‘Changes everything’: Universal reveals Epic Universe details
Epic Universe

We finally get a good look at Epic Universe. Here's what Universal Orlando's new theme park will look like when it opens in 2025.

Since Universal first announced in 2019 it was building a new theme park in Orlando, the theme park operator has remained relatively quiet on its massive multibillion-dollar project. What rides would there be at Epic Universe? Or the lands? What will Epic Universe look like when it opens in 2025?

Universal is finally going on the record, releasing new images that give fans a sense of what the park will feel like and confirming it will have more than 50 attractions.

“It’s everything I expected and yet I’m still overwhelmed. It’s breathtaking,” said Alicia Stella, a theme park journalist who has regularly covered Epic Universe details gleaned from permits and filings on her Orlando ParkStop blog. “We’ve seen construction photos, but we’ve never seen what these things will actually look like, and they’re really incredible. The highest level of theming.”

The lands — Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Super Nintendo World, How to Train Your Dragon and monster-filled Dark Universe — will be built around “Celestial Park,” the “gateway to the new Epic Universe.”

“Epic Universe represents a tremendous addition, almost doubling the size of Universal Orlando Resort,” said Mark Woodbury, Chairman and CEO of Universal Destinations and Experiences. “Epic Universe changes everything you thought you knew about Universal Orlando Resort.”

Entering Epic Universe, visitors will go through Celestial Park, which will have “acres of rolling gardens,” waterways and “strolling pathways,” Universal said. The atmosphere will have architecture with “mythological elements.” Celestial Park has attractions of its own, with a dueling roller coaster called Starfall Racers, a constellation-inspired carousel and dancing water fountains splash pad.

“Celestial Park puts the ‘park’ back in ‘theme park,'” Universal said, teasing a dueling roller coaster in a video that showed a digital “fly-through” of what the new park looks like.

Celestial Park impressed Stella.

“Focusing on Celestial Park — an original, non-intellectual property land for a new theme park in this day and age is kind of unprecedented,” she said.

From there, Epic Universe’s four other lands are based on some of the company’s popular IP.

Super Nintendo World will give fans a new way to play with Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Donkey Kong, Universal said.

Wizarding World is set at the Ministry of Magic, blending together the Fantastic Beasts films with the original Harry Potter series.

At How to Train Your Dragon — Isle of Berk, “guests can soar with dragons in a colorful world filled with Viking adventures,” Universal said.

The Dark Universe plays off Universal’s classic monsters and will feature “Dr. Victoria Frankenstein to the shadowy landscape where monsters roam in a world of myth and mystery.”

“Epic Universe will present a level of theme park immersion and innovation that is unmatched — transporting guests to expansive worlds featuring more than 50 awe-inspiring attraction, entertainment, dining and shopping experiences that come together to create an unforgettable adventure that is nothing short of epic,” the park said in a press release.

Epic Universe is meant to draw tourists to stay for a whole week at Universal, fueling the intense theme park race between its competitor, Disney World. Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is the most popular theme park in the world.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


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