When one door closes, another opens. In at least one instance, that also could apply to waterparks.
Wet ’n Wild, Universal Orlando’s iconic waterpark on International Drive, is closing at the end of 2016, but fear not. Volcano Bay will open in 2017, on 53 acres near Universal Orlando Resort. The new waterpark’s focal point will be a tall smoking volcano, and other planned features include a waterfall, water slides, a lazy river, wave pool and rapids ride.
Wet ‘n Wild opened on I-Drive in 1977 and has been owned by Universal since 1998. It was popular (1.3 million visitors in 2014), but crowds were even bigger at Walt Disney World’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach (2 million each) and SeaWorld’s Aquatica (1.6 million), according to the Themed Entertainment Association.
“It is sad another piece of Orlando history [is] going to be shuttered up,” Scott Smith told the Orlando Sentinel. Originally from Orlando, he’s now an assistant professor at University of South Carolina’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sports Management.