Iconic Orlando Water Park to close at the end of 2016
It’s been a fixture of the Orlando theme park circuit for four decades. The first big name among the birth of the water parks in America. But come the end of 2016, the world famous and iconic Wet’n’Wild water park on International Drive will be closing its doors for the very last time.
The park, owned by Universal Orlando® since 1998, is seen as something of a trailblazer among water parks – famed for its innovative and thrilling rides.
“From Brain Wash to Der Stuka, Wet’n’Wild still packs a high-octane punch for water slide lovers.”
The 40 acre site is likely to become the site for new property development on the prime International Drive location. Sure to make the nostalgic among us more than a little sad. However, the reality is that Wet’n’Wild was probably reaching the end of the line as the major theme parks need to evolve and keep up with the times.
A reason why, in the wake of the park’s closing, Universal will, in 2017, be opening an new water park – Volcano Island – close to Cabana Bay on the Universal site itself.
We last visited in April this year and, while there’s a certain dated feel to the surroundings, the rides themselves are as thrilling as they’ve ever been. The sheer drop of Der Stuka and the turbulent tube ride of Brain Wash are particular highlights. With Disco H20, Aqua Drag Racer and The Storm offering speed, twists and thrills of their own.
For ride quality alone, Volcano Bay will have a lot to live up to.
But times change and one of the reasons that Orlando has remained so popular year after year is because of the new attractions that come along.
Over the past twenty years, the water parks at Walt Disney World and SeaWorld® have pretty much overtaken Wet’n’Wild as the main water park sites in the Orlando area. In particular the attraction of having water parks on-site (Such as Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon) combined exquisite design, great rides and convenient location to make for hugely popular choices.
Which makes the prospect of a new park at Universal something of an exciting proposition.
Even if we are sad to see the end of Wet’n’Wild