Epic Universe will ‘bring the park back into theme parks,’ Universal Destinations CEO says

Universal Orlando’s fourth park is set to open in 2025 with Super Nintendo World, a new Harry Potter land and more

click to enlarge Epic Universe will ‘bring the park back into theme parks,’ Universal Destinations CEO says
Image via NBC Universal
Though still two years from opening, excitement is building for Universal Orlando’s next theme park, Epic Universe.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal Destinations & Experiences CEO Mark Woodbury recently spoke at the Bank of America Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference and shared some juicy new details about the park.

Woodbury called Epic Universe “the most technologically advanced park we’ve ever done.”

“And that speaks to both the attractions themselves, the next generation of robotics drone technology, all the way through to the guest experience,” he said. “The full guest journey is really being taken to a whole new level.”

Woodbury also said the park will introduce “facial recognition, photo validation technology” and a “frictionless experience” for guests at Epic Universe and Universal’s other parks.

Construction on the 750-acre park is going full speed ahead, with theme park sleuths frequently sharing updates and aerial photos of some of the attractions being built.

Woodbury confirmed Epic Universe will have four themed lands situated around a central hub, describing that space as a “lush landscape” that will “bring the park back into theme parks.”

That central hub is part of a more traditional wheel and spoke design for theme parks. But Epic Universe appears to be getting more of a long corridor connecting the entrance to the in-park hotel with themed lands branching out on all sides.
All four lands are based on “powerful, trip-driving intellectual property,” he said. The one land already announced is Super Nintendo World — set to be larger than the ones already open in Hollywood and Japan.

That means Orlando will likely get a Mario Kart attraction, a family-friendly Yoshi ride and all the other interactive gaming trappings found in the other two parks. It’s also likely the Florida park will get a Donkey Kong section with a themed roller coaster similar to what’s opening in 2024 in Japan.

Though not yet confirmed, construction photos heavily hint as the other lands being themed after the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the How to Train Your Dragon films and classic Universal Monsters.

Orlando Park Stop and Bioreconstruct have been on top of any and all updates regarding Epic Universe — from construction photos to permits and patents.

In a Sept. 6 post, Orlando Park Stop’s Alicia Stella broke down some recent construction photos that included glimpses at the Donkey Kong-themed roller coaster, possible Frankenstein and The Wolf Man theming in the “Dark Universe” land and the in-park resort hotel.

So far, Universal fans have speculated that there will be at least one roller coaster in each land, plus restaurants, quick dining options and plenty of shops. Plus the central hub looks to be getting a massive non-IP dueling coaster, according to construction photos.

In the How to Train Your Dragon land, photos continue to point to a recreation of the films’ Isle of Berk, a mythical village inhabited by Vikings and dragons. Two towering statues of a Viking and a dragon were recently unveiled after a bright and bold paint job.

In the reportedly new Wizarding World of Harry Potter area, construction photos hint at theming based on Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them, specifically The Crimes of Grindelwald’s Paris setting.

Woodbury said the goal of Epic Universe’s new tech and immersiveness is to get people to enjoy a full week vacation just at Universal.

“That became an opportunity for us to look at, how do we expand visitation to the Orlando market that would garner us a full week vacation?” he said. “Right now, we get a good three days.”

For Epic Universe, the company is adding 2,000 more hotel rooms, including the new resort that is being built inside the park. With those additions, Universal Orlando will eventually have 11,000 hotel rooms across both campuses.

Woodbury said there will also be a fleet of electric buses to transport guests the 3 miles from the “North Campus” of Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay to Epic Universe.

Universal announced Epic Universe back in August 2019, but construction was paused in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction restarted in March 2021.

Subscribe to Orlando Weekly newsletters.

Follow us: Apple News | Google News | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Or sign up for our RSS Feed
Scroll to read more Things to Do articles


Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.