Universal Studios Florida Continues Construction on New Nighttime Spectacular

The Universal Studios Florida lagoon remains partially drained as work on the deck supporting its nighttime spectaculars continues. Although details are scarce, a brand-new show has been confirmed.

Universal Studios Florida Receiving New Nighttime Spectacular

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Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration” concluded its roughly five-year run in March to clear the way for a new experience. The show debuted in 2018 as a successor to “Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories,” offering a visual spectacle of water projections, music, limited fireworks, and footage from various popular film franchises. For a brief time, a preliminary segment promoted the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, broadcast by NBC.

UOR USF Cinematic Celebration

In previous reports, workers could be seen on the exposed deck handling various special effects equipment for the previous Cinematic Celebration show, which primarily utilized water screens. As of this week, all of those rows of equipment, including all of the water spouts, are completely gone. Much of the deck is now laid bare. The equipment may have been relocated for refurbishment or re-theme. Otherwise, this new show could be starting off with a clean slate.

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While no official opening date or description of the new show has been announced, it is widely speculated that drones will play a major role in any future lagoon spectacular, to add a sense of extra bombast. Unlike Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort is directly in the City of Orlando, which limits their ability to engage in excessive, loud, bright nighttime pyrotechnics. The fact that Universal is currently hiring a full-time Drone Operations Manager seems to support this theory.

universal lagoon construction

Most of the theme park surrounds the lagoon, with Central Park being the primary viewing area for nighttime shows. The above photo is from the perspective across from Central Park, near Transformers: The Ride 3D.

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While cats guard and assess construction over at Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in Magic Kingdom, it appears the ducks are staking their claim here at Universal Studios. This feathered friend was spotted along the Central Park rocks, perhaps yearning for the Starbucks Coffee across the water.

More Epic Shows to Come

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Universal’s Epic Universe, the newest theme park under construction in Orlando, is racing toward a projected 2025 grand opening, with this above photo from January conveying the enormity of progress being made at a quick pace.

While details on nighttime spectaculars are not yet apparent here either, it’s very likely that the thin, protruding peninsula on the lake toward the far back of the picture will be utilized for fireworks launches. Elaborate special effects will have fewer restrictions farther out from the older and more clustered city neighborhoods, and while the primary campus for Universal Orlando Resort may be feeling a bit cramped these days, over at this site, Universal is playing with land larger than their Studios park, Islands of Adventure, and CityWalk combined.

What would you like to see in a new Universal nighttime show? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Katie Francis

    Katie is a lover of all theme parks and an avid reader. Her favorite rides are Spaceship Earth and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. You can find her daydreaming of the Florida sun, and you can reach her at kati[email protected].