When Universal announced that Universal Orlando Resort would be getting an official third gate, Epic Universe, the hype for the new park quickly began to build. Since then, a lot has gone on regarding Epic Universe — and we are going to break it down for you.
A lot has been said about Epic Universe, but not all of it is factual. Therefore, to explain all of what we know, we will need to discuss the park in two sections: one where we address confirmed information and another where we look at rumors and theories surrounding the park.
We will take a look at what attractions will be in Universal Orlando Epic Universe, speculate on what restaurants there will be in Universal Orlando Epic Universe, and finally, take a look at where Universal Orlando Epic Universe is located, relative to the other Disney parks. So if you are interested in traveling to Orlando and you love theme parks, keep reading!
The Hard Facts
Epic Universe is going to be Universal Orlando’s third gate alongside Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The property is also home to Volcano Bay water park.
Where is Universal Orlando Epic Universe located, relative to the other Disney parks?
Unlike its two sister parks, Epic Universe will not be located on the current Universal property but will find a home behind ICON Park in Orlando, Florida.
If Guests are looking to take a Disney World vacation as well as a Universal Orlando vacation in the same trip! It is totally doable. Universal’s Epic Universe is about a 13-minute drive to Walt Disney World property (give or take added time due to Orlando traffic), so you can hop from Magic Kingdom to EPCOT, to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and end your night at Universal if you so choose.
It also makes it easy for Guests choosing to stay on Walt Disney World property to call a cheap Uber to their resort so that they can visit Universal for the day! At the moment, there is no specific transport to bring Guests to both parks, however, if you are staying at an off-property resort, there are some in the Orlando area which will arrange for shuttles to go back and forth to both theme park resorts.
The park was announced to have multiple lands, which would each have their own designated sections of IP’s (intellectual property), as well as a hotel, eatery, and shopping district within each theme park’s property. Many Universal fans were very excited about its potential 2023 opening date. However, that was before the pandemic began. Now the park is set to open in 2025.
Below, take a look at all the perks you can get by staying at Universal hotels, according to the official website:
Guests of ALL Universal Orlando Resort Hotels Enjoy:
- Breeze into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and Universal’s Volcano Bay an hour earlier than other guests with Early Park Admission*. Just gotta have valid theme park admission (select attractions).
- It’s a quick hop from Universal’s hotels to the parks with free water taxis or Shuttles.
- Everything’s in walking distance. Most of Universal’s hotels and parks are connected with paths that are awesome for a nice stroll or a healthy jog. There’s even a walking path straight to Universal’s Volcano Bay from select hotels
- Keep it simple when you dine and shop by charging purchases across the Resort to your room key card.
- Want to shop without carrying your purchases around? There’s free merchandise delivery from our shops to your Universal hotel.
- If you’re so over cover charges, you’re gonna love complimentary club-to-club access** to select Universal CityWalk venues. All you need to do is show your room key to receive entry into the clubs.
- Wake up with a star. Get an exclusive Universal wake-up call each morning.
- Forget the regular lines with FREE◊ Universal Express Unlimited ride access at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure— including favorites in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, Spider-Man, Illumination’s Minions and more†. Just gotta have valid theme park admission (select attractions).
- Save time with priority seating at many Universal Orlando restaurants for guests of Premier hotels. All you gotta do is show your valid room key to the hostess.
Click here to learn more about Universal’s three amazing theme parks and Universal CityWalk.
Here is the full list of all on-property resorts:
- Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites
- Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
- Universal’s Aventura Hotel
- Loews Royal Pacific Resort
- Hard Rock Hotel
- Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
- Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
The coronavirus pandemic set off major financial hardships for the Universal theme park division. Not only did all Universal parks have to close worldwide (with some still closed), but Universal Orlando Resort — the companies biggest financial powerhouse for theme parks — has had to operate under a reduced capacity limit and was hit by a huge tourism drop. These setbacks caused Universal to hemorrhage money, which they needed to pull from somewhere — in this case, Epic Universe.
That being said, we have now reported that according to Universal, Epic Universe will resume construction! The new theme park will create 14,000 permanent jobs, as well as thousands of temporary jobs due to the help needed to construct the theme park.
The CEO of Comcast which is the parent company of NBCUniversal shared this with the Universal Orlando Blog:
“The restart of construction of Epic Universe is a terrific moment for our employees and for our theme park business in Florida,It is our single largest investment in the state and represents our enthusiasm for the spectacular park and the economic opportunities it will generate.”
This news is highly exciting because previously, Epic Universe had been put on pause indefinitely. The theme park was confirmed to be built, “at some point,” and the grounds of the land looked quite abandoned. This left some fans thinking that “some point” did not mean soon. Now, it is great news to know that the theme park will continue moving forward towards completion in 2025.
Super Nintendo World, however, has been confirmed to be one of the lands officially coming to Epic Universe.
