Universal Orlando has shared the first official look and details of its highly anticipated new theme park, Universal Epic Universe, that the company expects to be a game changer.
Set to open in 2025, the park “invites guests to explore vibrant worlds filled with extraordinary adventures that go beyond their wildest imaginations,” Universal Orlando said in a blog post today. Specifically, five immersive worlds with 50 dining, shopping and entertainment experiences.
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The lands are set within “the breathtaking gardens in the heart of Epic Universe” and start with Celestial Park, the first world visitors encounter, that serves as a portal the to the other four — The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic; Super Nintendo World; How To Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk; and Dark Universe. Enough for a weeklong vacation destination, Universal is betting.
Brian Roberts, CEO of NBCUniversal parent Comcast, was pretty ecstatic about Universal’s fourth theme park and most ambitious theme park on an earnings call with Wall Streeters just last week. He called it “completely original” and “the most exciting project I’ve seen since we bought” NBCUniversal. “We are so excited, we are taking the board of directors to see the construction, which is something we have never done before.
First stop, Celestial Park, described thus: “Wandering through lush living gardens nestled along shimmering waters surrounded by stunning architecture inspired by astronomical and mythological elements. Here, guests can relax while taking in the sights and sounds around them, board a shooting comet for an exhilarating roller coaster adventure, dine on delectable cuisine, shop exclusive merchandise to commemorate their visit and more.”
From there, guests can head to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic, where they “will discover a different era of the wizarding world in an all-new land that blends 1920s wizarding Paris from Warner Bros. Pictures’ Fantastic Beasts films with the iconic British Ministry of Magic from the Harry Potter series.”
Or to Super Nintendo World, where “guests will enter the iconic green pipe and discover a new way to play as they step into the worlds of beloved characters like Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Donkey Kong.”
At How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk, “guests can soar with dragons in a colorful world filled with Viking adventures based on the wildly popular How to Train Your Dragon film franchise.”
And at Dark Universe, “guests will encounter everything from the experiments of Dr. Victoria Frankenstein to the shadowy landscape where monsters roam in a world of myth and mystery.”
Celestial Park attractions include Starfall Racers, “a dual-launch racing coaster that sends guests rocketing through the skies aboard comets in a race to see who’s the fastest of them all.” Reaching speeds up to 62 mph and heights up to 133 feet along 5,000 feet of track, Starfall Racers will be Epic Universe’s “most thrilling coaster experience with unique maneuvers such as the “Celestial Spin,” in which the two coaster vehicles perform an inverted crisscross while speeding through the air – creating an “out-of-this-world” adrenaline rush.”
Constellation Carousel is the centerpiece of Celestial Park. “Here, explorers of all ages will take a fantastical whirl aboard constellations that glide forward, backward – and even make 360-degree rotations – through the milky way in a choreographed dance of music and starlight.”
Astronomica is an interactive wet-play area that also doubles as a giant compass.
Dining options include Atlantic – “a full-service “surf and turf” restaurant set inside a Victorian aquarium complete with captivating views of Celestial Park”; The Blue Dragon Pan-Asian Restaurant – “where diners take a culinary journey across Asia as they enjoy authentic Chinese, Japanese and Thai fare in this full-service restaurant accented with neon dragons and ethereal lanterns.” And “additional “must-eat” locations within Celestial Park include The Oak & Star Tavern, where guests can enjoy savory barbecue, Pizza Moon, which will serve up a tasty menu featuring a variety of pizzas, and more.”
For retailers, there’s Nintendo Super Star Store, Moonship Chocolates & Celestial Sweets. Entertainment includes “various fountain shows throughout Celestial Park’s seven acres of water where a multitude of fountains sway, dance – and even reach heights up to 135 feet in the air – to music and interactive lighting from day to night.”
And located inside Epic Universe at the end of Celestial Park is Universal Helios Grand Hotel, “designed to transport guests to a world where the heavens and earth unite – complete with 500 rooms, one-of-a-kind views and its very own dedicated entrance into the theme park.”
Below, artist rendering of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic
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