Friday, August 2, 2019

Universal Orlando's Big Reveal: New Universal's Epic Universe Theme Park

© Universal Orlando
Universal Orlando has made their must anticipated, giant announcement: a brand new theme park is coming to Orlando named Universal's Epic Universe.  The resort counts the park as their 4th, since they include Volcano Bay as a full theme park, joining Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.  As expected Epic Universe will be located in the new land that Universal has acquired, a 750 acre plot that effectively doubles the amount of land that Universal has in the area.

Universal released this map that shows where Epic Universe will be located, it's just maybe a ten minute ride down from where the current parks are located.  Also of note is that their latest hotel, Universal's Endless Summer Resort, is located right between both sets of parks.

© Universal Orlando
The new park is based around a single vision,  to "create an entirely new level of experience that forever changes theme park entertainment."  The theme park will include an "entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more" in addition to plenty of rides and attractions.  Not a ton of details about the actual park were released, but the company describes that "Universal’s Epic Universe will take guests on a journey where beloved stories expand into vibrant lands – and where that journey is as much a part of their adventure as the ultimate destination."

“Our vision for Epic Universe is historic,” said Tom Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts.  “It will build on everything we have done and become the most immersive and innovative theme park we have ever created.  It is an investment in our business, our industry, our team members and our community.”

© Universal Orlando
This is the only piece of concept art released with the announcement, and there is plenty of detail to dig through if you zoom in.  The park features a large center area that probably contains the entertainment, shopping and dining that is mentioned in Universal's description, with four lands (or worlds, perhaps universes?) extending out from that.  Plus, what looks like several plots for future development.  There's also an obvious hotel located right alongside the them park opposite the entrance area.

So what themes are included in the park?  Well, according to Orlando Parkstop going clockwise from the entrance (lower left of the art) there is Nintendo, a classic Universal monster land, a city-looking area themed to Fantastic Beasts and then a How to Train Your Dragon area.  These themes match rumors that have swirled for months, but of course they're still just rumors until Universal says so.  The areas are expected to each be super immersive, with only a single entrance/exit that hides all the land has to offer (think Diagon Alley).

Also of note is what looks like a large dueling roller coaster just North of the How to Train Your Dragon area, which looks like a Dueling Dragons inspired attraction.

We all want more detail, but we shall have to wait until Universal releases it for sure.  An opening year wasn't even announced, so there's a lot more news to come.  I for one can't wait to learn more about Epic Universe!