Theories, Rumors, and the Unconfirmed
Because Epic Universe had been put on pause for so long, the silence has meant that no more confirmations about the park have been made as of late. That being said, this means we have a lot of speculation going on regarding this theme park’s possible offerings.
What attractions will be in Universal Orlando Epic Universe?
The biggest speculation and question on the mind of Universal fans is what IP’s will Universal use to fill the lands of this park. Epic Universe is to be comprised of various lands that all make up one larger park, or, an epic universe. The rumored lands are: How to Train Your Dragon, Fantastic Beasts, Universal Monsters, and the now-confirmed Super Nintendo World.
In terms of How to Train Your Dragon coming to Universal’s Epic Universe, this DreamWorks film very well may find a home in Orlando. Universal Beijing is opening in 2021 and will feature How to Train Your Dragon in the form of a show. Universal already debuted a giant Toothless puppet for the show, so duplicating what they have already created would be quite easy. We also have speculated that a new patent recently filed by Universal could be for a How to Train Your Dragon IP. There is also a roller coaster rumored to be built in this section, which would work well with a dragon-themed IP.
Fantastic Beasts being included in Epic Universe sounds like a no-brainer considering the success that has come from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Including Fantastic Beasts would allow the park to still use the Harry Potter IP, but add in another franchise that the other Universal parks do not have.
Rumors have reported that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section at Epic Universe will have two attractions: — one representing the British Ministry of Magic as we see in the Harry Potter films and the other representing the French Ministry of Magic from Fantastic Beasts. Universal has recently released a new patent for what looks to possibly by a VR broomstick attraction for the Fantastic Beasts side of the land which would allow riders to determine where the attraction takes them.
Universal Monsters is a popular IP for Universal Orlando Resort, especially during the Halloween season. Considering the cult-following that Halloween Horror Night boasts, having a year-round scare section could do very well. This section could include classic monsters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera, The Mummy, Creature From the Black Lagoon, and more! There is a dark ride rumored to take place in this area, which could be the perfect solution to a year-round haunted house.
What shows and experiences will be in Universal Orlando Epic Universe?
Although we are still awaiting show and experience details, at Universal Studios Florida, we have seen many horror-based shows come to life such as the now-extinct Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue, and the various shows at Halloween Horror Nights. It would be interesting to see something similar come to Universal’s Epic Universe in the speculated Universal Monster section!
Super Nintendo World can clearly be seen in the above site plans. Universal recently completed construction on Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Japan, although the grand opening of the land is delayed due to the pandemic. It is rumored that Donkey Kong will be featured in addition to the Mario franchise. This would make Super Nintendo World even more unique from other Universal theme parks.
After seeing some of the attractions that Japan has created such as Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge and Yoshi’s Adventure, we can see that neither are intense and are both slower moving. If Universal’s Epic Universe theme park receives similar attractions, they will likely be ones that the whole family can enjoy!
What restaurants will there be in Universal Orlando Epic Universe?
At the moment, we are not sure exactly what food options will be available at Universal’s Epic Universe. If we want to speculate, considering that we know Super Nintendo World will find a home at Universal’s Epic Universe, we can assume that there may be similar eateries in the Orlando-based land. Kinopio’s Cafe is the Toad-inspired food location for Guests, so it is possible that we will see something similar. That being said, that idea is purely speculation.
What sit-down / quick-service restaurants will be at Universal Orlando Epic Universe?
Epic Universe will also have an entire section of shopping, food locations, and hotels. Although we are waiting for specifics, from what we know, it seems that the area will be quite similar to Universal’s CityWalk. This means we may be able to see some table service restaurants and bars fill the middle section of the theme park. Again, none of this has been announced just yet.
Some have speculated that this park may also have separate entrances to each land as a whole due to the shopping center and hotel slated to be in the middle of it all. The shopping and eatery district is rumored to be free, which is why some have theorized that each land would need its own gate. Another solution to this could be wrist bands or a simple scanning option that guests would need to show or complete as they enter lands to separate those who are just attending Epic Universe for a meal vs. those who want to venture into the theme park itself.
Reasons to choose Universal Orlando Epic Universe for your vacation
After seeing the direction that Universal has been headed in with their immersive lands and attractions such as the work we have seen at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Jurassic World VelociCoaster, it is exciting to know that there will soon be an entire park with the same level of detail that Universal theme parks have started to live up to.
Plus, Guests not only will be able to stay at Epic Universe, but, you will be close to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay, as well as under 20 minutes away from Disney World, which means you can do all of Orlando’s best theme parks when you visit.
For now, we are just excited that Epic Universe can start construction again soon! Stay tuned to Inside the Magic as we continue to report on everything going on within this theme park!
Keep in mind that everything in the prior section is purely speculation and has not been confirmed by Universal officials at this time.
What rumors have you heard about Epic Universe? Let us know what you think will be coming to the theme park!
This article has been updated since it was originally published.