There have been rumors for the past few months about a new attraction (or possibly even attractions) coming to the Jurassic Park section of Islands of Adventure. So far the only apparent additions coming to the island are new themed games, much like the ones added to The Simpson’s area last year. However, a permit recently filed with the City of Orlando could be our first concrete evidence that this expansion is finally coming to fruition:
Over the past month, Universal has filed several new demolition/building permits with the City of Orlando for the renovation of three CityWalk venues. Project 294 was the first project filed on June 12th. It called for:
Interior remodel of existing venue in Space 294 in City Walk
After doing some digging, we discovered that Space 294 is currently home to the Pastamoré Market Café. Reading some of the permit review comments has revealed that the venue will likely be replaced by a new pizza restaurant, likely called “Woodfire Pizza” according to one comment:
Today we finally saw the building permits for Halloween Horror Nights 23 filed with the City of Orlando. While these permits don’t tell us much yet, they do provide confirmation of this year’s house locations:
Parade Building (B79)
SS21 (likely two houses)
Just over a year ago, we posted plans filed with the SWFWMD that detailed a new drop tower attraction for Busch Gardens Tampa. Today, after digging through the Federal Aviation Administration website, we discovered a document filed last January seeking approval to build that attraction. According to the document, the new drop tower will consist of a 304ft tall drop section and a 26ft tall machine cabinet, for a total of a 330ft tower, making it the tallest ride at Busch Gardens Tampa:
Project is an amusement park attraction: a monopole +/- 12′ dia. round steel tube approx. 304′ high. On top of the tube is a cylindrically-shaped steel machine room and open rail +/- 20′ dia. and approx 26′ high. A +/- 59’ dia. seat system moves up and down around the tube as a part of the ride.
A recent filing with the SFWMD for a “Project 609 Addition” calls for a new 1,044 square foot building located between Mel’s Dine-In and Shrek 4D, next to Transformers: The Ride – 3D. This location also happens to be directly across from the current outdoor meet and greet for the Transformers characters.
The Orange County Property Appraiser has updated their aerial imagery of Orange County with new high resolution images taken in late January 2013. These images give us some excellent glimpses into the various construction projects that are currently underway at Universal Orlando. The images are a few weeks old, so there has definitely been a lot of progress since they were taken, but they’re still very interesting to look at.
We’ll start our aerial tour behind the Men in Black building, on the large, vacant plot of land being used as a staging area for Project 722. Laid out here are several pieces of the black roller coaster track and supports for the rumored Gringotts attraction.
A new permit filed today with the City of Orlando hints that the Transformers gift shop could be opening in the very near future. The permit calls for a TCO (Temporary Certificate of Occupancy) for the retail space that’s part of Project 609. According to wikipedia, a TCO is “generally sought after and acquired when a building is still under construction, but there is a certain section or number of floors that are deemed to be habitable.”
Universal has been selling Transformers themed merchandise at various stores and kiosks throughout their parks for the past month or so, so getting this shop open sooner would give all that stuff a place to call home, and allow them to offer even more items for sale in a cool, themed environment. Plus, Universal opened Super Silly Stuff, the Despicable Me gift shop, before that attraction officially opened, so the idea of opening an attraction’s retail location early clearly isn’t unprecedented.
Here we go again. After the abandoned Hyperion Wharf plans that were supposed to revitalize Pleasure Island, Disney is once again attempting to breathe new life into the area. This time, however, the plans detail a much, much larger scope, which will give virtually the entire Downtown Disney district a much needed facelift.
The project has been dubbed “The BVD Corridor Stormwater Project” and phase I of the plans were filed with the SFWMD yesterday. Phase I simply consists of the necessary groundwater infrastructure changes to facilitate the expansion of Downtown Disney. To quote the letter filed with the plans “The BVD Corridor Stormwater Project allows the master planning of an existing 269.11 acre mixed use parcel.”
To add some more fuel to rumor that Universal Orlando has a Lord of the Rings themed land or park in the works, the The Saul Zaentz Company has recently trademarked the term “Middle-Earth” for use in amusement/theme parks. For those unfamiliar with The Saul Zaentz Company, they own the worldwide film, stage, and merchandise rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Therefor, in the same way Warner Brothers handles the Harry Potter/Wizarding World trademarks, The Saul Zaentz Company are the ones who handle the Lord of the Rings trademarks.
While a generic trademark application like this one is by no means confirmation of a coming themed land or park, it does show that the company has intent of using it’s Middle-Earth mark in the amusement/theme park sector someday. Right now though, there’s no way of knowing how soon, if ever, anything could come to fruition, or what parks, if any, the company is in talks with.