UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif.--The Universal Studios Recreation Group, the
parent of the Universal Studios theme parks here and in Orlando,
Fla., acquired the privately held Wet 'n Wild, Inc., which is based
in Arlington, Texas.
With Wet 'n Wild in Orlando, Universal now owns the
highest-attended water park in the U.S., handling more than 1
million visitors per year. Integration of Wet 'n Wild Orlando into
the Universal Studios Escape destination resort is expected to
enhance sales by tour operators and agents of on-site vacations, a
Universal spokesman said.
With Wet 'n Wild, the CityWalk (the entertainment and dining
enclave opening later this fall), the second Universal theme park
(Islands of Adventure) and new hotels, Universal officials expect
visitors to stay longer.
In addition to the Orlando facility, Wet 'n Wild operates a
water park in Las Vegas and has water parks under a franchise in
Bahia, Brazil, and Cancun, Mexico. Two more parks are planned for
Universal Studios Japan, modeled after the original park, is
slated to open in 2001. Just opened in China was Universal Studios
Experience Beijing, an indoor entertainment and retail project.
Universal also holds an interest in Port Adventura, a major theme
park in Spain.
Universal Studios Florida and Wet 'n Wild are less than a mile
away from each other, the Universal spokesman noted. Universal's
Flexticket, which has been offered for about two years, features
discounted, unlimited admissions with transportation to Universal,
Wet 'n Wild and the Sea World (Orlando) Adventure Park. The
Flexticket will be expanded during 1999 to include Universal's
Islands of Adventure theme park, the spokes-man said.