(an artist's rendition of Universal Orlando's soon-to-be new water park, Volcano Bay)
In two completely unrelated stories, Wet 'n Wild will be shutting down permanently, and Volcano Bay will be opening its doors for the first time. Well, maybe not totally unrelated, although Universal Orlando is not linking the two stories together.
Wet 'n Wild first opened 43 years ago, back in 1977. During the 43 hot and sticky summers since, the water park has been an absolute staple in Orlando, sitting smack dab in the middle of International Drive. Multiple generations of the same families have fond memories of growing up with trips to the water park, and refreshing rides down their many water slides. Universal Orlando, which owns Wet 'n Wild, will be shutting down the park at the end of next season, on December 31st, 2016. Although they have not yet made a statement about what they plan to do with the 23 acres the park sits on, they have said that they plan to "absorb" as many of the 300+ Wet 'n Wild employees into other Universal Orlando parks.
But, times change, and often for the better. We're setting the bar pretty high for Volcano Bay. There have been several incredible new water parks, water rides, and attractions that have opened in the past few years, such as, at SeaWorld and Disney World, and we're pretty sure that Universal is looking to compete. Volcano Bay is scheduled to open at the beginning of the 2017 season.