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Arthur Levine

Universal to Float New Island at its Florida Park

By January 28, 2007

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I don't generally post rumors on my site, but I have some exciting, breaking news from a highly credible source to share.

Despite plenty of speculation through the years about new attractions, Universal Orlando has made virtually no changes to its wonderful second park, Islands of Adventure, since it opened in 1999. Apparently, there are some major changes brewing, however.

Unlike Walt Disney World, which has an enormous tract of land, Universal doesn't have much available space to expand its parks. According to the source, Universal's creative wizards plan to substantially change one of the park's five islands and re-theme it to the stories and characters of one of the most popular children's franchises. And I mean hugely popular. The new attractions and land should be ready to fly in 2009 or 2010. An official announcement from Universal is probably imminent.

In other Universal Orlando news, the source says that a new attraction based on "Saturday Night Live" is also in the works for Universal Studios Florida. (Universal Parks and Resorts and NBC TV are part of NBC Universal and owned by General Electric and Vivendi.)

And corroborating the rumors that have been swirling around Back to the Future, there is a Simpsons-themed attraction in development to replace the half-shuttered ride, but the project has hit some snafus because the actors who provide the characters' voices have been negotiating for more money. D'oh!

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