- Universal Orlando Resort is opening a new, fourth theme park, called Universal’s Epic Universe.
- The expansion will double the size of the original theme park, making way for new themed lands and attractions.
- In this article, you’ll learn: what the plans are for Universal’s Epic Universe, what the Epic Universe park map looks like, when Epic Universe is expected to open and what rides and attractions have been announced.
Families traveling to central Florida have no shortage when it comes to exciting theme park news, whether it’s the debut of the new Magic Band+ and the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster at Walt Disney World, the opening of a Peppa Pig Theme Park for the littles or the announcement that Legoland Florida Resort is the first amusement park in the state to earn the designation of certified autism center from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards.
But for fans of thrills, there’s something brewing on the Florida horizon that has anticipation levels at an all-time high: the opening of an all-new, fourth theme park at Universal Orlando Resort, called Universal’s Epic Universe.
“Our vision for Epic Universe is historic,” Tom Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts, said in a statement to Good Housekeeping. “It will build on everything we have done and become the most immersive and innovative theme park we have ever created.”
So, what’s going to be included in Epic Universe, and when can they take my money so I can go on all the rides?
The opening date for Universal’s Epic Universe is still a few years off.
Like everything else, you can blame this on COVID-19. Universal had to pause construction in July 2020 due to the pandemic. Work resumed in March 2021, but it still needed time to ramp back up to full speed, since they had to re-staff all the projects again.
So understandably, Universal has yet to announce a firm opening date. But it’s a good bet it won’t be that far off: Some accounts say that, during a 2021 Q4 earnings call with Comcast, executives reported that work was “full steam ahead” that Epic Universe was on track for an opening date of summer 2025.
What will the Epic Universe park map look like?
So, far, Universal has only released a rendering of what the park could possibly look like.
As you can see, it’s not that specific. No rides or lands are labeled. We do know, however, that it’ll be located in Sand Lake Road and east of Universal Boulevard. For those who don’t know the area, that means it’s just a short drive south from where Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure are located now — presumably just a quick shuttle-bus ride away.
We also know it’s going to be massive. Epic Universe is going to be 750 acres, which actually doubles the size of Universal. Universal has said that the land will also include an entertainment center, hotels, shops and restaurants, and there’s certainly enough room for it all.
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Epic Universe’s rides are still under wraps.
Again, no formal announcements have been made yet. It makes sense, since things are still under construction, and plans can certainly change. But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been any educated guesses.
There’s good money on Epic Universe including a Super Nintendo World, since a Super Nintendo World is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood in early 2023. The big draw there is a ride called Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, and it certainly looks like there should be more of those in the world.
And that’s not the only guess floating around for what could end up in Epic Universe. Rumors abound, including speculation that there will be rides or themed areas centered around Universal’s classic monsters, more Harry Potter (possibly the Ministry of Magic), How to Train Your Dragon, Star Trek, Donkey Kong or even Lord of the Rings (though that rumor seems to be losing steam for Epic Universe, and gaining ground for Islands of Adventure). But how much of that is based on real facts and how much is just wishful thinking remains to be seen, since so far the park has kept mum. One thing’s for sure: It’ll be exciting to keep track of the developments as construction gains ground.
Marisa (she/her) has covered all things parenting, from the postpartum period through the empty nest, for Good Housekeeping since 2018; she previously wrote about parents and families at Parents and Working Mother. She lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn, where she can be found dominating the audio round at her local bar trivia night or tweeting about movies.
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