Right now it seems everyone’s attention is turned to the Disney company over the CEO shuffle. But let’s turn our attention to Universal Orlando for a bit.
Epic Universe coming to Universal Orlando
According to Orlando Park Stop, there is a lot of new information regarding Universal Orlando’s Epic Universe Park coming out, even posting three of the five site plans on the site including: How to Train Your Dragon, Universal Monsters, and Super Nintendo World.
This new park is going to truly be epic and full of detail. The Orlando Weekly says that the price tag will be more than 6 billion dollars for this amazing universe. Plus it’s expected to be on par with what we see in parks like Tokyo DisneySea.
According to the Orlando Park Stop blogger Alicia Stella:
“Universal’s Epic Universe has the possibility of being the most beautiful theme park in Central Florida. We already know Universal is designing it to be the most immersive park in Orlando, but I believe the architecture and design may be on par with what we see in parks overseas like Tokyo DisneySea. Universal is paying attention to every little detail, taking what they were able to accomplish with Islands of Adventure in 1999 to the next level.”
That is a high compliment indeed.
Stella also indicated that there is confirmation for nine rides already and more are expected to be confirmed.
Here’s what we do know about the layout of Epic Universe
The design will be based on the hub and spokes model, made popular by Walt Disney in his design for Disneyland.
Each Spoke will lead to one of 4 “fully-immersive” lands and there will also be a main hub area that will also have rides and restaurants. So far the hub and the new Wizarding World areas have not been published yet.
However, that does not mean there is nothing known about it. According to Stella:
“Permits have been filed for several of the park’s lands so far, but we have not yet had a chance to examine the site plans for the central hub. This massive area will be larger than two of the themed lands combined. It will feature many full-service and quick-service restaurants, gorgeous park spaces, fountains, and sculptures and even a ride or two, including a massive space-themed racing roller coaster.”
Space themed racing rollercoaster. Sounds like someone wants to give Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind a run for it’s money.
Since the four lands will have one entrance/exit guests the hub needs to be larger and designed well.
Here’s a look at the map that was filed.
As you can see they already have expansion areas figured in. The Nintendo area could easily be expanded to include Pokemon if that rumor is indeed true.
Plus there’s a whole large lot left that could become another land at a later date.
Let’s Look at Each of the “Lands” we know about.
How to Train Your Dragon-
As you can see by the filed plans there are several attractions and buildings in this area. The Orlando Park Stop already marked what they thought they knew. The land will likely be themed as the Isle of Berk.
There is a large roller coaster taking guests around the land and passing through three “building structures.” The “play area” and “Sky Fly” are found inside the coaster radius. The Sky Fly is probably a Gerstlauer Sky Fly attraction.
This would be a pre-fabricated ride that could be popped in and would fit the theming.
There is also a “boat ride” that has been speculated to be a “Splash Battle ride, likely made by Mack Rides and nearly identical to one found at Legoland Florida. These rides have both boat riders and guests on the shore “battling” each other with water guns, while the boat slowly moves around a lagoon.”
The attraction in the center is one we are really excited about. It’s rumored to be a flight simulator ride. Orlando Park Stop pointed out that Universal has already patented something like this:
“Universal did patent technology for a new type of flying theater attraction, lending credibility to the rumor. The patents call for a screen to be located below the riders, as well as in front of them. This would simulate what it is like to go paragliding, where your view is focused on what is below you, as well as in front of you. The patents show several different methods to accomplish this, and some of the diagrams even seem to include what could be a dragon-like seat.”
Super Nintendo World-
The second set of plans that we are going to explore are for Super Nintendo World.
It goes along with what we’ve already seen, that there are currently three sections planed for this land: Super Mario Land, Mario Kart, and Donkey Kong.
There is another piece of land attached to this area earmarked as “expansion.” There have been rumblings of a Pokemon section in the future, but this is all still rumor at this point.
What we do know about this area is that there is expected to be three main attractions, one for each area. A Mario Kart attraction, Donkey Kong Mine Kart Madness and Yoshi’s Adventure.
Here’s a look at the leaked photos of these that were covered a couple of months ago.
The Mario Kart entrance features Bowser’s Castle according to the concept model.
You can see the Yoshi Adventure on the right hand side.
Donkey Kong area with the Donkey Kong Mine Kart Madness attraction.
Of course there would also be restaurants, shops and more in this area, but we will have to wait for more in-depth information as it becomes available.
Universal Classic Monsters-
The final plans that we can see are for the Universal Classic Monsters area.
I think this one has a lot of potential, especially since they have been talking about bringing some of these properties back cinematically and because they are such a hit at the Halloween Horror Nights events. References to Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolfman and The Creature from the Black Lagoon will be included in this area.
This area will have attractions all indoors and as you can see they allotted space for an expansion as well. It’s rumored to be a The Creature From The Black Lagoon boat ride attraction (similar to Shanghai Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride) at some point, but for now it’s just speculation. I’m personally hoping this one is true.
As for the land itself, it is rumored to be themed after the European villages you always see in these type of films.
The Orlando Park Stop offered this description of the land: “The structures in the site plan are rumored to be themed as a small European village, similar to the settings in the original Dracula and Frankenstein films from Universal Pictures in the 1930s. It is rumored that the land will be themed as Frankenstein Village, with Frankenstein’s Castle looming in the background. What appears to be the windmill from the original film’s climax can also be seen in the official concept art, and a corresponding structure for this can be found in the plans”
The Windmill is actually rumored to be a walk through attraction of some sort or a meet and greet area.
The big attraction will be inside Frankenstein’s Castle. Orlando Park Stop has the scoop on what it could be and I’m so excited!
“The main attraction is rumored to be a high-tech dark ride that would feature all, or most, of the Universal Classic Monsters. It has been rumored for awhile that this ride would use KUKA arm technology, similar to the ride system for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. However, this ride may utilize the newest version of this technology, known as the G3 RoboCoaster.”
The G3 RoboCoaster runs on actual roller coaster track so it can climb and drop. “By moving around on track that is set up in three-dimensions, instead of only two like previous attractions, you can increase the thrill level, as well as create a more interesting ride path for your attraction.”
This sounds so cool!
The final area is rumored to be a theater or some kind of stunt show.
That is the information we have on three of the four lands. We will keep you posted when more information becomes available. Sadly we still have to wait three years, till 2023 to see it!
Disney needs to take note because the name Epic Universe seems quite fitting indeed.
What do you think? Comment and let us know!
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.