Wet 'n Wild Orlando closing after nearly 40 years

Park will be replaced by Volcano Bay

ORLANDO, Fla. – Wet 'n Wild Orlando will close its doors for the final time Saturday night after almost 40 years in business.

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Even though it was a cold day on Friday, some people couldn't resist the last chance to experience one of Orlando’s first thrill ride water parks. 

The high temperature Friday afternoon was just 60 degrees; however, that didn't stop one family from going for a swim.

"End of an era I guess, and even though it's really cold, we're gonna try and go on some of the rides anyway. (We have) lots of towels and cover-ups," the mother said.

For many it's nostalgia. Wet 'n Wild has been open since 1977 and at one point was among the top 10 busiest water parks in the world 

It's now owned by Universal Studios Water Parks, which is closing the attraction to make way for a new water park called Volcano Bay, which is scheduled to open this summer.

Universal Orlando Resort President Bill Davis said about 250 Wet 'n Wild employees will transfer to other parts of Universal.

Wet 'n Wild was developed by George Millay, who also founded SeaWorld in San Diego. Walt Disney World had already opened a water park in Orlando, but Wet 'n Wild became the industry standard.

Former Disney executive Duncan Dickson said Millay's combination of waves and water slides prompted his competitors to become more creative with their subsequent water parks.

New Year's Eve is the final day the park will be open; the hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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