Universal to Assemble New Governing District as ‘Disney Killer’ Theme Park Moves Full Steam Ahead

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Rotating globe with the Universal Studios logo, under a clear blue sky, welcoming visitors to an adventurous theme park experience.

Credit: Universal

As Disney World continues its legal and political war with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, Universal Orlando Resort is gearing up to assemble its very own district that will come with its new ‘Disney Killer’ theme park, Epic Universe.

Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger standing together inside the Ministry of Magic
Credit: Inside The Magic

Universal Studios Constructing Fourth Park Titled Epic Universe

For those unaware, Universal Studios Florida is constructing a fourth theme park called the “Disney Killer.” It will put Universal on the official map in direct competition for guests as Universal will soon become a week-long destination for many families. The new theme park is set to open in the summer of 2025 and will feature:

  • Universal Classic Monsters Land
  • How To Train Your Dragon Land
  • An expansion to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The new theme park will feature at least five roller coasters, including a dueling coaster with two tracks. Epic Universe will also feature three new onsite resorts and a new tram system to take guests to and from the other three parks directly.

Credit: Universal’s Epic Universe

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Universal’s New Taxing District

As a direct result of Epic Universe being constructed, Universal Studios, more formally Universal Destinations and Experiences located in Orlando, will assemble a new taxing district after the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted on October 10 to create the Shingle Creek Transit & Utility Community Development District unanimously. This district will act as a special taxing district proposed by Universal Orlando Resort that will span over 700 acres and surround Epic Universe located on Destination Parkway.

According to an official report from The Street, the special district will spend over $170 million in bond proceeds to directly fund public infrastructure, including a $129 million price tag for a new SunRail station on the Sunshine Corridor connecting Orlando International Airport to the Orlando Convention Center near Epic Universe. Funds will also be used for $40 million in odor control improvements to the South Water Reclamation Facility. Epic Boulevard, which will lead guests to Epic Universe, will also facilitate $8 million for improvements.

Concept artwork for the official logo for Universal Orlando Resort's Epic Universe
Credit: Universal

Related: Guest Banned From Getting on Disney World Attraction After Unusual Discrimination

A vote will take place with County commissioners to approve this multi-million dollar project. Chief Administrative Officer of Universal Destinations & Experiences made an official statement on these matters, saying the following:

Today marks a step forward and we thank the mayor and county commissioners for approving our petition to establish a community development district that can help realize the vision for expanded SunRail connectivity from the airport to the convention center. With just a single stop and a new convention center station, we can get 125,000-plus residents to their jobs and millions of visitors to our area’s world-class attractions.

The board of supervisors for the special district comprises exclusively Universal employees, with members including Bradley Goeb, Bryan Julian, Erica Klostermeier, John Hanebrink, and Teresa Crews. This arrangement mirrors the previous board of supervisors for the Reedy Creek Improvement District, where all members were Disney employees, mirroring the composition of Universal’s special district board.

Aerial photo of Universal Orlando Resort taken by Bioreconstruct on Twitter
Credit: Bioreconstruct on Twitter

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While Epic Universe remains under construction, the other Universal parks are open and fully operational to all guests. Currently, Halloween Horror Nights 32 is happening right now on select nights at Universal Studios Florida. Your theme park admission ticket will get you that Universal appeal through Universal Studios, Universal Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay. Not to mention, Universal Citywalk is also an excellent destination for shopping, dining, live entertainment, and so much more. Are you a Harry Potter fan? Walk through Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade while riding the Hogwarts Express or visiting Hogwarts Castle. Universal Studios Orlando Resort has it all.

For those Jurassic Park fans, visit Jurassic Park land at Islands of Adventure or ride the all-new Jurassic World Velocicoaster. Your Universal Orlando vacation will be epic and thrilling as you experience attractions like Jimmy Fallon’s Race Through New York, Marvel Super Hero Island, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures, Motorbike Adventures, and tons more. Grab a Universal Express pass to bypass those lines long lines to enjoy your favorite rides sooner.

Stay onsite at a Universal hotel or resort by staying at Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, and more. If staying on the property isn’t the right option for you or your family, stay at a  Universal partner hotel like Hilton Orlando, Fairfield Inn and Suites, and many others.

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