At Universal Studios Florida, the extremely dated Kids Zone area was thought to be on the chopping block, with the Orlando version of Super Nintendo World slated for that plot of land.
Renderings of the new Nintendo-themed land were leaked, and numerous insiders were already talking about timelines on when the Orlando land would open. But as the project became more ambitious, and as Universal began working on details for their yet to be confirmed but strongly hinted at the third theme park, the plans for Kids Zone changed.
Super Nintendo World is now thought to be an anchor of the new theme park. This allows Universal to fully realize its vision of multiple Nintendo-themed mini-lands; each with its own rides, shops, and dining experiences.
Fievel Mousekewitz (from An American Tale), Barney (the purple dinosaur), Woody Woodpecker, and Curious George just aren’t bringing in the crowds they once did, so the Kids Zone is still in need of a major overhaul.
Despicable Me had been rumored, but with a ride in the park already themed to that intellectual property, and another possibly in the works across from that ride, it’s unlikely that is what's slated for Kids Zone.
Another option is a Christmas-themed area featuring the recently acquired iconic intellectual properties including Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. But those characters don’t seem that much more popular than Woody Woodpecker and Curious George, which means they wouldn’t likely cause a major boost in attendance.
Another possible theme is Trolls.
The 2016 DreamWorks film brought the iconic plastic dolls to life. A worldwide box office of $350 million isn’t huge, but merchandise around the film has been popular. Netflix currently is airing a Trolls-themed kids series and a sequel to the film is slated for 2020.
Recently Robert Niles of Theme Park Insider uncovered a trademark for “Trolls Topia” for use by “amusement park attraction and theme park services; live stage performances, namely, presentation of live show performances; providing waterpark services; providing recreational areas for entertainment and amusement, namely, interactive play areas.”
A Trolls-themed event featuring the same name but without the space between Trolls and Topia took place at Universal Studios Singapore earlier this year. All mentions of that event are now missing from the Universal Studios Singapore website, but that event included a number of interactive features.
It is possible that the same style event is slated for the U.S. parks, but a more permeant presence is also likely. The Singapore event shows what Universal can do with the brand but with a more permeant presence. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique style experiences have been attempted by numerous theme parks, but none have gained the popularity of the Disney salon, but Trolls could be that brand to pull it off finally.
Trolls have already been seen a presence at the U.S. parks with meet-and-greets and plenty of
Rumors point to Kids Zone getting an update before 2022, so we should know something about what new IPs are headed there very soon.
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