It’s official! Work is resuming on Epic Universe, the next theme park coming to the Universal Orlando Resort.
After pausing major construction back in July of last year due to the pandemic, the company formally announced today that they are going to start ramping things back up. Let’s talk about what the company had to say about the project, what this could mean for the park’s opening timeline, and more below.
During an investor conference for Morgan Stanley this morning, Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast, said that the Epic Universe project was slowly coming back to life, and that they’re going to start construction back up imminently. He said there is a “road to the resumption of business.”
Within an hour, Universal Orlando released an official statement in a press release, a blog post, and even an email blast to passholders, stating that “Epic Universe is Back!”
Universal says that the restart will begin immediately, but that it will likely take several months before reaching full-speed as they re-staff and reassemble vendor and contractor teams.
They also say this will result in thousands of new jobs across Central Florida. Once completed they expect it to bring in more than 14,000 permanent jobs, in addition to the thousands of jobs created during its development.
“The restart of construction of Epic Universe is a terrific moment for our employees and for our theme park business in Florida,” said Roberts. “It is our single-largest investment in the state and represents our enthusiasm for the spectacular park and the economic opportunities it will generate.”
Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO for Universal Parks & Resorts said “Our confidence in our collective future is as strong as ever.”
Located a couple miles south of the current Universal Orlando Resort, Epic Universe is being built on a 750-acre site, which will nearly double the size of the resort. In addition to the new park, several new hotels with a rumored total of 2000 rooms are also expected to be constructed, including one located at the back of the theme park itself.
To help connect to the two resorts, Kirkman Rd. is being extended 1.7 miles south. Universal is heading up the Kirkman extension project, which started preliminary work earlier this year, and is splitting the cost with Orange County. When completed by Spring 2025, this new stretch of road will feature eight total travel lanes, including two dedicated bus lanes that will help transport guests between the two locations.
The theme park has been expected to open with four themed lands, as well as a massive central hub featuring multiple dining and shopping locations, and even a couple attractions of its own — including a large, dual-track racing coaster.
So far the only part of the Epic Universe theme park that has been confirmed by the company is Super Nintendo World. That area is expected to contain the Mario Kart dark ride and Yoshi omnimover ride, like the ones that recently opened in Universal Studios Japan, in addition to a Donkey Kong mine cart coaster.
Other lands that were previously rumored were to be based on Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon, Universal Monsters, and the resort’s third Wizarding World land. (See the speculation map image above for labels and further details.)