A Universal Orlando official announced Wednesday that Wet 'n Wild will be closed for good come 2016, and there are already plans to open up a new water park called Volcano Bay in its place.
The amusement park opened in Florida in 1977, and has been owned by Universal since 1998. It is considered to be one of the first water parks ever to be built in the United States.
"After almost 40 years, Wet 'n' Wild Orlando will be permanently closing on December 31, 2016. Check out the Universal Orlando Resort blog for a thank you to our fans for all of the countless memories," a post on the Wet 'n Wild Facebook page said.
Volcano Bay will open in 2017 as the "resort's third incredibly immersive park," according to a Universal Orlando news release. Volcano Bay is being constructed on 53 acres near the theme park's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Florida Today reported.
Wet 'n Wild was the 10th-busiest water park in the world in 2014, according to estimates in a global report from the Themed Entertainment Association. It attracted about 1.3 million guests last year, the report stated.
"Wet 'n Wild Orlando has been a place where guests have created wonderful memories," Universal Orlando spokesman Tom Schroder said. "As America's first water park, Wet 'n Wild has been the birthplace of numerous innovations that are now considered a common part of the water park experience."
The space where Wet 'n Wild is located could ultimately become new hotel space, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
There will job opportunites for Wet 'n Wild employees at Volcano Bay and across Universal Orlando, Schoder said.
"It's our hope they will take on new roles across our destination," he said.