Universal Orlando announces Epic Universe opening by summer 2025

by Susan and Simon Veness

Universal Orlando has announced that its eagerly awaited Epic Universe theme park development is on course for a 2025 opening.

Universal Orlando Epic Universe logo
Photos courtesy of Universal Orlando

Originally slated for a 2023 debut, Universal was forced to shut down operations in 2020 in the wake of the pandemic. Work resumed on the 750-acre site last year, but there was no word on any timetable for its completion.

In an earnings call with parent company Comcast today (Jan 27, 2022), executives responded to a question about any opening for the park by revealing that it is “full steam ahead” for its grand reveal in “summer 2025.”

NBC Universal CEO Jeff Shell made the announcement, insisting: “Construction is going really well. We expect that park to open in ’25, and certainly by the summer of ’25.”

The news is sure to electrify Universal Orlando fans, who were devastated when the construction was halted and many designers were laid off in April 2020 as the company reported an expected $500 million loss due to the start of the pandemic.

The theme parks’ rebound in 2021 allowed Universal to cautiously return to the huge site immediately to the south of its existing resort complex, but there had been no official report on the state of the new park’s progress in the interim, until today.

Epic Universe concept art

“This is a business and, if you build wonderful attractions, there is pent-up demand,” said Comcast chairman and chief financial officer Brian Roberts. “And we’re going to make a fabulous park at Epic, and we’re going as fast as we can now to make up for lost time.”

The company’s senior executives also reported that their theme park revenue has soared in the past 12 months as the travel industry rebounded from the effects of the virus, including “the best quarter in the company’s history for any quarter” for Universal Orlando during the period of October to December 2021.

NBC Universal’s overall revenue for the fourth quarter increased by a whopping $1.2 billion worldwide compared with 2020, with its annual revenue soaring from $2 billion to $5 billion.

Those figures have ensured the financial future of Epic Universe, and given fans a concrete date to look forward to in just three years’ time.

Now, we can expect to start seeing and hearing more details about the new park and its attractions, which has remained largely in the dark since its grand reveal in 2019.

The only confirmed areas to date are a Super Nintendo World section, plus attractions based on movies by Illumination and Dreamworks, which may be “The Secret Life of Pets” and “How to Train Your Dragon.”

Universal's Epic Universe Construction Progress Fly-Over

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