Despite having one of its theme parks closed during the first three months of 2021, Universal’s theme park division managed to break even once again.
During the first quarter earnings call for parent company Comcast, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said “it’s hard not to get excited about our parks business” considering how its Orlando parks consistently reach their pandemic-reduced capacity limits.
He also talked up how Universal has continued to build new attraction during the COVID-19 era, including the upcoming Jurassic World VelociCoaster at Islands of Adventure. Shell said he rode it recently and called “both spectacular and petrifying, and I think when we open that to the public in June, it’s going to be another driver for our business.”
Theme park revenue was down 33 percent year-over-year. For the current quarter, Universal will trade one open park for another; Universal Studios Hollywood reopened after a year-long closure on April 16, but Universal Studios Japan had to close once again due to rising COVID-19 cases in Osaka.
Disneyland’s reimagined Jungle Cruise reopens this summer
Ahead of the grand reopening of Disneyland, resort president Ken Potrock said the park’s revamped Jungle Cruise attraction will debut sometime this summer.
The ride — which was an opening day attraction at Disneyland — is being reimagined to remove racist depiction of natives, such as the “Trader Sam” character. Disney World’s version of Jungle Cruise is getting a similar overhaul, but staying open as changes are made.
During his appearance on the official “Inside Disney” podcast, Potrock also said that Disneyland will be opening at 25 percent of its pre-pandemic maximum capacity under California’s reopening guidelines. For Disneyland annual passholders, he revealed that the replacement for the shuttered AP program will be unveiled sometime before the end of 2021.
When the newest Legoland additions will debut
Summer 2021 will be a busy one for two Legoland parks in the U.S.
On May 27, Legoland California will unveil its version of Lego Movie World, based off the 2014 film and its 2019 sequel. The original debuted at Legoland Florida in March 2019 (check out our coverage from the opening here). The California land will feature two of the same attractions as Florida — the flying theater attraction Emmet’s Flying Adventure and the kiddie drop tower Unikitty’s Disco Drop — along with a West Coast exclusive, Queen Watevra’s Carousel.
On the other side of the country, the brand new Legoland New York is aiming for a phased opening during the summer, according to Theme Park Insider.