Beware! The monsters are coming at Universal’s Epic Universe

(3) Darkmoor Village Entrance
1 ride has new technology where you can feel monsters breathing.

Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights wins over fans for being creepy, and sometimes downright terrifying.

You can expect the same sort of immersive dark vibe in the monster-themed land at Epic Universe. Universal’s new theme park in Orlando opens in 2025 with five lands.

Universal released new details for the Dark Universe land as the countdown ticks away to next year’s opening.

Dr. Victoria Frankenstein is the star in Monsters Unchained: The Frankenstein Experiment, which Universal Creative billed as “one of the scariest rides that we’ve created.”

Appearing in the ride are the monsters that Dr. Frankenstein is trying to control in the catacombs of her manor: the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Brides of Dracula and others, Universal said. The ride was built with “the most technologically advanced animated figures that have ever been built,” Universal Creative said, teasing that some technology was invented especially for this attraction.

“Imagine what could happen in a monster’s ride with this sense of touch, you’ll literally be able to feel characters breathing,” said Gregory Hall, assistant director of creative design with Universal Creative. Hall appeared in a promotional video with nearly 8,000 views in the first hour after Universal released it Thursday.

The second ride is Curse of the Werewolf, a family-friendly spinning coaster set in the woods.

“There are layers of intenseness, of scariness in Dark Universe,” said Frances Franceschi, a production designer at Universal Creative. “We kind of toe that line of being family-friendly, but we can also be PG-13.”

Visitors are encouraged to play along in this spooky world at Darkmoor Monster Makeup Experience. They can get their own tattoos and face paint to walk around with free-roaming monsters.

A meet-and-greet with monsters, including Dr. Victoria Frankenstein and Ygor, will be available.

Vampires are in charge of the menu at Das Stakehaus, a restaurant selling burgers, wings, bratwurst, pretzels and specialty beverages.

A second restaurant themed to the original Frankenstein called De Lacey’s Cottage will sell cinnamon bread, ice cream and more.

Tying in the land will be the focal point at the entrance, a foreboding spire “crackling with electricity,” according to Universal.

“Getting to go into the dark universe, and being able to be in a world in which those monsters are real is something that I have been looking forward to since I started with Epic Universe,” said Patrick Braillard, a Universal Creative senior show writer.

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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