a temporary shop, and will be replaced with a beer garden concept eventually. The Legacy Store currently features props from defunct attractions and sells retro Universal Studios Florida branded merchandise.

Orlando Weekly points out that Universal Beijing recently opened the Wubei Craft Food and Beer location within their CityWalk. It’s possible, that like the company’s Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, this craft beer concept could be copied at multiple resorts, including Orlando.

WUBEI CRAFT FOOD AND BEER, Photo: Universal Beijing

Strangely enough, ALL of these rumored additions to Universal CityWalk in Orlando were included in a guest survey we talked about all the way back in January of 2017!

An escape room, comedy club, and German beer hall were just some of the many possible choices included in the survey, which was meant to gauge what visitors may be interested in most. Other options in the survey included mystery dinner theater and Dave & Busters-type video arcade, but we never heard any rumors for those.

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at CityWalk Orlando, Photo: Universal Orlando

And one last thing happening at CityWalk Orlando, permits for interior renovations to Margaritaville were recently filed as well. It is not known yet whether these upcoming renovations will change the dining establishment in any way, or will be part of a regular refurbishment.

The Red Coconut Club at Universal CityWalk, Photo: Universal Orlando

That’s all for now, but stay tuned as we continue to cover these rumors, and any other possible changes coming to CityWalk Orlando in the near future.

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