Universal Orlando has filed plans to build a 4,000-room hotel on the former Wet ‘n Wild site.
The theme park began demolishing the 13-acre water park last month amid speculation by industry insiders that Universal planned to replace it with a hotel.
Documents filed with the City of Orlando show Universal plans to develop the entire 64-acres that is split by Universal Boulevard. In addition to the hotel rooms, the plans show three parking garages — one on the east parcel where the water park stood and two on the opposite end where guest parking was located.
The new hotel follows Universal’s desire to add more hotels near its theme park. Universal’s hotel offerings include the 1,000-room Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, which opened last year. Universal added 400 rooms to its Cabana Bay Beach Resort this year and the 600-room Aventura Hotel is slated to open in the summer of 2018.
Wet ‘n Wild, at the corner of International Drive and Universal Boulevard, closed in December. It was considered America’s first water park when SeaWorld opened it 1977. Universal Studios Recreation Group purchased the water park in 1988 but continued to lease the land. In 2013, Universal purchased the entire parcel for $30.9 million.
Universal Orlando’s new Volcano Bay water park will hold a grand opening on May 25.