Construction on a new nighttime show in the lagoon at the Universal Studios Florida has been underway for several months, but the park itself hadn’t announced many details on what was coming. Technically, it still hasn’t, but a post quickly removed from Universal’s site listed the show’s name, concept art and some of the franchises which may be featured.
Early this morning, Universal Orlando’s What’s New page featured a new addition about the show, which is called Universal’s Cinematic Celebration: Epic Cinema Under the Stars.
The info was taken down from the site within a few hours. Universal didn’t respond to requests to confirm the show’s name or any other details, and no other social media posts or press releases have followed.
Universal Studios Florida’s lagoon has played host to three shows since the park’s opening in 1990. First was the Dynamite Nights Stunt Spectacular, a live stunt show initially themed around “Miami Vice” which ran until 2000.
The lagoon then sat unused for shows until 2006, when Universal 360: A Cinesphere Spectacular opened. Utilizing four large, inflatable sphere-shaped screens, the show featured Universal films (like “Jaws” and “Back to the Future”) along with fireworks, lasers and water effects. Unlike Disney’s nighttime shows, it didn’t run every night, being shown during the park’s seasons of peak attendance and during special events until closing September 9, 2011.
The inflatable spheres were replaced in May 2012 by Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories. Meant to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Universal Pictures, this show was presented on three screens made by a curtain of water being rained down from a frame, along with more fireworks and colored lights. The displays were on barges which sat permanently in the lagoon.
Those barges were last used in September 2017, ahead of the Orlando region being hit by Hurricane Irma. The storm damaged some of the show’s equipment, and while it traditionally went dark during this time of year for Halloween Horror Nights, Universal announced October 10 the show wouldn’t be returning.
With the gap in nighttime entertainment at Universal somewhat filled by new projection shows at Hogwarts Castle in the Hogsmeade section of Islands of Adventure, crews have been working on the infrastructure for the new use of the lagoon.
In the lagoon itself, a new platform has been built similar to the large slab used in the World of Color show at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim—meaning use of water screens is very likely. By building a platform for the various pipes and nozzles needed to power the show’s effects, maintenance is much easier, as everything can be raised above water level rather than sending divers down when something needs fixing.
Adjacent to this new platform, crews have been tearing up parts of the Central Park section of Universal Studios Florida. By creating new tiered standing areas there, the new show will have a larger spot dedicated to viewing the show, instead of how its predecessors could be seen from multiple spots around the lagoon.
Despite the apparent leak from Universal, the new show still doesn’t have an opening date.