Two months ago, Universal Studios made big waves when a partnership with Nintendo to bring in videogame-themed attractions was revealed. The Comcast-owned subsidiary has kept largely quiet on the partnership since, with fans speculating that that the deal was made to bring in a few attractions to the existing Orlando and Hollywood-based parks. ThisIsInfamous, a website with ties to the Orlando theme park scene, has now speculated that a much larger move is afoot, and Universal Studios is designing a completely new third park centered around videogames.
The rumors of Universal Studios opening a third park have circulated for years, but given the recent Nintendo announcement, it’s much more plausible that the company would jump forward with this kind of opportunity. It should be noted that a rumor as large as this should be taken with a side of salt until more official confirmations or indications arise – though the possibilities certainly warrant discussion.
The original plan between Universal Studios and Nintendo was supposedly made in an effort to bring fresh attractions to dated kiddie park themes, which currently features things like Curious George, Barney, and Woody Woodpecker. While there’s no doubt that modern Nintendo attractions would see those kiddie sections get a significant boost in popularity, ThisIsInfamous indicates the real under-the-wraps deal is the third, all-new park.
The film giant is reportedly in the midst of acquiring more land to house this potential park, and is picking up several different parcels of property to combine into one solid chunk of real estate. As it stands right now, Universal Studios simply doesn’t have the space to construct a third park without buying out much more land, so any significant property purchases within the next few years would lend this rumor plenty of credibility.
The park would be reportedly centred around several large popular intellectual properties from Nintendo, and ThisIsInfamous seemed positive that a Mario Kart ride is already in development, with other attractions from properties like Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda also in the works. Much like what the studio did with Harry Potter, the report indicates that these massive properties may get entire sections of the park, rather than singular rides or attractions.
Speculation suggests that the theme park giant would likely be aiming to open the park in 2021, giving them four years of concentrated development time once the Volcano Bay waterpark opens in 2017. Previously, skeptics of a potential third park have pointed out a lack of on-site hotels within their Orlando property, but with the closure of Wet ‘N Wild likely set to bring in a sixth hotel in its stead, there may be just enough visitor space to give this whole third park idea a solid run.
Universal Studios also has a strong partnership with Legendary, who are working on the upcoming Warcraft film. The report mentions that a tie-in with World of Warcraft is on the cards for this prospective park, and given how involved Universal is with the film adaptation, a move like this would make perfect sense if such a park were to materialize.
What do you think about the possibility of a videogame-centric Theme Park, Ranters? Would you take a gentle Lapras Ride down a Lazy River, or go on a 4D Mario Kart ride? Do you think this rumor is credible?