Universal Expecting Big Things From Volcano Bay

Hey Thrill Seekers,

When Universal confirmed they had a big announcement back in May they weren’t blowing smoke. The introduction of a new state of the art Water Park was more than we could of hoped for. Set to open in 2017 Volcano Bay will become Universal only Water Park when Wet n’ Wild closes at the end of 2016.

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Located east of Turkey Lake Road and south of its Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal look to be betting big on Volcano Bay being a huge success. Plans submitted with regards to transportation show Universal estimating crowds could hit up to 17,000 people on a good day, and it could attract 1.2 million guests a year.

Now assuming Universal have got their figures right (and they generally do) this would position the new park as the 4th most visited in North America, based on 2014 water park attendances.

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Quite something for a yet to open Water Park, but you can bet your bottom dollar that 4th is there very lowest valuation and they’ll be looking to challenge Disney’s domination.

With regards to the transportation plans mentioned above, Tom Schroder, Universal’s spokesman declined to talk about it in detail stating that it was far to early to discuss parking. However the plans seem to show Universal has been looking at reserving the bottom floor of its south garage and then transporting customer to Volcano Bay using a tram large enough to fit 150 people at a time!

So one thing is for sure, if Universal are betting heavily on Volcano Bay you can bet its going to be a game changer.

Smiles included…

Jamie

Orlando Attraction Tickets

Universal Orlando – The Confirmed & Rumoured

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I don’t think many would argue that Universal is on a hot streak at the moment, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been a smash hit, Transformers has proved very popular and the introduction of the Minions has helped Universal be seen as more than just a teenage and above park.

You’d forgive them if they wanted a bit of time off from building and creating but no, Universal are sprinting full speed ahead with new projects. Firstly I’ll run through some of the confirmed projects;

Skull Island: Reign of Kong

Set to officially open in 2016, Skull Island: Reign of Kong will be found at Islands of Adventure near the Jurassic Land.

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From the art we’ve seen and some sneaky pictures of the build area, Skull Island looks like its going to be one of the more iconic attractions at Islands pf Adventure, with new ride vehicles, amazing theming and an interactive queue Kong is definitely set to be King.

Volcano Bay

One of Universal’s more ambitious projects Volcano Bay will become Florida’s newest and most high tech Water Parks. Set to open in 2017 little is known about the theming although this artistic impression seems to suggest an Easter Islands kind of vibe.

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Return of the Hulk

The panic that spread around our facebook page when we mentioned that The Incredible Hulk ride would be shutting down for refurbishment was quick and staggering. Easily the most iconic ride Universal have, guests were fearing the worst.

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However they shouldn’t worry The Hulk Coaster will be back in 2016, with  new queue theming, new technology and new ride vehicles.

Fast & Furious: Supercharged

Set to join Universal’s vast array of movie based attractions, the hugely popular Fast & Furious franchise will make its Florida debut in 2017.

Monsters and Mayhem

The ride is set to replace Disaster and Beatle Juice, so we’re expecting a large attraction full of thrills and spills.

Now on to the rumours… remember these are rumours they have not been confirmed by Universal and we have no inside knowledge, its just rumours.

Jimmy Fallon Experience

Rumours about this have been around for awhile, the attraction is said to be in the same mould as Disney’s Soarin’ and see’s guests taken on a trip with Fallon being the witty guide…

Fallon does have a solid link to Universal and our sources believe this will definitely happen.

Nintendo Land

The deal Universal inked with Nintendo is public knowledge and its pretty much known that Universal will be using Nintendo’s huge IP to build something, what that will be is anyone’s guess. We’re thinking a Mario Kart track among other things – What Will Universal Do With Nintendo

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Something Harry Potter Related

With Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley proving to be such a huge success I think its only a matter of time until we see something else Potter related added.

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When we wrote about it back in January we were keen to see Ministry of Magic, Malfoy Manor, Triwizard Tournament or a Potter themed hotel. I think the Ministry of Magic is probably the most viable, it could become an attachment on to Diagon Alley/London quite easily and the majority of the area has already been themed via the movies.

As before the last 3 are just rumours but would you like to see any of these? or perhaps something else?

Smiles included…

Jamie

Orlando Attraction Tickets

What Does Universal’s Volcano Bay Mean For Wet N’ Wild

Hey Thrill Seekers,

When Universal announced they were building a new water park the internet and our blog exploded. There’s no coincidence that our busiest ever day on attraction-tickets.info happened to be the same day we wrote about Volcano Bay. Rightly so, people are very excited about the park and its promised opening in 2017.

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On that day myself and a few colleagues sat down to absorb the official press release. Here’s what the very first paragraph said;

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 28, 2015) – Universal Orlando Resort today announced a project of remarkable vision: to bring to life an entirely new water theme park experience. Called Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort, it will join Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure and become the resort’s third incredibly immersive park.

