Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (2024)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (1)

From atop the Wet n’ Wild ride The Surge, George Millay founder of Wet ‘n Wild and SeaWorld talks about his life, it is the subject of a new book by Tim O’Brien, Orlando, Friday, November 19, 2004.

(Roberto Gonzalez / Orlando Sentinel)

Orlando Sentinel

  • Share

Share via

  • Email
  • Facebook
  • X
  • LinkedIn
  • Threads
  • Reddit
  • WhatsApp
  • Copy Link URLCopied!
  • Print

Universal Orlando closed Wet ‘n Wild on International Drive in December 2016. The park opened in 1977.

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (2)

A construction worker pours concrete on a slide at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on March 29, 1977. (Tom Kennedy, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (3)

People enjoy the Lazy River at Wet ‘n Wild on April 16, 1987. (Judy Watson Tracy, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (4)

Construction is uderway on the $1.5 million children’s water playground at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on March 4, 1991. (Wet ‘n Wild) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Advertisem*nt

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (5)

The new $1.5 million children’s water playground opens at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on July 26, 1991. (Wet ‘n Wild) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (6)

Navy sailors enjoys a ride down the Bubba Tub at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on July 27, 1992. (Gary Bogdon, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (7)

Construction workers take a break and enjoy the view atop a new flume ride at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Jan. 3, 1986. (Judy Borich, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (8)

Orlando, Fl - Rafael Gonzalez - Orlando Fl, dances along with friends as the music starts up at the 4th annual Fiesta San Juan. Wet ‘N Wild hosts its 4th annual Fiesta San Juan Saturday June 28, 2003. Activities Include food, live music, dancing and contests. The park will continue the festivities till 1 A.M. so that guests can honor the tradition of “The Night of San Juan” by taking a big splash in the water at midnight for good luck. (Larry L. Lopez / Orlando Sentinel)

Advertisem*nt

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (9)

A mountain rises in Orlando as Wet ‘n Wild takes shape along the east side of International Drive on Sept. 7, 1976. (Tom Kennedy, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (10)

Orlando, June 12, 2006-Wrist band and scanner. Wet N’ Wild is the first water park in the country to adopt the GO technology, which puts credit card info on a waterproof bracelet. (using Radio Frequency technology, like what you’d find in the automatic toll pass). It lets park patrons pay for anything by scanning their bracelet. Company says it boosts sales and customers are finding it very convenient.

(George Skene / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (11)

A $2 million expansion project nears completion at Wet ‘n Wild on International Drive in Orlando on Feb. 8, 1988. (Wet ‘n WIld) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (12)

Tourists cool off in the wave pool at Wet ‘n Wild on Spet. 21, 1990. (Gary Bogdon, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Advertisem*nt

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (13)

Kamikaze super slide is under construction at Wet ‘n Wild on Jan. 18, 1979. (Gordon Williamson, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (14)

Dutch tourists splash around Tuesday, Nov. 30 in the main pool at Wet ‘n Wild. Despite the cool weather, the tourists loved their time at the attraction.

(Frank Rivera / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (15)

Wet ‘n Wild under construction on April 6, 1984. (Orlando Sentinel file) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (16)

A youngster plunges down the Bomb Bay ride at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on May 14, 1993. (Orlando Sentinel file) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Advertisem*nt

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (17)

Park-goers enjoy the lazy river at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando in November 1985. (Orlando Sentinel file) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (18)

Participants in the 11th Annual Cardboard Boat Race paddle furiously during the competition at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando. 2 of 2. ORG XMIT: 9704270-4A (FRANK RIVERA / ORLANDO SENTINEL)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (19)

Park-goers enjoy a night-time float on the lazy river at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Aug. 14, 1992. (Orlando Sentinel file) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (20)

Guests gather around the pool at Wet N’ Wild water park.

(Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel)

Advertisem*nt

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (21)

Wet ‘n Wild revamped the Hydra Fighter ride. The changes include regulated flow of the water cannons and streamlined chairs to make it easier for riders to propel.

