UPDATE: Sources have now led us to believe the replacement is a permanent haunted house. Article here.
The times they are a'changing.
Over the past few days things have seemingly moved at a rapid pace around Universal Studios Florida's Soundstage 44. For those that are unfamiliar with the Soundstage numbers, this is the building that once housed the Murder She Wrote experience, and later the Hercules and Xena show. The building has been vacant for over a decade after the Herc/Xena show finished its run.
|The old Herc/Xena Sign|
Since then it's been a vacant building in the middle of the park, and has featured the Back to the Future Delorean and train outside since their ride closed. It's also housed a haunted house for a past Halloween Horror Nights and will fill that role again this year if permits are to be believed.
|The abandoned and empty SS44. (c) 2011 The Disney Report|
But yesterday, the BttF Delorean was moved from its location, and then reports came in that the train has also been craned out. And then today, word has come that height balloons have been seen floating over the Soundstage. On top of that, Michael here at Parkscope found a permit earlier in the week for a demolition of an old building and the construction of a new one.
|Permit filed 6/11/12|
Could this be Soundstage 44? Right now it's a lot of guess work, but signs are pointing that way.
Now for some fun stuff. What could be going in the space? Well, I'm bored at work so I did a little preliminary numbers crunching, and the results are interesting to say the least. If they decided to take the Monsters Cafe with Soundstage 44, and to be honest, I don't know why they wouldn't, we would have a plot of land that is about 310 feet x 145 ft(marked in yellow), which is a plot of land bigger than Cat in the Hat and smaller than Mummy.
|The area of SS44 and Monsters Cafe|
Now, add in the sidewalk and queue area around the building (marked with red) and you get a plot of land that would be able to fit a ride the size of Transformers. Optimus Prime would look really good there, wouldn't he? And with the reopening of Cafe La Bamba, Monsters is now expendable, not that it's open all that much to begin with.
|Expanded plot area|
Again, this is all guesswork about the future for this plot, but one thing seems to be certain: Soundstage 44 is not long for this world. I'd guess that it'll be used for HHN and then tore down to make room for the next experience. Or, if Universal is really aggressive, they'll use another location for the house and will get cracking soon.
Demolition permit filed for "Building 44" which is likely Soundstage 44
Stay tuned to Parkscope for more updates as we get them, and remember to follow @Parkscope
on Twitter for up to the minute news and notes. And head to Orlando United
to discuss what could be coming.
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