Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013 1:41 PM | Contributed by Jeff
The Orlando Sentinel has documented all of the construction happening around Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and City Walk. Of the projects underway, only the Transofrmers ride has been confirmed, but the rest is speculated to be expansion of Harry Potter into the studio park.
See the photos from The Orlando Sentinel.
This is a bit of an aside, but it's kind of related. Anyone ever use the timeline feature in Google Earth to look at the old aerial photos of the Universal complex back in 1995 before IOA and CityWalk were built? It's pretty amazing the way they completely reengineered that huge swath of land in only five or six years.
I have seen that, and I remember being there in 1990 when the first park opened. I'm not sure how much of the second gate was on the radar at that point. I think there was a master plan for the second park, but I would assume they had to validate the sustainability of the first park before building out the hotels and second gate. I'm interested to learn more about that history.
I was there just last week with a friend who had never been there before, and I spent a good deal of time explaining how the original, single park was situated, how the parking was oriented, where the original Hard Rock was, etc. Honestly, it was hard for me to re-imagine as I was telling about it. Then his question to me was what did they do during the transition from one park to two- what with Citywalk, huge parking garages and hotels in the offing as well? Surely they didn't close. Well, no, I said... but after that I didn't have a good answer. So I guess I'd be interested in the history of how it all happened as well.
At Disney, with their vast amount of land available, all kinds of things could be happening construction-wise while John Q, the wife, and the kids would be none the wiser. Hotels, resorts, and additional gates with parking lots can go up with little or no disruption. Universal, there at the end of I Drive, didn't have that luxury and even though it hasn't been that long ago, I'm curious to know how it all happened.
The transition in construction had to be an interesting time, for sure. I pointed out the old Hard Rock to Diana on our last visit, which you can see easily when you're at the Woody Woodpecker coaster. As I recall, the alternative entrance and Psycho house were around there as well. I came in that entrance once, walking from a hotel on Kirkman.
Especially with the secrecy that Universal seems to covet when unveiling something huge, the construction and logistics of everything must have been crazy for them.
In the case of the new Gringotts coaster, I DO wish they'd at least release who is DOING the coaster. The only pic of track I saw looked like Intamin's box track, but it was really hard to tell for sure.Last edited by bunky666, Thursday, February 14, 2013 9:28 PM
You must be logged in to post