(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (22)

Wet ‘n Wild attraction under construction in Orlando on Feb. 22, 1977. (Bill Phillips, Orlando Sentinel) (Orlando Sentinel file / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (23)

Wet ‘n Wild has seen great crowds so far this year, partly attributable to big doings at other attractions.

(Angela Peterson / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (24)

Wet ‘N Wild visitors carry their floating tubes to the top of a ride at Wet ‘N Wild.

(Frank Rivera / Orlando Sentinel)

Advertisem*nt

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (25)

Wet ‘n Wild theme park on International Drive now owned by Universal Studios.

(ANGELA PETERSON / ORLANDO SENTINEL)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (26)

An addition to Wet ‘n Wild’s thrill-ride lineup: the Hydra Fighter now open.

(ROBERTO GONZALEZ / ORLANDO SENTINEL)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (27)

Oliver Davy, 14, visiting from Ireland, enjoys the Aqua Drag Racer ride at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (28)

Swimmers enjoy the Lazy River at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)

Advertisem*nt

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (29)

The Disco H20 ride is pictured at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (30)

Wet ’n Wild has remained one of the top 10 most visited water parks in the world. (Stephen M. Dowell/staff photographer)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (31)

Swimmers enjoy the Lazy River at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (32)

The sprawling attraction is pictured from above at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)

Advertisem*nt

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (33)

The Aqua Drag Racer ride is pictured at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (34)

The sprawling attraction is pictured from above at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (35)

Oliver Davy, 14, visiting from Ireland, enjoys the Aqua Drag Racer ride at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (36)

Surf Lagoon wave pool is pictured from above at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)

Advertisem*nt

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (37)

Tubers enjoy the Lazy River at Wet ‘n Wild in Orlando on Monday, December 19, 2016. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel) (Stephen M. Dowell / Orlando Sentinel)

More From the Los Angeles Times

  • Lifestyle

    How to have the best Sunday in L.A., according to Emma Roberts

    July 4, 2024

  • For Subscribers

    This must be Pacific Palisades

    July 2, 2024

  • For Subscribers

    Fecal fears pile up as an L.A. hiking mecca reopens — without half its bathrooms

    June 30, 2024

  • How to have the best Sunday in L.A., according to Eva Longoria

    June 28, 2024

Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years (2024)

FAQs

What happened to Wet n Wild in Orlando? ›

On June 17, 2015, it was confirmed that the park would close on December 31, 2016, to be replaced by a new water park, Universal Volcano Bay, which opened across the site on May 25, 2017. The park permanently closed on January 1, 2017, and was demolished in early 2017.

Why did Wet and Wild shut down? ›

The waterpark, which opened in 1993, was bought by Serco in 2014 after being in financial difficulties for years. It underwent a £1.1m makeover, but went into administration in 2020 when it closed permanently.

What has replaced Wet n Wild Orlando? ›

Owned and operated by Universal Destinations & Experiences, Volcano Bay replaced Wet 'n Wild as Universal Orlando Resort's only water park, and it was the first water park constructed by Universal Creative. Water is life. Life is joy. At the center of the park is "Krakatau", a 200-foot-tall (61 m) volcano.

What is the new name of Wet N Wild Orlando? ›

History. The name was first used for a water park when SeaWorld founder George Millay opened his first water park Wet 'n Wild Orlando in Orlando, Florida in 1977. Wet 'n Wild in Orlando, however, closed permanently on December 31, 2016, and was replaced by Volcano Bay.

What is the abandoned Disney World waterpark? ›

In 2005, Disney officially announced that River Country would remain closed permanently, and removed the entrance water tower. For the next 17 years, River Country sat abandoned, rotting and gradually being reclaimed by nature.

What is wet and wild now called? ›

Raging Waters Sydney, formerly Wet'n'Wild Sydney, is a water park in the greater western Sydney suburb of Prospect, New South Wales, Australia, that opened on 12 December 2013.

