While Disney Dawdles, Universal Announces Opening Date for Another New Theme Park

in Disney, Disney Parks, Theme Parks, Universal Studios

A side-by-side image featuring the vibrant Epic Universe amusement park at night on the left, and Mickey Mouse dressed in a tuxedo on the right, positioned as if hosting or presenting.

Credit: Inside The Magic

While the Walt Disney Company works behind the scenes creating plans for the Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort, its main theme park rival, Universal Studios, has been cranking out new parks.

Universal Studios Orlando gave guests a sneak peek at its SUPER NINTENDO WORLD at Epic Universe this week. The new Universal Park is scheduled to open in the Summer of 2025, but with every passing day, it appears that the Universal Creative team aims to open the theme park early.

A vibrant scene from Super Nintendo World featuring a sprawling, colorful Mario-themed park with areas such as Bowser's Castle and Donkey Kong's Treehouse, and Donkey Kong holding a barrel in the
Credit: Inside The Magic

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Epic Universe will be Universal Studios Orlando‘s fourth theme park. It will include a Dark Universe, Harry Potter Ministry of Magic, Celestial Park, How to Train Your Dragon, and SUPER NINTENDO WORLD. The park will also include a massive hotel, restaurant, and shopping complex.

With the opening of Epic Universe, the Universal Orlando Resort hopes to close the gap between itself and the Walt Disney World Resort. With very few confirmed projects coming, it appears that Disney World is starting to fall behind its cross-town rival.

However, Comcast NBCUniversal has even bigger plans to take down the Walt Disney Company, and those plans start by expanding its brand across the country, not just Central Florida and Southern California.

Universal Orlando Resort Celestial Park concept artwork.
Credit: Universal’s Celestial Park

Related: Court Case Further Delays Disney World’s Expansion Plans

Universal is expanding its brand into Texas with the Universal Kids Resort, a new type of resort that will cater specifically to young children and their families.

Much like the work that continues at Universal Epic Universe, the Universal Kids Resort has an opening date, and it’s ahead of schedule. Rumors started floating that the Universal Kids Park will open in Frisco, Texas, on May 15, 2026.

In a stroke of marketing genius, the area schools are let out for summer vacation a week after the opening of the Universal Kids Resort.

The Universal Kids Resort is a smaller-scale theme park with rides and attractions based on Trolls, Shrek, Jurassic World, Minions, and Spongebob Squarepants.

The Theme Park Competition

Universal Studios will open two new gates in America within the next two years, including one in the uncharted territory of Texas. Meanwhile, Disney has project plans and blue sky projects for somewhere down the road.

Shortly after Disney’s shareholders meeting in April, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that the company had been “aware” of Epic Universe for over a decade but had not laid out any concrete plans for Disney to compete with its Central Florida rival.

Given the pace of the EPCOT transformation, any project that Disney announces in the near future will not be ready until 2027 at the earliest. By that time, Universal may have surpassed Disney World as the most visited theme park in the world.

Iger has a chance this week to announce some major projects coming to Disney World and Disneyland in the company’s quarterly earnings report. It’s time for Disney to start spending some of that $60 billion that was promised over the next decade.

With Universal Studios closing in nationwide, Disney has no choice but to build.

What do you think of Universal Studios’ new theme parks and Disney doing nothing to respond? 

in Disney, Disney Parks, Theme Parks, Universal Studios

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