Universal Orlando officially announced on their blog today that Wet ‘n Wild, recognized as “America’s first water park”, will be closing December 31, 2016, about 40 years since it opened. The announcement comes as no surprise given the recent news that Universal is building its own water park named Volcano Bay, opening in 2017. Back in 2013 Universal purchased the land around and under Wet ‘n Wild. With their own water park opening less than a mile down the road it makes sense that they would close down the older park to avoid competing with themselves. Wet ‘n Wild opened in 1977 and has been a staple in mine, and countless others’ lives, especially Floridians. As Universal said in their statement, (full text below,) “As America’s first water park, Wet ‘n Wild has been the birthplace of numerous innovations that are now considered a common part of the water park experience.” It will be missed. No word yet on what Universal plans to do with the land after it is closed.
Announcement from Universal Orlando:
Since it’s opening in 1977, Wet ‘n Wild Orlando has been a place where guests have created wonderful memories. As America’s first water park, Wet ‘n Wild has been the birthplace of numerous innovations that are now considered a common part of the water park experience.
Today, we are announcing that the park will close permanently on December 31, 2016. However, the groundbreaking spirit that has defined Wet ‘n Wild will continue in the development of Universal’s Volcano Bay, a next-generation water theme park that reimagines what it means to be a water park.
We’re grateful to our countless fans and team members for making Wet ‘n Wild such a special place for so very long. Share your favorite Wet ‘n Wild memories with us in the comments below, then click here to sign up for the latest information on Universal’s Volcano Bay and other Universal Orlando content.
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For those, including myself, that remember Orlando in the 70s, it is a tragedy. Back then, before Universal, Epcot, and other newer attractions, there was Magic Kingdom, Wet n Wild, Bush Gardens and Cypress Gardens. Orlando was actually a small tourist town.
But, in with the new ad out with the old. That is the way the world moves. Sometimes unfortunately.
Great memories will never fade away!