Why did Wet and Wild get abandoned? ›

Wet 'n' Wild was a major employer in the area and a beloved destination for families throughout the North East of England. Serco Leisure, the park's final operator, cited declining visitor numbers outside of school holidays and weekends as a primary reason for its closure.

Who bought wet and wild Orlando? ›

In 1998, Millay retired and sold his 10 Wet 'n Wild waterparks around the world to various companies. Wet 'n Wild Orlando was purchased by Universal Orlando Resort. Under Universal's ownership, the park continued to add cutting-edge rides and push the envelope.

Where was the original Wet n Wild? ›

It was built on the Las Vegas Strip, between the Sahara and El Rancho hotel-casinos. Wet 'n Wild opened on May 18, 1985, after $14 million was spent on construction. The park included three turbine engines capable of creating rolling four-foot waves in a 170-foot pool.

Does the Jaws ride still exist? ›

Ride Details

Jaws is permanently closed. Jaws is a former ride attraction at Universal Studios Florida that opened on June 7, 1990 in the San Francisco section of the theme park, based on the 1975 film of the same name.

Why did Jaws ride close? ›

In 2012, the attraction was removed from the Florida theme park to make room for the second phase of expansion for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The former entrance to Jaws at Universal Studios Florida, which was a popular photo spot in the park.

Why did Universal get rid of jaws? ›

The first hints that Jaws may be in trouble came in 2004 and 2005, when the ride was closed after a series of hurricanes battered Florida, leading first to a shortage of, followed by rising prices for, the petroleum gas that was needed for the ride's pyrotechnic effects.

What brand owns Wet N Wild? ›

Six years later, Markwins launched its very first brands: The Color Workshop and The Color Institute. Building off the success of its initial launches, the company acquired AM Cosmetics in 2003—along with its iconic brands, Wet n Wild and Black Radiance.

What is the newest theme park in Orlando? ›

When it opens, it'll double the size of the Universal Orlando Resort! Universal Orlando Resort is opening a new, fourth theme park, called Universal's Epic Universe. The center of Epic Universe will be Celestial Park, which will offer portals to four different themed lands.

Why did Wet n Wild close in Orlando? ›

On June 17, 2015, it was confirmed that the park would close on December 31, 2016, to be replaced by a new water park, Universal's Volcano Bay. Universal Orlando Resort President Bill Davis reported that the 250 Wet 'n Wild employees would be transferred to other parts of the Universal Orlando Resort.

Is Wet and Wild, Florida still open? ›

officially closed they closed a while back. There are many other water parks you can go to at Disney, Universal, SeaWorld and enjoy yourself. Don't bring valuables into the park leave them in the car hidden.

Why did Wild Waters Florida close? ›

Once the state took over, downgrades in service and entertainment were imminent. In 2016, Wild Waters permanently closed. State officials cited financial reasons for the closing. The state wanted to return the property to a more natural environment, with less focus on man-made attractions.

What did they change wet and wild to? ›

The new partnership plans to operate both parks under the Cowabunga brand. Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas will re-open as Cowabunga Canyon while Cowabunga Bay will maintain its name when the two waterparks open for the 2022 season.

Did Wet N Wild get bought out? ›

CNL Lifestyle Properties' ownership of the Wet'n'Wild brand in the United States led them to branding their recently acquired California water park as Wet'n'Wild Palm Springs, and their SplashTown Houston park as Wet'n'Wild SplashTown.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kieth Sipes

Last Updated:

Views: 6276

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kieth Sipes

Birthday: 2001-04-14

Address: Suite 492 62479 Champlin Loop, South Catrice, MS 57271

Phone: +9663362133320

Job: District Sales Analyst

Hobby: Digital arts, Dance, Ghost hunting, Worldbuilding, Kayaking, Table tennis, 3D printing

Introduction: My name is Kieth Sipes, I am a zany, rich, courageous, powerful, faithful, jolly, excited person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.