Hello everyone and good morning to you. I meant to talk about this on the site yesterday but figured I would more focus on the stuff related strictly to the announcement of Wrestlemania 33 coming to Orlando. That said, the Wrestlemania announcement wasn’t the only big WWE news related to Orlando that made the rounds yesterday. Attractionsmanagement.com released a story yesterday that WWE will be opening a “museum-cum-restaurant” within the Universal Studios Orlando theme park. According the article, which you can read in full here http://www.attractionsmanagement.com/detail.cfm?pagetype=detail&subject=news&codeID=322371, the restaurant portion of the place would be similar to the old WWF New York (later The World) in that there will be a retail section of the store where you can purchase merchandise from all of your favorite superstars and divas and then a restaurant with big screens playing WWE programming throughout the day. If this news wasn’t big enough, it’s the museum portion of the story that has everyone talking. Many took this to believe that this means that there will finally be a physical hall of fame for the prestigious WWE Hall of Fame.
The idea is for this new WWE attraction to open where the old NBA City location was as a part of Universal City located Adjacent to the theme park. Probably the best part of all of this is that the attraction is planning to open in March of next year. This means that the attraction will be ready for people to visit just in time for Wrestlemania in Orlando, the next month.
I for one could not be more excited as growing up WWF New York was one of my favorite locations. Nothing beat being able to head times square after a half day in middle school or high school, go wait outside of TRL hoping that Jesse Camp would give me a pound and then ending the day with lunch at WWF New York. I had celebrated almost everyone of my birthdays with the family from about 1999 to 2003 and even celebrated my junior high school graduation there with my family and a bunch of my friends. This really was the premier spot for any WWE fan as it was the only store you can walk in and buy merchandise and the restaurant was so much fun. There were always superstars stopping by and a packed house for any live airing of Raw or a pay per view. WWF New York even aired smackdown live which I thought was so cool at the time.
All of that said, I think that it would be really cool for WWE to bring back a restaurant and the idea of a physical hall of fame would be a long time coming. I remember at WWF New York there was a little section of the restaurant dedicated to past WWE artifacts, that would rotate in and out (similar to the set up at Axxess) but never a full museum, the likes of which you would see in Cooperstown for the baseball hall of fame. While, I’ve never been to NBA City, I got to chat with friend of the site and contributing writer, Metsgoon who went to the place just a few years ago and mentioned that it was very spacious. Being a theme park enthusiast, nothing sounds better then spending the day at Harry Potter World and then heading across the street to check out the Royal Rumble live at the WWE restaurant.
In closing, I’d say that before we all get so excited we should proceed a bit cautiously. WWE held a press conference live yesterday for Wrestlemania in Orlando and nothing has been officially announced by them. That said, if this is being reported by Universal Studios themselves, there’s a good chance that where there is smoke there is some sort of fire. One thing is for sure, as Stephanie McMahon said yesterday, Orlando has become the second home for World Wrestling Entertainment.