Universal Studios Theme Park is shutting down some of its biggest attractions including Fievel’s Playland, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, and Curious George Goes to Town to be replaced with new attractions.
Universal Studios is making some sweeping changes to its park. According to The Wrap, they will be permanently closing Fievel’s Playland, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, Curious George Goes to Town, DreamWorks Destination, and Donkey’s Meet & Greet starting January 16, 2023, with the final day of operations being January 15. It sounds like you’ll need to make a trip to the park before the beginning of the New Year if you want to visit these attractions one last time.
However, Universal Studios will be replacing these attractions with something new, so it won’t just be wasted space. What those attractions are going to be remains to be seen. There weren’t a lot of details given about the new attractions, just that they would be “exciting new family entertainment” based on adventures involving “beloved animated characters.” Since the attractions being closed down were kid-friendly, it makes sense that the new attractions would be in a similar vein.
Curious George, Fievel, and Woody Woodpecker are all older animated properties for Universal Studios, so it’s entirely possible that they’re looking to freshen things up with some newer animated characters. It would make sense for Universal to mine their DreamWorks roster of characters further and add some rides based on more relevant franchises like How to Train Your Dragon, Trolls, Kung Fu Panda, and Illumination’s Minions. Of course, the Minions are already slated to get their own zone later next year, so it’s less likely that they would get more space in the revamped kid’s zone.
Theme park goers who enjoyed that section of Universal Studios don’t have to worry about all of the attractions going extinct. The theme park will be keeping fan-favorite attractions like E.T. Adventure, Animal Actors on Location!, SpongeBob StorePants, and KidZone Pizza Company. Clearly, they’re still looking to keep the area as a family-friendly area to bring the kids, albeit with a refreshed roster of rides and attractions.
Originally, this portion of the park was going to be the location of the Orlando version of Super Nintendo World, but that project was relocated to the new theme park Epic Universe, which is slated to open in 2025. People who pay attention to theme park news are much more interested in the opening of the secretive Epic Universe, rather than what might be replacing the attractions in the kid’s zone. Epic Universe is going to be one of the biggest park openings for Orlando in some time, so there’s definitely a lot of hype behind it.
Universal Studios announced its plans to open Epic Universe back in 2019 and it promises to be a 750-acre park with hotels, shops, restaurants, and more. Rumors are running rampant for what kind of attractions fans can expect at Epic Universe, with Super Nintendo World being the only section of the park revealed so far. Super Nintendo World is rumored to have a Donkey Kong ride, a Yoshi ride, and a Mario Kart ride.
As to what other surprises Universal Studios has in store for Epic Universe, we’ll just have to keep an eye on the rumors. Rumors have ranged from more Harry Potter attractions to Universal Monsters sections. Otherwise, we’ll find out when the park actually opens in the Summer of 2025.