Get Ready to Explore an Epic New Universe at Universal Orlando Resort

The announcement theme park lovers have been anticipating for some time now has finally arrived: An epic new universe is on its way!

Universal Orlando Resort held a press conference this morning to unveil its plans for a fourth theme park, dubbed Epic Universe and located approximately 15 minutes down the road from the resort proper. While no details were mentioned concerning potential land themes or attractions, a press release from Universal Orlando says the new park will feature an entertainment center, hotels, shops, and restaurants. Concept art released today doesn’t reveal anything specific but provides a general feel for how the park might be configured.

 

Concept art released today by Universal Orlando Resort provides a general feel for the potential configuration of Epic Universe.

 

Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, said the investment – the “single largest” made by Comcast NBCUniversal in the realm of theme parks – “reflects the tremendous excitement we have for the future of our theme park business.” Tom Williams, the chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts, agrees.

Our vision for Epic Universe is historic. 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.

Epic Universe will be located on a 750-acre site that nearly doubles Universal Orlando’s total acreage, and not all of that space will be used for the new park, leaving room for future additions. The map below shows where the park will be situated with respect to Universal’s main property.

 

 

Rumors about the expansion began circulating last summer when it was reported that Universal Orlando had trademarked the name Fantastic Worlds. That, of course, struck a major chord with wizarding world fans; the magic word “fantastic” immediately sparked speculation that the potential new park would include an area dedicated to the Fantastic Beasts franchise. That name, however, came under fire in February, when Warner Bros. apparently deemed it a bit too close for comfort.

Despite the name change, theme park insiders continue to keep Fantastic Beasts in the conversation. But while a land themed to those films once seemed like a shoo-in, the fact that response to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was cooler than that received by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has some wondering whether Universal will shift away from the idea. Let’s hope not!

Other themes being widely mentioned for Epic Universe include Nintendo, DreamWorks (How to Train Your Dragon, Trolls, Shrek), and Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets, Sing). Many are speculating the park could include a main corridor through which guests would enter unique portals to the different lands, inspired by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort’s Diagon Alley.

Today’s press release from Universal says the vision of Epic Universe is to “create an entirely new level of experience that forever changes theme park entertainment” and “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.”

Are you as excited as we are about the announcement? Universal Orlando will, of course, be releasing more details about the park as time goes on; what do you think might be in store for Epic Universe? Let us know in the comments!

Press Release

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT ANNOUNCES AMBITIOUS NEW THEME PARK
“Universal’s Epic Universe” Will Bring Experiences Beyond Your Wildest Imagination to Life

ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug 1, 2019) – Universal Orlando Resort is building a new, fourth, theme park to be called Universal’s Epic Universe. The vision: create an entirely new level of experience that forever changes theme park entertainment.

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 new park represents the single-largest investment Comcast NBCUniversal has made in its theme park business and in Florida overall,” said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation. “It reflects the tremendous excitement we have for the future of our theme park business and for our entire company’s future in Florida.”

The new theme park will also feature an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more. It will be located within a larger 750-acre site that nearly doubles Universal’s total available acreage in Central Florida. Universal’s Epic Universe is just a few miles from the existing resort in Southwest Orange County. Specifically, it will be south of Sand Lake Road and east of Universal Boulevard.

“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.”

The new park was announced Thursday in an event attended by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Tom Williams and Brian Roberts.

“We look forward to the new level of entertainment and innovation Universal’s Epic Universe will bring to one of our state’s most important industries,” said Governor DeSantis. “We look forward to Universal’s continued contribution to our state’s economic growth and development. And we are especially grateful for Universal’s partnership in improving Shingle Creek, which plays a critical role in serving the Everglades.”

“The investment Universal is making in our community and the benefit all of us will see is substantial,” said Mayor Demings. “This will benefit nearly every segment of our economy – from tourism to high-tech.”

Mayor Demings also spotlighted Universal’s role in the Kirkman Road extension. This is a 50/50 public-private partnership in which Universal is investing $160 million to extend Kirkman into the area where the new park will be located.

“The Kirkman extension will improve transportation through a busy and growing portion of our county and open up the entire area for additional development – including an important expansion of our Convention Center,” he said.

During the announcement, Governor DeSantis, Mayor Demings and Tom Williams released information about Universal’s economic contribution to the state and local economy.

Universal Orlando currently employees 25,000 people and will hire an additional 14,000 team members as part of Epic Universe, including professional, technical, culinary and other specialized positions. The company currently contributes more than $302 million in annual state and local taxes – a number that will nearly double when the new theme park opens.

The majority of the businesses Universal relies on are either regional firms or national firms with a large regional presence. An economic impact study for Universal conducted by UCF Economic Professor Sean Snaith found that Universal Orlando’s combined direct and indirect economic benefit to the Florida economy since Universal Studios opened in 1990 is $73 billion. He also found that construction of the new park alone will contribute a total of $11.5 billion in direct and indirect economic benefit into the Florida economy.

More details about Universal’s Epic Universe will be revealed over time. For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com.

Brienne Green

I'm a passionate journalist, feeding my wizarding world obsession on MuggleNet by night, forever trying to find ways to work "Potter" references into high school sports stories by day. When not writing, I can be often be found making quiche at 2 a.m., playing Queen tunes on the piano, or talking (and talking and talking) about Sirius Black.