|Location||Universal Orlando Resort, Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Operated by||Universal Destinations & Experiences|
Universal Epic Universe is an upcoming theme park under construction in Orlando, Florida. Announced in August 2019, the park will be the fourth theme park at Universal Orlando Resort, including the themed water park, Volcano Bay. Construction was delayed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but resumed in March 2021. The park is scheduled to open in Summer 2025.
On August 1, 2019, NBCUniversal announced that it was building a fourth theme park named "Universal's Epic Universe" as part of the Universal Orlando Resort. Without releasing details, Tom Williams, then-chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Parks and Resorts, said Epic Universe would be the company's "most immersive and innovative theme park." Comcast and NBCUniversal officials said it would create an additional 14,000 jobs, including professional, technical, culinary and other specialized positions. A possible opening date for the park was not immediately announced. In October 2019, Universal announced that the park would open in 2023.
Concept art released by Universal during the official announcement in August 2019 left details purposefully vague. Many IPs were rumored to appear in the park, including lands dedicated to How to Train Your Dragon, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Universal Classic Monsters, and the Nintendo franchises Super Mario & Donkey Kong. In January 2020, the presence of Super Nintendo World in the park was confirmed by multiple Comcast executives. Epic Universe's version of Super Nintendo World was officially announced in February 2023, with CEO Mark Woodbury calling it the "worst-kept secret in history".
The project was delayed indefinitely in July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but on March 3, 2021, Comcast announced the immediate restart of construction. On January 27, 2022, Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, stated during an earnings call that the park would be opening in Summer 2025. This was hinted at by the resort's official Twitter shortly thereafter. On May 5, 2022, Universal offered 13 acres (5.3 ha) of land near the site where Epic Universe is being built for a Brightline rail route commuter station.
On March 8, 2023, Universal Parks and Resorts CEO Mark Woodbury announced that they would be rebranding the division to "Universal Destinations and Experiences". With this change also came the announcement that the name of the upcoming park in Orlando would be adjusted slightly from Universal's Epic Universe to Universal Epic Universe. A modified logo was unveiled, which removed the apostrophe and letter "s" from the design.
Epic Universe will use a hub-and-spoke format, consisting of four themed lands branching off of a central hub, with each land featuring a uniquely-themed gateway. The themed lands will be, in clockwise order from entry, Super Nintendo World, Dark Universe (themed to Universal Classic Monsters), a land themed to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and a land themed to the Isle of Berk from the How to Train Your Dragon franchise.
Super Nintendo World will be themed to various Nintendo-owned franchises, with a primary focus on the Mario franchise. Its entrance from the Central Hub will be themed to a Warp Pipe. Like the version of the land constructed in Universal Studios Japan, it will feature Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge, an augmented reality racing simulator based on the Mario Kart series, as well as Yoshi's Adventure, an omnimover attraction themed to the character Yoshi from the Mario franchise. The land's layout will be less compact than its Japanese equivalent, however, with the courtyard area being more spread out. The land will also feature an additional section and roller coaster themed to the Donkey Kong franchise. Trains on this roller coaster will run over a false track while being attached to a hidden track underneath, allowing designers to implement gaps in the false track to create the illusion that the trains are jumping gaps.
The Universal Epic Universe theme park campus is located a few miles south-east from the existing Universal Orlando Resort, within a larger 750-acre (300 ha) site south of Sand Lake Road and east of Universal Boulevard.