Universal Studios Florida Lagoon Partially Drained as Work Begins on New Nighttime Spectacular

Shannen Ace

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Universal Studios Florida Lagoon Partially Drained as Work Begins on New Nighttime Spectacular

The Universal Studios Florida lagoon has been partially drained, revealing the deck used for the park’s nighttime spectaculars as work on a new show begins.

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Only a few feet of water have been drained for work in the lagoon. You can tell how low the water level has dropped by looking at stains on the rockwork and dock supports in the lagoon.

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Much of the theme park overlooks the lagoon, with nighttime spectaculars performed directly in front of the Central Park area.

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Two crew members were on the uncovered deck when we recently visited. The deck holds tech for the water effects, including water screens, of Universal Studios Florida nighttime spectaculars.

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The water spouts may just be receiving refurbishment right now before they are reprogrammed for the new show. However, the systems did sustain damage during Hurricane Ian last fall. While repairs did take place, there may be further replacements in order to get the new show up and running.

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“Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration” ended in March to make way for a new nighttime spectacular. The new spectacular will also likely be performed in the lagoon and utilize water technology.

Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration

UOR USF Cinematic Celebration

“Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration” began in 2018, replacing “Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories.” Performed in the Universal Studios Florida lagoon with dedicated viewing in the Central Park grass, it utilized fireworks, water curtains with projections, projection mapping, and over 120 fountains. It used footage from “Harry Potter” films, “Jurassic World,” “The Fast and the Furious,” “E.T.,” “Despicable Me,” “Transformers,” and more.

The show was suspended for several months in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions but returned in October of that year. In 2021, it included a preshow for the Tokyo Olympics.

Universal Orlando described the spectacular as an epic show with a colossal celebration of music, water, and light that transforms the park and “takes you into the movies like never before.”

New Universal Studios Florida Nighttime Spectacular

For now, there is no nighttime spectacular at Universal Studios Florida. A debut date or general opening timeline for the new show wasn’t announced.

No details about the new nighttime spectacular were announced either, but there have been rumors of a new show using drones. Sources stated that testing of this possible show has already begun. Drones can be used to create images in the sky, and this technology has been used before by both Disney Parks and Universal, but sparingly.

The drone theory is supported by Universal Orlando Resort recently seeking to hire a drone operations manager.

Drones would provide a solution for Universal Orlando Resort’s nighttime show problem. Because Universal Orlando Resort is in the city proper (unlike competitor Walt Disney World Resort) and surrounded by residential neighborhoods (including an apartment complex directly backed up to the property), their shows feature little to no pyrotechnics. Drones could be substituted to create the “impressive” element that many guests have complained is missing from the lagoon shows. The drones could supplement a grander show still utilizing water curtains and projection mapping.

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