A Universal Orlando official announced that Wet 'n Wild will be closed by the end of next year. America’s first water park; Wet ’n Wild opened in 1977 and it has been owned by Universal since 1998. The company was leasing the land until 2013, when it purchased Wet 'n Wild's 50-plus acres for $30.9 million.
The announcement comes less than a month after Universal announced it is building a new water park called Volcano Bay near the Cabana Bay Beach resort. That water park is expected to open in 2017.
Wet 'n Wild was the 10th-busiest water park in the world in 2014, according to estimates in a global report from the Themed Entertainment Association. It attracted about 1.3 million guests last year, according to the report.
"After almost 40 years, Wet 'n' Wild Orlando will be permanently closing on December 31, 2016. Check out the Universal Orlando Resort blog for a thank you to our fans for all of the countless memories," a post on the Wet 'n Wild Facebook page said.
The space where Wet 'n Wild is located could ultimately become new hotel space, the Orlando Sentinel reported.