With new attractions and themed lands opening at Universal Orlando in the recent years, like TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, attendance has been rising at the resort’s theme parks. On Monday, Comcast Corp. announced that Universal Orlando drove an impressive performance. Executives said that because of this, investors should expect many more new attractions and more hotel developments at the resort.
Comcast made a statement that more than half of the capital expenditures at Comcast’s NBCUniversal division this year will be directed at theme parks. This is rather exciting news for theme park fans, specifically Universal Orlando fans. Based on documents and plans submitted by the resort, Universal has plans for a new water park and two additional hotels (excluding the already announced Loews Sapphire Falls Resort). One hotel will have about 400 rooms while the other will have about 800 rooms.
Plans made by Universal Orlando shows that a water park is in the planning stage. As seen in the above photo, the water park is expected to be located south of Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. This will be the company’s first on-site water park and the resort’s third gate. According to our resources, Universal previously filed trademarks for the names Wondersea Island and the most recent Volcano Bay. The water park will be placed on 50 acres of land and could have a volcano as the park’s icon.
The above photo shows the progress of the water park, which at the moment is just filled with mounds of dirt. The resort has not yet confirmed the water park or its opening, but a recent map of International Drive and its developments listed Volcano Bay as Universal’s water park name along with a predicted opening of Fall 2016.
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort was confirmed to be located east of Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, with an opening of Summer 2016. The resort will consist of 1,000 rooms and 131,000 square feet of meeting space. With this being the last remaining empty lot, it is expected that the two additional hotels Universal has planned will be located just south of Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.
With the limited space Universal Orlando has, it is not possible for there to be two large hotels. These hotels will take up little room and will most likely be towers. Considering these will be Universal Orlando’s smallest hotels, they could be valued or moderately priced, giving more options for guests looking to stay on-site. Rumors suggest the new hotels will be less themed than the current on-site hotels and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort because of their smaller sizes.
“Theme parks, I think, when we first showed up, were something that came with the rest of the company. Now they’re right at the core of what we’re all about and we think provide a tremendous growth opportunity,” said Steve Burke, chief executive officer of Comcast’s NBCUniversal division.