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Universal unveils Epic Universe theme park with new Harry Potter and Super Mario worlds

Published Jan 30th, 2024 11:36AM EST
Universal Epic Universe
Image: Universal

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I was potentially planning on going to Universal this fall but, after this announcement, I think — like a lot of people — I’m going to hold out on a trip to their theme park until their next theme park is built. I’d rather hit it all in one shot if I’m going to fork out all of that money, right?

Today, Universal announced more details about its upcoming Epic Universe theme park, a huge expansion to its Universal Orlando resort and theme parks in Florida. The new park will not only feature a new hotel, but five new worlds including Celestial Park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Ministry of Magic, SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, How to Train Your Dragon — Isle of Berk, and Dark Universe.

“We’re telling stories that resonate with our guests, immersing them right from the front gate,” says Steve Tatham, the executive creative director for Universal Epic Universe, who moved back to Orlando from Osaka, Japan, to work on this project. “Universal redefined theme-park entertainment forever. We’re setting a new standard, and that’s what it means to be a modern theme park,” he adds. 

While there still aren’t a ton of details of what kind of rides to expect in the Harry Potter or Super Mario worlds just yet, the company has released a video giving us a first look at what to generally expect from Epic Universe. You can check it out below:

In a statement, Gabriela Lander, director of Facility Design for Universal Creative, said that “Epic is the future meeting the present.”

“We’ll have a park where we’ll be able to walk through nature and be guided by the stars, surrounded by iconic elements that materialize dreams into immersive worlds of epic stories, and with a level of technology that will take the experience to a new level. This amazing park went from an idea to a design, and from there to a full construction site, where everyday you see new parts being built or installed. The amount of talent invested in producing a new theme park that goes above and beyond what we have already done, is a humbling and heart-filling experience.”

All of the different worlds are connected by Celestial Park, the centerpiece of Universal Epic where guests can find restaurants like Atlantic and The Blue Dragon Pan-Asian Restaurant, attractions like the Starfall Racers roller coaster, and retail stores like the Nintendo Super Star Store.

Adam Rivest, executive producer for Celestial Park, said in a statement “We’ve made a conscious effort to put the park back into theme park, and made sure not to design it with lots of concrete and asphalt streets.” Here’s a flythrough you can check out to get an idea of what the park will look like:

In addition, the company will be opening three hotels including the Universal Stella Nova Resort (opening January 21, 2025), the Universal Terra Luna Resort (opening February 25, 2025), and the crown jewel Universal Helios Grand Hotel, the first hotel to be integrated directly inside the theme park.

The coolest thing about the hotel is that it is walking-distance from Epic and has a dedicated and exclusive entrance into Celestial Park, making it one of the most unique properties in the Universal Orlando hotel portfolio. “From the hotel our guests will be able to enjoy the view of the beautiful gardens and natural wonders, and witness with advantage how they turn from a day event to a starry vision,” says Gabriela. 

Universal Epic Universe is set to officially open in 2025, but the company has not announced a specific date just yet. Whenever it does, a trip to Universal Studios will definitely be on my list. It’s time I finally make it to Harry Potter World — all three of them, in fact!

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.

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