Rumor insists video game themed third gate for Universal Orlando

Posted Friday, July 24, 2015 9:21 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Nintendo-Land might not be out of the question as a new rumor suggests that Universal is developing a third park for their Universal Studios Orlando Resort which would have a heavy video game focus, including rides based on Nintendo and Blizzard properties.

Read more from /FILM.

Friday, July 24, 2015 9:22 AM

Not buying it. If they wouldn't invest in a third gate for Harry Potter, which is a safe bet full of enough IP to last forever, they're not going to do it with video games.

I'm still betting on a Marvel buy-out and/or re-theme of Toon Lagoon.

Friday, July 24, 2015 9:42 AM

The original article on This is Infamous that /Film based their article around is complete bunk, which means the /Film article is complete bunk. Nintendo is going into the former KidZone area of USF, and maybe expanding the area a bit (they're building a new parade building in the upper corner of the property, slightly larger than the current one that sits behind KidZone). Plus, as even those articles said, the Wet n Wild land is slated for hotel and entertainment development, and maybe some backstage infrastructure. That is the extent of the land that they own, and will own for the foreseeable future.

Jeff said:

Not buying it. If they wouldn't invest in a third gate for Harry Potter, which is a safe bet full of enough IP to last forever, they're not going to do it with video games.

I'm still betting on a Marvel buy-out and/or re-theme of Toon Lagoon.

As to the bolded, won't happen. Disney's not going to give Universal a billion plus in compensation to then spend millions or more to develop and build a Marvel attraction at the only resort in the world that they can't do so (well, not as sure about Tokyo, but I don't think they have exclusivity there if I remember right, I'd have to double check the contract). Also, they're already starting on a slight re-skin and expansion of Marvel Super Hero Island. Expect the comic look to be traded out for a realistic MCU style, the Fantastic Four and affiliated FOX-controlled characters to go, including (possibly) saying goodbye to Doctor Doom's Fear Fall, an Avengers E-Ticket in the Doom area, and possibly expanding the island up to the Toon Lagoon theater. Hulk will also be closing from about the middle of August through roughly November, and then again after the New Years rush through just before Spring Break or maybe longer for work on the ride system and redoing the queue away from the comic styling. All of that should be done by...2018 or 2019.

Toon Lagoon...fairly safe to say that is likely on the way out in the next ten years.

Last edited by maXairMike, Friday, July 24, 2015 9:44 AM
Friday, July 24, 2015 9:50 AM

Personally, I wouldn't take anything off of the table. I don't see any world where they couldn't come up with a mutually beneficial arrangement if they both wanted it (and I doubt very much it would be a billion-dollar deal).

I think Hulk will be temporarily closing, but not for the reasons most people think...

Friday, July 24, 2015 10:35 AM

Just what Universal needs....more video-based attractions. That's one reason those parks don't do a lot for me. There are way too many video based attractions there.

Despicable Me
Harry Potter Forbidden Journey (although as this one is pretty well done with the ride vehicles and the integration with animatronics)

Friday, July 24, 2015 10:41 AM

If they want a do a video game themed section of the park, I think Nintendo would be a good choice. Mario and Zelda aren't going anywhere for a long time. They are still the top selling games on any platform. I think Call of Duty will fade out in a few years before everyone gets tired of it. I said Blizzard in that article. Is WoW still relevant? Other than Starcraft and Diablo, I don't think Blizzard has much going for them.

Friday, July 24, 2015 7:46 PM

Video based attraction is not the same as video game based attraction. Nintendo is the theme.

Friday, July 24, 2015 7:55 PM

A World of Warcraft film has been announced for wide release in june of 2016.

As much as I would love to see a third gate themed to Nintendo's properties and other video game stuff, I doubt it will be that expansive. I have wanted to see a completely Nintendo themed area for a very long time. A Toon Lagoon retheme would be awesome, but are Nintendo's characters relivant to the entire family, or would it be a better match at Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone?

Toon Lagoon needs something more popular than what they have now. No one cares about Popeye or Dudly Do-Right. Nintendo has so many characters and scenic locations that it may be difficult to do it at Toon Lagoon without adding many new attractions.

I just hope they are thinking bigger than Kidzone.

Friday, July 24, 2015 9:27 PM

As much as I love IOA -- and I love IOA more that USF -- Toon Lagoon has always seemed like wasted space to me.

So many of those characters just seem to me be to be no longer relevant. Aside from the Dudley Do Right and Popeye rides, Toon Lagoon to me is something you have to go through to get to the interesting areas of the park.

Friday, July 24, 2015 10:08 PM

I agree. Toon Lagoon hosts two of the best water rides ever created, but the theme of that entire area was outdated the day it opened. There is so much space there that no matter how full of stuff, still feels empty and meaningless.

If Nintendo wasn't replacing Toon Lagoon, I hope that someday soon, it gets a retheme.

Friday, July 24, 2015 10:41 PM

^What he said.

Friday, July 24, 2015 11:10 PM

Yeah, totes love IOA, but Toon Lagoon was dated when it was installed. It's not like it was even relevant 20 years ago. Still, it's better than the An American Tail themed kids area.

Saturday, July 25, 2015 12:10 AM

I think Hulk getting a new launch mechanism seems like a done deal (if not a known fact at this point).

New trains without OTSRs would get me to ride it way more often.

Anything else after that (theming, audio, etc.) is gravy.

Saturday, July 25, 2015 12:16 AM

I view that post as pure clickbait fodder. The author grabbed a few rumors and made up the rest to create an interesting post. It is rather telling when every insider, including Robert Niles, are shooting down this really fast.

Over at Universal, the next project at USF is coming to the Twister building. A permit for renovation has been filed.

Saturday, July 25, 2015 10:41 AM

I don't know what the box office figures will look like, but considering the God-awful reviews for PIXELS...they might wanna hold off on Nintendoland

Saturday, July 25, 2015 11:58 AM

Mike Gallagher said:

I don't know what the box office figures will look like...

Sandler movie with awful reviews?

Should make about a bajillion dollars.

Saturday, July 25, 2015 12:12 PM

Just me, Toon Lagoon has two of the very best water rides in existence (and I personally *love* the Dudley theming but do understand it might appeal to an older demographic).

Is it your contention - not addressing anyone in specific, just trying to get the general feel - that Bluto and Dudley should stay as rides, but get an overlay with new concept art, themes, etc.? Just curious, thanks for the input...

Saturday, July 25, 2015 1:05 PM

Those rides are amazing.

But Toon Lagoon, to me, always seems like a walkway to move guests from the superheroes to the dinosaurs. I recognized Little Nemo; I can't help but wonder how many guests recognize the more obscure comic strips. And using lots of flat, broad "pages", while I get the play on comic strip panels, always make me feel like I'm in a hallway.

The Dudley/Popeye area feels completely different, to me. If I were the Queen of Universal, I'd have Toon Lagoon redone to move away from the pages and to focus on the more recognizable characters from the Universal UClick catalog.

Saturday, July 25, 2015 1:31 PM

Yeah, I'm all for re-theming the two amazing water rides, even to Nintendo. I came up with a few Nintendo themes for those two rides before, but I can't quite remember them now. I think I imagine Ripsaw Falls as a Donkey Kong ride, in which you ride in the barrels instead of logs. ...Or something.

Saturday, July 25, 2015 2:36 PM

Yeah, that is weird... those really are two of the best water rides ever. It was years before I ever did Bluto, but then one time while staying at Royal Pacific, we came into the park with swimwear deliberately to ride it and it was amazing. I mean, it has a drop!


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