Construction of Universal Orlando Resort’s newest and most-anticipated theme park, Epic Universe, has officially been paused until further notice.
The news was confirmed by Orlando Sentinel reporter Gabrielle Russon who tweeted:
“Comcast earnings today: Mention of company’s decision to pause Epic Universe construction in Orlando until ‘the future is more certain.’ Early in earnings call, no word of when work will resume.”
Comcast earnings today: Mention of company's decision to pause Epic Universe construction in Orlando until "the future is more certain." Early in earnings call, no word of when work will resume. @orlandosentinel
— Gabrielle Russon (@GabrielleRusson) July 30, 2020
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Universal theme park revenue fell 94% in the second quarter due to the pandemic-induced closures. That is a quarterly revenue of $87 million.
Epic Universe has been set to cover 750 acres in size, was rumored to be including wonderful new lands themed after the Harry Potter spin-off series, Fantastic Beasts, and was confirmed to be getting its own Super Nintendo World. Universal ran into trouble in April, reportedly pausing construction back then. But we at Inside the Magic reported that construction hopes seemed to be revived in early July when Orange County, Florida agreed to give Universal up to $5 million in credit towards its construction costs.
NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said for theme parks, the pandemic’s “financial impact has been most significant and immediate and the operational challenge the most daunting” for the company.
“The road back will be gradual and bumpy, but I’m confident this business will return to its historical levels of financial performance,” Shell said during a Thursday call with investors.
Executives acknowledged and agreed that it was better financially to operate with significantly reduced crowds than to remain completely closed. But the low revenue has still forced the theme park moguls to lay off team members even after reopening at Universal Orlando.
On the side of the theme park Guests, Shell acknowledged that experience feedback has been positive on record levels despite reduced crowds and new safety guidelines.
This news also comes after it was revealed that 115 people were injured and one paralyzed on a water slide at Universal’s water park, Volcano Bay.
There was no word mentioned about the opening day for Universal Orlando’s upcoming roller coast at its Jurrasic Park area, nor was there any word regarding Universal’s upcoming theme park in Beijing.
Were you looking forward to Epic Universe? When do you think construction at Universal Orlando will be completed? Let us know in the comments!