Wet ‘n Wild amusement park is closing in Orlando in 2016. The Florida theme park opened in 1977 and is one of the major water parks in United States. Wet ‘n Wild was the 10th busiest water park in the world with 1.3 million visitors a year, according to the Themed Entertainment Association.
Universal Orlando Resort owns the Wet ‘n Wild water park. Universal is reportedly planning to build Volcano Bay, a new water park, to fill the void. Volcano Bay will encompass approximately 53 acres near the Cabana Bay Beach Resort on Universal Orlando property.
The Orlando water park reportedly began facing attendance issues in recent years and fell to fourth place in Orlando amusement park rankings. Walt Disney World’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach both reportedly enjoyed more than two million visitors last year. SeaWorld’s Aquatica garnered 1.6 million visitors during the same time frame.
“After almost 40 years, Wet ‘n Wild Orlando will be permanently closing on December 31, 2016. Check out the Universal Orlando Resort blog for a thank you to our fans for all of the countless memories,” a post on the Wet ‘n Wild Facebook page said.
A new hotel may ultimately be constructed on the Wet ‘n Wild property.
“Wet ‘n Wild Orlando has been a place where guests have created wonderful memories,” Universal Orlando spokesman Tom Schroder said. “As America’s first water park, Wet ‘n Wild has been the birthplace of numerous innovations that are now considered a common part of the water park experience.”
Here’s an excerpt from a Volcano Bay water park announcement by Universal Orlando Resort.
“It will offer radically innovative, thrilling attractions, peaceful moments of relaxation and an inspired guest experience that will forever change the perception of water theme parks. It will be set in a highly themed, completely immersive environment inspired by postcard-perfect tropical islands. And it will be the kind of special place that only the Universal team — the same team that has changed the face of Universal Orlando Resort in recent years — can envision and create.”
— KingdomMagic (@KingdomMagic) June 10, 2015
A rendering of Volcano Bay highlights a massive “volcano ” structure with a walkway, water slides, rapids ride, lazy river, and a waterfall. Once plans were set in motion to build Volcano Bay, the fate of Wet ‘n Wild appeared gloomy, according to Orlando Weekly’s Seth Kubersky.
“It makes sense that they wouldn’t want to compete with themselves by having two similar parks so close to each other, and Wet ‘n Wild has long had a reputation for marginal customer service.”
What do you think about the Wet ‘n Wild amusement park closing in Orlando?
[Image via Facebook]