Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone is now closed at Universal Studios Florida

by Tharin White

After years and years of enjoyment from families and kids, the Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone has officially closed at Universal Studios Florida.

Woody Woodpecker's KidZone

The land was officially named in 1999, the same year the Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster attraction opened in that area. Now, over 20 years later, Universal is closing this section of the park for future enhancements.

Universal Orlando announced that several attractions in the KidZone area at Universal Studios Florida would close to make way for new family entertainment experiences that will “immerse guests in the adventures of beloved animated characters.” The last date of operation for Fievel’s Playland, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, Curious George Goes to Town, DreamWorks Destination, and Shrek and Donkey’s Meet & Greet was Jan. 15, 2023.

Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster is a family-style coaster that coasts along at 22 miles per hour. This attraction was a first-ever thrill ride for many, as it proudly flew threw the land for over 20 years.

Closing Day POV Ride and Queue at Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster at Universal Studios Florida

DreamWorks Destination was a relatively new addition, opening just two years ago. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a lack of entertainment offerings at all the theme parks, so Universal Orlando debuted their solution, which proved to be popular and successful for many families. This elevated platform allowed for dance parties, social distancing, and rapid-fire character meet and greets in an air conditioned building.

DreamWorks Destination Final Day of Operation at Universal Studios Florida

Curious George Goes To Town was a large play area that featured water effects on warmer days. Some know this as a fun kids play area; others know it as the Halloween Horror Nights queue for haunted houses in the back of the park. This location had a playground, story elements, accessible play areas, two levels, a colorful landscape, occasional water-play elements, and The Ball Factory, which was an attraction all on its own with a huge offering of soft foam balls, air cannons, slides, and interactive elements that could entertain kids (and their adults) for a long, long time.

Curious George Goes to Town and Ball Factory – Full Tour on Final Day at Universal Studios Florida

This offering moved from another area of the park to Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone in 2022. Shrek’s Swamp Meet allowed guests to interact with Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey. Donkey has even occasionally gone viral online for his quick wit and sassy responses.

Shrek's Swamp Meet at Universal Orlando - Talk with Donkey and Fiona

Last, we look at Fievel’s Playland, the oversized-prop play area that anchored the entrance to Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone. This play area featured interactive elements, dry and wet slides, photo-op areas, and numerous floors to explore.

Last Day of Play at Fievel's Playland at Universal Studios Florida

For now, the E.T. Adventure, Animal Actors on Location!, SpongeBob StorePants (including meet and greets with SpongeBob SquarePants and friends), and KidZone Pizza Company will remain open. We should see demolition of the areas that were shut down over the coming months as Universal Orlando Resort prepares for the future.

Areas close, rides shut down, but memories remain. I would love to read your favorite memories in this land in our comment section down below.


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Evan Stein January 16, 2023 - 2:58 pm

I went on the Woody Woodpecker Coaster and played in the Ball House last night with my 10 year old son from 6 PM to 7 PM last night. It was our only day in the park and to be there on the closing day was an awesome experience and a memory all by itself. Importantly, as we walked past one of the pictures of Woody Woodpecker, I asked my son if he knew who he was. He said, “No.” That’s why it’s closing.

Josh January 18, 2023 - 6:00 am

I would always come to this section of the park every week, just to head straight for Shrek’s Meet and Greet and DreamWorks Destination. The main character I would go see there was King Julien. He is my favorite. I still wanted to see Alex the Lion and Gloria (when she’s there). Had fun talking with Donkey. He is another character I loved talking to. Glad King Julien is still at Islands of Adventure though.


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