Sounds awesome we all agreed… but hang on! Third incredibly immersive park?… Third!? Hang on let me just count… 1 – Universal Studios… 2 – Islands of Adventure… 3 – Wet N’ Wild …. 4 – Volcano Bay. Now I’m no Carol Vorderman but I make that 4 immersive parks not 3!? Unless… Dear God no….

Volcano Bay was announced just before the start of IPW, an international event held this year in Orlando where the cream of the theme park industry (among others) get together to chat about commercial, marketing and future projects. Universal were part of this event. Dennis Quinn, Vice President of Destination Sales for Universal (and a lovely man) was actually asked directly about what Volcano Bay meant for Wet N’ Wild. Dennis refused to be drawn into comment.

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What was confirmed is that tickets for Wet N’ Wild would continue to be available to the UK market during 2016. Not normally something that would be commented on, it’s been pretty standard for years now, it gives this writer the impression that perhaps 2016 is a deadline!?

So… this is what we think might happen, I stress, this what we think might happen. It’s pure speculation.

Any reference to Wet N Wild will be replaced by Volcano Bay, so for example the Universal 3 park bonus ticket which usually includes Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Wet N Wild, will still exist but the Wet N Wild part will become Volcano Bay. It makes a certain kind of sense, Wet N’ Wild has always felt a tiny bit separate from the Universal Resort.

What will happen to Wet N’ Wild? Well they might sell it on… but I don’t think that will be the case.

Recently I visited Universal and took part in what is called a Hotel Inspection, it’s not what you think, I wasn’t there to judge I was there for a guided tour of the facilities. There were quite a few head honchos who joined us and one of the main topics was demand for rooms outweighing the supply and this was literally while I was stood in Cabana Bay and a week after Universal had confirmed they were building Sapphire Falls Hotel. One of the Universal staff told me that with the rise of the UK and Brazilian market they could easily sell their inventory twice over.

Now I maybe jumping the shark a little early here (Happy Days reference), but could Universal be planning to use that prime location area to build a new hotel. The land is large enough to perhaps cater for a 600 room hotel bang in the middle of International Drive right near their other hotels and parks… The more people you can house the more people visit your parks etc!

So this is my guess; in 2017 Wet N Wild will close and make way for a new hotel. I could be totally wrong, but that of course is the nature of a guess but what I would suggest is if they look to build a new hotel, would only 3 gates (Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure & Wet N Wild) be enough… would Universal require a 3rd theme park?

One things for sure, Universal are the most exciting company in Florida at the moment.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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What The Volcano Bay Rendering Tells Us

Hey Thrill Seekers,

There’s no surprise that our most popular post this week and our busiest ever day on the blog coincided with Universal’s announcement that they were building a brand new water park called Volcano Bay.

Although Universal didn’t reveal any specific details except that it would open in 2017 they did provide this artist’s rendering of how the resort will look.

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So what details can we extract from the rendering? Lets take a look.

Your eyes are immediately drawn to the huge Volcano centrepiece which dominates the park. Looking at it closely there are a couple of things that stand out, firstly the waterfall part of the Volcano that seems to not only run down into the main body of water but also looks like it erupts at the top as well. You can also make out what appears to be either the start of a water ride or part of the queue experience which looks out on to the park.

The main body of water which the Volcano waterfall drops into seems to suggest a wave pool where people seems to be surfing?

To the right of the beach area you can see the ending of a multi person water ride (3 people pictured) which seems to come from the Volcano, for me this multi person ride is separate to the green tube ride you can just see roughly half way up the Volcano. This suggests to me that there will be at least two tube rides  that start from the top of the Volcano.

In the background on the righthand side you can see what looks like a lazy river which appears to run through the middle of the Volcano! There also appears to be some luxury style cabanas styled like huts in the background.

So to break it down;

  • At least 2 water rides, 1 is definitely a multiperson ride.
  • Wave Pool
  • Lazy River
  • Erupting Volcano?
  • Exclusive cabana’s

That’s pretty much all I can gleam from the photo, can you see anything I’ve missed?

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Video Round Up Of A Crazy Theme Park Week

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Its not often we have a week like the one we’ve just had, if it’s not SeaWorld announcing a new Hyper Coaster (MAKO), its Universal confirming their building a whole new Water Park (Volcano Bay)!

So we got in the Queen of OAT video content (long title) Teresa to run us through the top 3 stories of the week.

Mako, Cobra’s Curse and Volcano Bay plus King Kong make Orlando the must visit destination for 2016 & 2017. We’re also expecting some Disney news soon regarding their Avatar project!!! Its all go in the sunshine state 🙂

What are you looking most forward too?

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Universal Confirm Volcano Bay Water Park For 2017

Hey Thrill Seekers,

This week has been perfect for any blogger suffering with writer’s block, you literally can’t blink without a major park dropping some major news. Yesterday SeaWorld Orlando revealed they’re building a new hyper coaster called MAKO, today Busch Gardens Tampa confirmed they’re building a new family spin coaster called Cobra’s Curse and now Universal Orlando have confirmed they’re building a whole new park!

