Regardless of what you personally thought of the Barney show at Universal Studios Florida, it definitely served its purpose. While far from the target demographic of folks looking for thrills and cutting edge attractions, Barney and friends was a place for the younger set to go while their older brothers and sisters went on the “big rides”.
As time moves on, the popularity of the big purple dinosaur has started to thin out. Pandemic or not, the writing has been on the wall for a few years that Barney’s days were numbered. The last time I saw the show, there were as many people in the audience as it took to run the venue.
One more thing I should mention before we dive into what will be replacing the show, have you been to the Barney bathrooms? I’m being serious here. The bathrooms to the right of the theater are still open (as of now) and not only are they the best-themed bathrooms on Universal property, they are the best kid-friendly bathrooms I’ve ever seen in a theme park. Suck it, Legoland.
Anyway, let’s talk about what is going in the Barney theater. Keep in mind, this decision was made fairly recently. As in, since January 2021. This has come together quickly. You may recall in my last article about what is slated to replace the Blue Man Group show, there is a certain mindset to how new offerings are to be added to Universal Orlando.
Say it with me now: quick and dirty. Meaning, what is the biggest bang for the buck that you can get and make it cheap and fast? That is the plan.
Barney already has lighting, benches and sound for a theater show and thus, so will the replacement. If you think they’d bulldoze the building down and spend tons of money building something like the Secret Life of Pets attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood? You’re smoking crack. The company just announced parks are finally breaking even after almost a year of the pandemic killing their business.
Now the pieces of the puzzle are coming together. What existing Universal franchise could be used for a show at Universal Studios Florida? Keep in mind, it needs to be characters that are family friendly that skews a little younger.
I’ll tell you what guests have been asking for since 2016, more Trolls. Sure, they do meet and greets in the park and they fart glitter. However, to have their own show would be a business driver of a younger demographic that the park desperately needs. Fun fact: kids under 10 don’t drive cars. Another fun fact – kids under 10 always bring friends and family, which means their group pretty much always spends money. Huzzah! Universal Orlando severely lacks attractions and shows that the younger set can enjoy.
Trolls not only checks the box of kids, but they have quite a following amongst teens and adults as well. Considering how quickly Barney is being removed from Kids Zone, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Trolls show open by Summer 2021. Your thoughts?
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