Now that Fast & Furious: Supercharged has opened at Universal Studios Florida, it’s time to look ahead to the next major addition to Universal Orlando. There are still a few new additions opening in Orlando theme parks during summer 2018 including Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Infinity Falls at SeaWorld Orlando. Since we already know that Supercharged is a dumpster fire, I don’t think the public response to Toy Story Land will be over the moon, as the rides are fairly basic and there’s nothing groundbreaking, despite the enormous popularity of the franchise. I’m going to go ahead and predict it now; I believe that the new Universal Orlando Epic Nighttime Spectacular will be the sleeper hit of summer 2018 in Central Florida.
You heard it correctly. The new nighttime show that Universal Orlando has barely talked about will be what everyone is talking about. I don’t want to oversell it, but the show will be impressive and we have already given away a handful of spoilers about the content and sequences of the new show in a previous article. Today we are going to talk about the technical and operational aspects. Let’s dig in!
#6 It’s A Lot Like World of Color
People automatically relate new theme park attractions and shows to what they have already seen. It’s just human nature. Make no mistake about it, this show is going to have a lot of similarities to World of Color at Disney California Adventure.
That’s because it will have a lot of familiar elements, not to mention the way it is designed. Notice this show is being built on floating barges. Instead of having water screens, fountains and lights installed at random spots around the lagoon, it lives directly on these barges that can come up and down in the water. The reason for that is easy maintenance. Divers don’t have to go down in order to fix nozzles, hoses, and pumps. You can do all that fairly easily since the guts of the show can rise just above water level.
World of Color can do this too and, more importantly, has a lot of the same elements including dancing fountains, water screens, pyrotechnics and fireworks. Because of that, I guarantee people will be calling this “Universal’s World of Color” even though the sequences will focus more on Harry Potter and Jurassic World than Toy Story and Frozen.
#5 They Are Building Additional Viewing Areas in Central Park
Now, this is fairly well known, but there has been construction going on for quite some time in the Central Park area of Universal Studios Florida.
More importantly, this area will become a standing room, stadium-style viewing area of the new nighttime show. Again, this is very similar to the viewing of World of Color.
As you can see from the image above, the viewing area will have several levels where guests can stand behind hedges and railings to provide an optimal view of the show.
#4 Viewing Will Be Limited
In this case, it’s not what you see, but what you don’t see that matters. Just like World of Color, you can only see this show from the front. Meaning, if you walk around to the San Francisco area of the park, there is nothing to see.
More importantly, if you look at the lagoon over by London/Diagon Alley and Simpsons, there is no activity going on at all. Therefore, instead of being able to see the show from most of the lagoon like previous nighttime spectaculars at Universal Studios Florida, the viewing area is extremely limited. This is why this new elevated multi-level viewing platform in Central Park isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, it’s absolutely necessary in order to be able to see the show. Which leads me to….
#3 Multiple Shows Per Evening
If you think about the total capacity of the entire lagoon around the water versus what you can squeeze in via the new viewing area, you’re cutting your viewing capacity substantially. Even if you add additional standing room. Therefore, you’re going to need multiple viewings of this show on most busy nights. Again, you can compare this to World of Color, which can run several shows a night, however, I think there could be up to three viewings of the new Universal Orlando Epic Nighttime Spectacular a night with 20-minute shows. And how do you control those crowds?
#2 Virtual Line Will Be Used
Yes, the system Universal Orlando has slowly rolled out with Fast & Furious: Supercharged and Race Through New York will be used to reserve a time for this new show. This allows guests more time to enjoy their day and not have to camp out hours in advance. It makes to total sense to utilize this system and let guests reserve a time either via the app of a kiosk while they are in the park. But what if you want the VIP treatment?
#1 VIP Seating Will Be Available
Universal actually tested a dining package that coincided with a private viewing area for Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular in 2016. While it didn’t go over so well, having a dedicated viewing area for people who are willing to pay a little extra makes a lot of sense. This could be a private dessert party marketed to convention groups and for people who do a dining package with reserved seating. The possibilities are numerous and no doubt, we will see several different variations of the use of the VIP space as Universal rolls out this show.
OK, I think that about does it. Don’t forget, none of this is official until Universal Orlando says as such, but I’m fairly confident in these observations. I expect an official announcement about the Universal Orlando Epic Nighttime Spectacular very soon!
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