It is important for guests visiting Universal Orlando Resort to know which rides and attractions are closed for refurbishment or for another reason to avoid disappointment. It can be difficult to keep up to date with the changing schedules so we are collating the current list of refurbishments planned for Universal Orlando Resort during September and beyond. 

Many Universal fans are no doubt still coming to terms with the permanent closure of the iconic opening day attraction, Poseidon’s Fury which shuttered on May 10. Due to continued work being done on the former KidZone area which is now confirmed as becoming Dreamworks land in 2024, The E.T Adventure continues to have a temporary entrance. 

Last month we saw the popular roller coaster, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios Florida being closed for a short refurbishment.

This month we should see the return of a popular nighttime offering which has been temporarily paused since the end of last fall and Universal confirms a number of temporary closures coming up in the next few months. We are including dates where possible for refurbishments and closures but these are subject to change. We will keep you informed of any changes on our news and Facebook page. 

 1. Hogwarts Express (Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure)
Image: Theme Park TouristStatus: Confirmed

Dates: 10–16 December 2023

The Hogwarts Express has now appeared on the official Universal website refurbishment list for both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure for a short downtime 10–16 December 2023. We assume as it is planned in the diary that it is for scheduled maintenance and should reopen as expected.

Since the Hogwarts Express was closed back in January when the pull cable snapped and Universal had to wait for a replacement part, the attraction appears to have been running smoothly which has been great to see. We will update you with further news if this scheduled downtime is extended but that currently isn’t expected so guests can assume that the Hogwarts Express will reopen on December 17.

2. Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)
Image: UniversalStatus: Confirmed

Dates: 5 February–8 March 2024

Universal has now confirmed the annual refurbishment schedule for Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges which is currently set to take place at the usual time towards the beginning of the year between 5 February–8 March 2024.

Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges is a popular river rapids ride like none before when you travel along with Popeye into the depths of cartoon adventure. Tangled octopii, leaky pipes, and a few surprising twists await those brave enough to face the rapids.

3. Nighttime Lights At Hogwarts Castle (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)
Image: Touring PlansStatus: Confirmed

Dates: Now – TBC

The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle are still currently listed as “temporarily closed” on the official Universal Orlando website. 

Usually, on selected nights, against the backdrop of Hogwarts, projections celebrate the four houses through lights and music. We are currently unsure when this nighttime offering will return but will update you when further details are announced. We will update you when this becomes available again.

4. Parts of KidZone (Universal Studios Florida)
Image: UniversalStatus: Confirmed

Dates: January 15, 2023 – TBA 

Construction walls were erected in mid-April meaning that The E.T Adventure has currently got a temporary entrance with guests being rerouted through the pre-show room to access the attraction meaning there is currently no pre-show and the exit shop has also been closed. We will update you on this when further details are announced.

A number of attractions in the KidZone area of Universal Studios Florida have been closed since January 15, 2023. This decision was made in order to be able to bring exciting new family entertainment to immerse guests in beloved animated characters.

The attractions that are now closed include Fievel’s Playland, the Woody Woodpecker family coaster, Curious George wet and dry play areas, DreamWorks Destination and Meet Shrek & Donkey. 

The E.T. Adventure, Animal Actors on Location!, SpongeBob StorePants – including meet and greets with SpongeBob SquarePants and friends and the KidZone Pizza Company will remain open.

In August, Universal officially announced details of the new land coming to Universal Studios Florida to replace the former KidZone area, Dreamworks Land. To check out everything this new land will offer, head to our news article, Universal’s Immersive New Land is Set to Open in 2024 With a Roller Coaster, Character Experiences and More.

5. Dark Arts At Hogwarts Castle (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)
Image: UniversalStatus: Confirmed

Dates: November 1, 2022 – September 14, 2023 TBA

Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle had its last show of the season on October 31, 2022 and is set to return to Universal’s Islands of Adventure on September 15, 2023 where it states on the official Universal Orlando website that it will be performed “Select Nights in Fall”. We assume therefore as in previous years that it will run on select nights until October 31, 2023.

Located in Hogsmeade in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle combines lights and music in an exciting spectacle where images of Death Eaters and Dementors alongside Lord Voldemort cloak the stone walls of Hogwarts Castle as darkness falls.

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