- Universal Orlando Resorts on Thursday announced that a fourth theme park would be coming to its Orlando, Florida, location.
- Called Universal’s Epic Universe, the new park will be located within a larger 750-acre site and will feature a few new areas based on “beloved stories,” the company says.
- The park’s site is a few miles south of Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
- A representative for Universal Orlando told INSIDER there’s no set opening date for Epic Adventure yet.
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A new theme park is coming to Universal Orlando Resort.
Universal’s Epic Universe was announced Thursday morning at the Orange County Convention Center during a press conference in Orlando, Florida. The new park, on which construction has already begun, will transport guests to several new lands based on “beloved stories,” the company says.
“Our vision for Epic Universe is historic,” Universal parks and resorts’ CEO, Tom Williams, said in a statement to INSIDER. “It will build on everything we have done and become the most immersive and innovative theme park we have ever created.”
Epic Universe joins Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay as Universal Orlando Resort’s fourth theme park. Volcano Bay, a water park that is the most recent addition to Universal Orlando, opened in 2017.
The new park will be located inside a larger 750-acre site set to feature an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more. The park’s layout consists of a hub-and-spoke design that can be seen in the concept art below.
“Our new park represents the single-largest investment Comcast NBCUniversal has made in its theme-park business and in Florida overall,” Comcast Corporation CEO Brian L. Roberts said in a statement.
“It reflects the tremendous excitement we have for the future of our theme-park business and for our entire company’s future in Florida,” he added.
Epic Universe will not be next door to Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Instead, its site is a few miles away from Universal’s CityWalk. If you’re familiar with the area, it will be located south of Sand Lake Road and east of Universal Boulevard.
Universal Orlando didn’t announce what any of the themed lands inside Epic Universe would be at this time. It’s believed the new park may be home to the Nintendo character Mario and include inspiration from NBCUniversal brands such as DreamWorks Animation. It will probably also extend Universal’s “Harry Potter” experience.
According to Themeparkinsider.com, Universal unveiled a different park name to Comcast employees late last year, called Fantastic Worlds. That matches a trademark application filed by Universal in June 2018 for the same name.
What happened? Warner Bros., which has the rights to the “Harry Potter” franchise, opposed the filing. Though WB licenses “Harry Potter” for use in Universal’s theme parks, the company owns the trademarks for the “Harry Potter” brands “Fantastic Beasts” and the Wizarding World. A combination of the words “fantastic” and “world” might have made fans think the new park were themed solely around Potter.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios have become increasingly popular since the addition of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter rides and themed areas in 2010.
In June, a new Potter ride, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, opened at Islands of Adventure. The attraction is so popular fans have been waiting hours on end to experience it. It would be surprising if Epic Universe didn’t have an extension of the brand as well.
If you look closely at the Epic Universe concept art, an area toward the back of the park appears to have similar architecture to that of the Potter setting of Hogsmeade. With the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise in full swing, an adaptation of something from the newer films seems like a reasonable addition.
Universal recently opened the 750-room Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, one of two new value hotel properties. The second, Dockside hotel, is scheduled to open in March and have 2,050 rooms.
The Epic Universe announcement comes a few weeks before the opening of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge themed area at Walt Disney World. Disney has four theme parks and two water parks in Orlando.
A representative for Universal Orlando Resorts told INSIDER there’s no set opening date yet for Epic Universe.
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