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We’ve been writing about Universal’s rumoured Water Park for over a year now, from the idea to the naming, but as usually Universal haven’t commented on any of it. That is until now.

This year marks Universal 25th year and we’ve all been expecting big news, we were under the impression that an official announcement would be made Sunday as the cream of the theme park industry meet up at IPW (industry event) but perhaps to steal a bit of Busch Gardens thunder or perhaps just coincidence Universal today confirmed they are building a new state of the art water park; Volcano Bay!

Universal’s Volcano Bay will be a place for the entire family. It will be a whole new generation of experience that reimagines what it means to be a water park.

Imagine a place that offers radically innovative, thrilling attractions, peaceful moments of relaxation and an inspired guest experience that will forever change the perception of water theme parks. It will be set in a highly themed, completely immersive environment inspired by postcard-perfect tropical islands. And it will be the kind of special place that only the Universal team – the same team that has changed the face of Universal Orlando Resort in recent years – can envision and create.

Universal’s Volcano Bay will be located within Universal Orlando Resort, just south of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Work is already underway and more details will be released in the future.

I’ve got to admit I’m really excited for Volcano Bay, when you look at the work Universal have produced recently; Wizarding World for example, you know its going to be amazing!!!

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Are Universal Planning To Remove Queuing?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Disney’s huge investment in their new FastPass System has been a relative success, the idea of visitors being able to pre book their rides and attractions has lead to a decrease in queuing, which is a good thing. However it hasn’t totally eradicated it…

Here at Orlando Attraction Tickets we’ve heard a few rumours that perhaps Universal are looking in to a way of removing queuing totally from their parks! Impossible I hear you cry, well you might be right… but let me tell you what we’ve heard.

Queues

Firstly I’ve got to mention that none of this has come directly from Universal or anyone working for Universal so take it all with a pinch of salt.

So its pretty well known, although not officially confirmed that Universal plan to open a new water park in 2017 called Volcano Bay the park is set to positioned adjacent to their new Cabana Bay Resort Hotel and is said to be approx. 3/4 the size of Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. With all of Universal latest releases, think Diagon Alley, Transformers and the Minions ride, Universal have been pushed the boundaries of technology  and we’re expecting the same kind of thing for Volcano Bay. I would doubt Universal would waste their time building just a “normal” water park!

One of the ideas doing the rumour rounds is that Universal will use Volcano Bay as a testing ground for their queueless park dream. Here’s how it will work, upon entry into the park visitors will be given a RFID band this will act as their ticket they’ll be able to add their debit/credit card to the band for in park transaction and it will act as their virtual queue bot!

This is not a new idea, the technology already exists and one of the leading companies in this area is Britain’s own Accesso, in 2011, they introduced the  ‘Qband’ for use at water parks. The device, which is similar in size and shape to a watch, on the device, users can select an attraction they wish to queue for and the device will add them to a virtual queue. The Qband will then notify users once their virtual queue time has elapsed through vibration and beeping. They then access the attraction using a priority entrance, having avoided standing in a long line.

Its a very interesting concept, especially if used and implemented within a whole park. Universal already have a working relationship with Accesso so perhaps this is a rumour that actually has legs?

What do you think?

Smiles included…

Jamie

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3 Things We Think Could Be Coming To Universal Orlando

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I just can’t stop writing about Universal at the moment, they’re on a roll, what with the successful launch of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley at Universal Studios and their retro themed hotel Cabana Bay they really are the company to watch.

As with any successful company we hear things, bits and pieces that may or may not be true, here are our top 3 things we believe (no confirmation from Universal) are the most likely to happen.

Another Hotel

Rumour has it that Universal are well into planning hotel number 5 and even have forward plans for hotel number 6 and 7. We’d love to see a hotel themed around Harry Potter but from what I’ve heard this isn’t on the cards.

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Hotel number 5 or project 664, if rumours are true, will be positioned  between the Royal Pacific and the Cabana Bay. We believe it will have 1,000 guest rooms and 159,000 square-feet of meeting space perhaps with the same pricing values as Cabana Bay.

Water Park

Rumours that Universal plan to open a Water Park closer to Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios have been circling for a while now but recently parkscope found an interesting trade mark application for the name Volcano Bay in the area of Water Parks.

Volcano Bay

Now Volcano Bay could be the name of a new water park or it could be the name of a new land within a water park but general rumour seems to suggest that Universal’s Water Park will feature a huge Volcano in the middle and will either be called Volcano Bay (as above) or WonderSea Island another Universal trade mark filed under water parks.

King Kong

It may feel recently that Universal Studios is getting all the love and Islands of Adventure isn’t getting much but behind the scenes we hear that the Jurassic Land area is set for a new arrival in the shape of King Kong!

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We don’t know much about the attraction but it could be safe to say that it may well be a replica of the ride currently available at Universal Studios Hollywood which is the world’s largest 3-D experience.

More exciting things potentially on the horizon for Universal a theme park company truly on the up. 😉 Get it “up” like a roller coaster…. I’ll get my coat.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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