UPDATE (1:07 pm, 03.03.21): the Orlando Sentinel is reporting that Epic Universe is currently set for an early 2025 opening, according to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. We are still awaiting official word from Universal itself.
UPDATE (8:35 am, 03.03.21): Universal followed Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts’s announcement with a formal press release, stating:
Work on Epic Universe paused in July 2020, as the company adjusted plans in the midst of the pandemic. The restart will begin immediately – but is expected to take several months before reaching full-speed, as Universal re-staffs for the project and reassembles its vendor and contractor teams.
The original article follows below:
On August 1, 2019, Universal officially announced that it was going to build a brand-new theme park on the hundreds of new acres of land that it had spent the previous few years purchasing. That new site was dubbed the south campus (with the pre-existing Universal Orlando Resort sitting on the north, and the only-recently-completed Endless Summer Resort occupying mid-campus), and that new park was named Epic Universe. The timeframe given for this giant new addition’s debut was just as impressive as it was aggressive: 2023.
Then, of course, the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020, throwing everything into a giant lurch – what was supposed to bow in ’23 quickly became ’24, and then, not long after, TBA. All of Epic Universe seemed to enter a type of suspended hibernation, with no way of knowing when it might get reanimated.
Except for now, that is.
During a Morgan Stanley investor conference early this morning, Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast, let slip the little nugget that Universal Orlando’s fourth park was lumbering back to life again, even if slowly – the company is going to start construction on Epic Universe once again imminently. Noting that theme parks were the fastest-growing component of NBCUniversal, Roberts stated that he feels there is a “road to the resumption of business” here.
While it’s not much to go on, any word on this exciting new development is good news – something which is doubly true when it’s taken as an even broader indicator of the theme-park industry as a whole. When coupled with the headline from yesterday that President Joe Biden’s administration believes every adult in the country will be able to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine by early in the summer, we can finally begin to think about what life after the pandemic will look like.
(And if you just can’t wait to imagine what Epic Universe’s new rides may look like, as well, we can actually help you out a bit in this regard: Universal Studios Japan’s waiting-to-officially-open Super Nintendo World will be making its way over to Orlando’s new theming digs, and we have already reviewed all three of its attractions.)
Are you excited for the fourth park at Universal Orlando Resort? Can’t wait to ride Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge? Get all hyped with 150,000+ other die-hard Universal fanatics in our Orlando Informer Community on Facebook.