Is Super Nintendo World coming to Orlando? Could Universal be getting more Harry Potter via a Ministry of Magic attraction?
Walt Disney World isn’t the only theme park buzzing with rumors of closings and new attractions. Universal Orlando Resort has been quietly closing aging attractions to make way for new experiences. Here’s a quick rundown of some of those rumors.
Harry Potter and the Ministry of Magic?
Just as Jaws as transformed into Diagon Alley, the rumor mill says that Fear Factor Live might give way to a long-rumored Harry Potter: Ministry of Magic attraction.
This will be the last year for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure at Halloween Horror Nights. Supposedly this also means the unannounced end of Fear Factor Live, which takes place on the same stage as Bill & Ted.
If the Ministry of Magic does replace Fear Factor Live, it would be an expansion of Diagon Alley but there’s no word on what kind of attraction it would be. Rumors point to a walking show or an interactive wand shooter ride.
Or they could just drop yet another roller coaster, like Disney seems to be doing these days. Speaking of which…
RIP Dragon Challenge
The dueling Harry Potter roller coaster closed earlier in the year and will be replaced with another Harry Potter attraction. But there’s been no word about the specifics of the attraction, aside from it being an amazing-themed coaster that takes place in the Harry Potter world. From the official Universal Orlando Resort blog…
This all-new thrill ride will take you deeper into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, where you will encounter some of your favorite characters and creatures. It’ll be unlike anything we’ve ever done before and it will be fun for the entire family. The new attraction will be one of the most highly-themed coaster experiences we’ve created. It will combine a new level of storytelling with an action-packed adventure…and a few surprises along the way. Our award-winning Universal Creative team is once again collaborating with Warner Bros. and the production design team from the Harry Potter films to bring this new coaster experience to life. This ride is going to redefine the category and transport you to thrilling places, drawing you into even more exciting adventures within the wizarding world. It’s going to be the perfect addition to Hogsmeade.
Terminator 2 3D Closes October 8th… but for what?
It has been announced that Terminator 2 is closing, but they haven’t specified what is replacing it. According to the press release, it’s closing to make way for an “all-new live-action experience based on a high-energy Universal franchise” in 2019. Right now the leading rumor seems to point to the Jason Bourne series, with the theater being given much more motion — possibly using a new concept by Dynamic Attractions.
Super Nintendo World
This is the one that will keep Disney execs up at night. While not officially announced by Universal yet, word is that Nintendo is absolutely coming to Orlando and will definitely give Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge a run for its money. The rumors point to it taking over Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone, but the Nintendo worlds are rich enough that it could even warrant its own park. Insiders say that several KidZone attractions will close permanently after Halloween.
The current plan calls for three new Nintendo-themed ride, an augmented reality ride based on Mario Kart, a Donkey Kong Mine Cart Coaster (that will appear to jump the track like in Donkey Kong Country) and a Yoshi omnimover ride for the kids.
Super Mario is the Mickey Mouse to many children (and adults) today, so when this opens, it’ll be huge. Bigger-than-Harry-Potter huge. Nintendo is to video games what Disney is to animated features. Nintendo is a worldwide cultural institution, much like Disney.
Watch your back, Walt Disney World!
Goodbye Shrek 4D, Hello ‘Secret Life of Pets’?
There’s word that Shrek 4D may be closing to make way for a new dark ride based on The Secret Life of Pets. According to Attractions Magazine, the rumors stated the Pets ride was set to open this year, but was likely delayed due to all the other new attractions in development, including the upcoming Fast and the Furious attraction.
The Secret Life of Pets are already appearing at Universal as a float in the Superstar Parade, so giving them their own ride isn’t too far of a stretch.
Disney vs. Universal in 2021?
With all of Disney’s major announcements at this year’s D23, it’s clear that they’re gearing up for a huge 50th Anniversary celebration of Walt Disney World.
But it’s also becoming clear that Universal isn’t going to let Disney off that easily. It’s likely that Universal is prepping to have many of these attractions ready to counter Disney’s offerings in 2021. Opening something like Super Nintendo World opposite of Disney’s 50th would be a huge coup.
For theme park enthusiasts, we’ll be able to have our cake and eat it, too. Mickey and Mario, Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker will all be available to take in with a single trip to Orlando.
And to borrow from Bill and Ted, that will be most excellent.
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