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Rumours fly about new Universal Orlando theme park as site prep starts

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Universal Orlando has filed paperwork to start preparatory work on the 200-hectare plot it owns on Universal Boulevard, amid speculation that the land will house a new theme park.

Permits filed with the state of Florida show that Universal Orlando is gearing up to start preparation work on the 200-hectare site that the company acquired for $130m in 2015. Universal’s attorneys have said in court filings that it plans to build a theme park on the land.

“The proposed project includes mass grading of 320 acres [129 hectares] and the construction of a stormwater management system to provide stormwater treatment and runoff attenuation for the mass-graded area,” said documents with the permit seen by the Orlando Business Journal.

Grading is part of the process of preparing land for foundational work for future structures. The plans are currently considered “interim” as a revised master plan is still in development.

In February, Universal Orlando filed plans to develop warehouses and an office building on a nearby 40-hectare plot on Sand Lake Road. It was suggested at the time that the office complex could support the development of a new park at the Universal Boulevard site.

Universal Orlando has not commented on the permit filing or what its plans for the site might be. However, a report from theme park blog Disney and more suggests the site will be used to support a new theme park featuring Super Nintendo World, a Lord of the Rings land, the Ministry of Magic from Harry Potter and a Jurassic World area.

The blog, which cites an “inside source”, claims that Super Nintendo World will feature rides based on Zelda, Mario Kart and a Donkey Kong-themed roller coaster. It also suggests Universal is in talks to include Pokémon in the land.

The theme park is expected to be ready by 2024. It would be the first new park to open in Orlando since Legoland Florida, which debuted in 2011.

In January, a blog post made on the Universal Orlando website fuelled speculation among fans after promising announcements on new rides, hotels and shows to be made in 2018.

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