2 articles. 1 week. Don’t get too spoiled now, guys! I figured after dissecting the Middle Earth rumor, it probably would be nice to share some news of what is being planned for Universal.
The next addition/expansion for Universal’s Islands of Adventure has been rumored to be in the works for years. All sorts of rumors have come and gone, with little more than a second-look after the initial excitement wore down. Over the course of the past several months, one rumor kept getting brought up in conversation. So while I knew of it, I thought it was best to hang on to it until I could get some more details. Well, earlier this month rumored details started to come in, and it seems Jurassic Park will be the future location of Universal’s newest construction walls.
The plan that has been put on the table is directly aimed at families, and its sole purpose is to follow the “Potter” path of guest spending. By that, I mean increase guest spending through unique food and beverage offerings; as well as loads of merchandise for sale.
Everyone will get a perfect example of Universal’s new direction once Springfield opens up this summer at the Studios. It is going to be full of food, beverages, games, merchandise and unique souvenirs for guests to spend loads of their hard earned money on. Most importantly, it will bring more families into the gates. I’m sure you’ve seen their latest marketing campaign, Universal will be targeting families in a different light for the foreseeable future, and this expansion will be aimed directly at them.
Overall the entire Island would be receiving a face-lift. While the main focus is adding two new attractions, there are several other projects being considered within this expansion.
Here is a list of the details I’ve been given:
- Amber Mine Rollercoaster – This small-scale family coaster is said to be a themed run-away mine cart ride through detailed Amber Mines. The targeted height minimum is between 36 and 40 inches; so it will be a ride that most families can enjoy together. And while GCI Coasters met with Universal Creative earlier last year, we are told now that the Gravity Group has been contacted to build this attraction.
- Discovery Center Dark Ride – This slow moving dark ride would load inside the Jurassic Park Discovery Center where the labs currently reside. Rumored scenes include the DNA Scene from Jurassic Park the movie, detailed lab scenes, a dinosaur egg hatching, as well as a tour through dinosaurs that are in containment (including Velociraptor AA’s). The ride itself would unload close to the new Amber Mine Coaster.
- Camp Jurassic – This popular kids playground would be expanded and given numerous upgrades, including special effects and “live dinosaurs” within the grounds.
- Jurassic Park River Adventure – The headline attraction of Jurassic Park would receive a major refurb including new effects and AA replacements.
- Numerous new food and beverage outlets – There is no new sit down restaurant planned in this expansion. All new unique offerings will come via themed food stands.
- Triceratops Encounter – This old beauty will be leveled to make room for the future additions mentioned above. While most of the work will indeed take place on this site, make no mistake the island will be getting a lot of attention before re-opening.
Well there you have it folks! This is the rumored expansion that is currently scheduled to open in Summer 2014. On top of that, Universal just announced that Jurassic Park 4 would also hit theaters in Summer 2014.
What a coincidence!
As for a construction start date, don’t expect much until Transformers is wrapping up, as Universal has numerous trusted contractors and developers already booked with current projects.
Keep in mind, although I believe this information to be accurate; take it all with a grain of salt. As we know, nothing is 100% until it’s officially announced.
Special thanks to Disneyhead, a highly respected member here, for contributing to this article as well as a few special members out there for helping put the pieces together.
Until next time…