Universal’s Epic Universe construction is moving ahead swiftly. More and more lands, rides, shows and backstage areas are going vertical. This upcoming theme park will be an absolute showstopper, and theme park fans should be very excited. Thanks to Bioreconstruct on Twitter, we have some birds-eye views of new construction deliveries and milestones.
As you can see above, a huge recent delivery of roller coaster track has arrived at Universal’s Epic Universe construction site. We believe this is for the large dueling racer coaster that will be located in between the How To Train Your Dragon and Wizarding World lands. While most of this shipment contains the yellow track, you can also see three black colored elements. And this delivery is just one of many big things happening at the site. While this article’s information is based on strong rumors and concept art visuals, until confirmed the proposed rides and concepts must be understood as rumor. We will confirm these rumors as soon as Universal Orlando does.
Here it is, most of the construction ongoing at Universal’s Epic Universe. This incredible project features new lands, new attractions, a new boulevard, a new hotel, new backstage areas, new parking lots and so much more. There is no understating this: it is EPIC. The last major theme park to open in Florida was Universal’s Islands of Adventure in 1999. Now, 23 years later, we are seeing work fly ahead on Universal’s new flagship theme park.
Let’s get much closer to see where that roller coaster shipment is going. These concrete footers and foundation are expected to be the load and unload building for this dueling coaster. While there is a lot of work to go, you can see the current setup of concrete footers for this track. We do not believe this dueling coaster will be directly themed to either of the lands next to it. While it will be situated next to the How To Train Your Dragon land and the Wizarding World area, we think this coaster will be stand-alone.
This coaster could be perceived like Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, where it fits in the space, but isn’t tied to any exact IPs that surround it. We don’t have a ton of info on this attraction, outside of the theme park concept art. It is generally believed that this will be the most intense ride in the entire park. It will also be Florida’s return of a dueling coaster, something that has been missed since Dueling Dragons closed at Universal’s Islands of Adventure park.
Now we fly over the How To Train Your Dragon construction. The purple dotted area on the bottom right is the dueling coaster concrete foundation we were just looking at. Most of the remainder of this image is the How To Train Your Dragon land. The yellow dotted circle is the rumored great dragon hall centerpiece of the land. This land will have shops, rides, a show and a family-style coaster. The yellow line segment represents where this family-style coaster will go underwater and come soaring out from a lagoon on the other end.
We cannot confirm what type of roller coaster this is. But, with the popularity and demand for more people to ride the Pteranodon Flyers attraction at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, we could see a ride like that. Imagine a gliding style coaster, allowing you to soar like a dragon over this space.
While not confirmed, it is believable to see that meet and greet characters from the trilogy could appear in the land. In 2019, guests could meet Toothless at Universal Studios Hollywood.
On the other side of the dueling coaster we can see a gigantic building being erected. This is in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter area. And, we believe this building to be the Ministry of Magic. The curved steel structure in the center right area of the image seems to cement this rumor. The two circled portions of this image are workers, to give you an idea of the scale of this endeavor.
Universal has proven to us that they can consistently do right by the Harry Potter franchise. And if this truly is the Ministry of Magic, prepare to be amazed by the detail and scale. I remember the first time I rode on the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts attraction. I was blown away with the queue. This new Wizarding World area should be no different.
In the center of the park we have these two water feature areas. The yellow dotted circle is where current work is ongoing for a water fountain show. There will be stadium-style seating surrounding this lagoon. The water lagoon at the top right will be partially for water and partially for a rumored dining offering.
The concept art doesn’t give up much, but rumors suggest this could be a high-end table service restaurant that is partially underwater. The concept art is stunning. So, whatever does end up here will be a magnificent centerpiece of artwork in the park.
Let us zoom back out to get an understanding of the park and what we have covered so far. This is what you are looking at, according to our best guesses: 1) The Universal Classic Monsters land. 2) Shops and restaurants. 3) In-park shops and the partially underwater table service restaurant. 4) Super Nintendo World, which will include the Donkey Kong expansion. 5) A mystery attraction, thought to maybe be a carousel or other family friendly ride that anyone can enjoy. 6) The How To Train Your Dragon land. 7) The high speed dueling roller coaster’s load and unload foundation. 8) Fountain show and arena seating. 9) The park’s hotel.
Zooming into one of my most anticipated areas, Universal’s Classic Monsters land. Bioreconstruct showcases some key features in the current construction. This area is expected to be themed to the Victorian Era Europe. This would fit well with stories like Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolf Man.
The new Mario and Donkey Kong area is loading into the Super Nintendo World section of the park as all three rides are being built simultaneously. The dotted lines showcase one of many turns guests will experience on Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge. The dotted line follows the track support work for the Yoshi’s Adventure family ride. And the circled steel support is a unique steelwork detail that Bioreconstruct noticed.
Bioreconstruct pointed out an important feature that we can see. This Donkey Kong roller coaster will have indoor and outdoor elements. And, with this construction, we can already begin to note which portions should be inside and out. The black steel track can be expected to be indoors, or at least mostly blocked by theming. The tan track is where we expect a thrilling “jump” element to happen on the attraction. Then we have the brown steel supports, which are expected to be on the exterior of the building and may hold up ride signage, a massive themed element or part of the ride queue.
This Donkey Kong roller coaster is also currently under construction at Universal Studios Japan as they work on their Super Nintendo World expansion. While Florida’s park will open with all three rides, the Japan version originally opened with just the Mario Kart and Yoshi attractions. Upon completion, both the Japan and Florida version of Super Nintendo World should be nearly identical.
As you could expect, this new theme park will bring in millions of visitors. The first year alone it is easy to believe that Orlando’s MCO airport may reach a new record for visitors. And, it is Universal and Orlando’s job to move those millions of people around International Drive, the Universal Orlando Resort and Interstate 4. Work has begun on the Epic Boulevard for the park. Mass parking spots are being built for guests and team members alike.
It is expected that Universal will seriously expand its bus transportation, probably doubling the fleet to accommodate guests for all of its hotels and parks. Universal is also building affordable housing on this new construction plot. Many of these residents may then work at this new park, therefore cutting back on transport needs for employees.
Orlando, much like many other areas in the United States, is currently undergoing a rent crisis. It is not uncommon to see price hikes of up to 30% in the past year. With a spike in house prices, and rent costs, this has caused some employment issues as well. Restaurants and local stores are constantly looking for new employees. And, this new Epic Universe park will add 14,000 jobs. We have a few years for housing to stabilize and more people to move back to the Central Florida area. But, new transport, new housing and new jobs are essential for Universal’s opening success of this upcoming park.
There is so much to do before the grand opening of Universal’s Epic Universe. And, so much for us to be excited about. Which land, area or attraction are you most anticipating? Let us know in the comments below.