Universal Studios closing KidZone attractions, keeping E.T. ride

Universal Studios will close five attractions in its KidZone area in January, Universal Orlando announced Tuesday evening. But the long-standing E.T. Adventure ride will remain in operation, the resort confirmed.

Going away will be Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, Fievel’s Playland, Curious George Goes to Town, DreamWorks Destination and Shrek and Donkey’s Meet & Greet. Their last day of operation will be Jan. 15.

The Woody ride is a junior coaster built in 1999. The Fievel and Curious George areas are playground with water elements. DreamWorks Destination was opened as an indoor character interaction in the building that was formerly home to “A Day in the Park With Barney,” a children’s show featuring a purple dinosaur. Shrek and Donkey’s Meet & Greet was relocated from its previous spot near Shrek 4-D, which closed early this year.

Construction walls surround the Shrek 4-D site and the neighboring block that contained Monsters Cafe. Universal has not announced what will be placed there.

In addition to the E.T. ride, “Animal Actors on Location,” SpongeBob StorePants (including its meet-and-greets) and KidZone Pizza Company will remain open in the affected area. E.T. Adventure is the last original ride from the park’s opening in 1990.

Universal did not give details about the KidZone replacements.

It is working on “bringing exciting new family entertainment to Universal Studios Florida that will immerse guests in the adventures of beloved animated characters,” a news release said Tuesday night. More news about the experiences will be announced “in the months ahead,” the release said.

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