Here’s What They’re NOT Telling You About Universal Orlando’s Newest Theme Park

what they aren't telling you about epic universe
Credit: Universal/Canva

Universal Studios Orlando Resort is gearing up to open its third theme park next summer, and from both the name of the new park, as well as the copious artist renderings of the new space, the location looks to be, well, epic.

But while Universal Parks & Experiences is slated to unveil several impressive “firsts” with its newest theme park location in Central Florida, there are lots of things Universal simply isn’t telling you about Epic Universe. So we will.

universal globe and free signs

Credit: Universal/Canva

Epic Universe: Universal’s First New Park in 26 Years

Universal first announced plans for an exciting third gate at its Central Florida theme park resort in August 2019, and groundbreaking took place in early 2020. But soon after construction began, the global coronavirus pandemic forced Universal to rework the timeline for Epic Universe.

By July 2020, all construction on the new theme park ground to a screeching halt, not to be begun again until March 2021. The brand-new third gate at Universal Orlando is slated to open in Summer 2025, though no date has been officially announced as of the time of this publication.

Universal pride

Credit: Universal

Once open, Epic Universe will be Universal Studios Orlando Resort‘s first new theme park in 26 years. Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park opened to the public in May 1999, expanding Universal Studios Florida into a vacation resort, complete with two theme parks, resort hotels, and the CityWalk dining, shopping, and entertainment district.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure park features eight uniquely theme “islands.” The premise of an experience at the theme park is a journey of adventure to these islands, which include Port of Entry, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade, Marvel Super Hero Island, and others.

universal islands of adventure

Credit: Universal Parks

Not only will Epic Universe be Universal Orlando’s first new theme park in more than a quarter of a century, but it will also present an entirely new take on the theme park experience.

Universal invites guests to “step through amazing portals” that transport them to and from five exciting theme worlds: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Ministry of Magic, SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, How to Train Your Dragon: Isle of Berk, Dark Universe, and Celestial Park.

universal orlando resort epic universe portals

Portals at Universal’s Epic Universe/Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Epic . . . and Larger Than Magic Kingdom

Universal has long touted the five “immersive” new worlds at Epic Universe, each one more spectacular than the last.

epic universe

Credit: Universal Studios Orlando Resort

And while that number leaves Epic Universe one “land” behind Magic Kingdom, Universal’s new theme park will live up to its name in terms of space, as it will encompass some 750 acres, while Magic Kingdom only encompasses approximately 140 acres, when accounting for its changes, additions, and expansions over its more than 52-year-long history.

disney world magic kingdom

Credit: Disney Parks

But for all the fireworks, pomp, and circumstance surrounding plans for the opening of Epic Universe in Summer 2025, there’s a lot Universal isn’t telling guests about the new theme park experience at Universal Studios Orlando.

What Universal Isn’t Telling Guests About Epic Universe

Surely the experiences that await guests at Epic Universe will be thrilling, exciting, and perhaps inspiring as well. But underneath all the positive news coverage and excitement that understandably accompany the chronicling of the development of a brand-new theme park lies a pile of rather bad news about the new park–bad news and drawbacks about which Universal Studios likely doesn’t want potential guests to know.

epic universe

Credit: Universal Parks

First, because Epic Universe will be so much larger than its sister theme parks at Universal’s Central Florida resort, guests will likely be in for a shock when they realize how much more walking is involved in a visit to the new theme park.

By itself, Epic Universe will nearly double the current size of Universal Orlando, and because the park will be based on the existence of five individual “worlds,” each one reached by accessing various “portals,” guests will be walking the warm (and sometimes hot) Orlando pavement at Universal Studios far more than they ever have before.

woman in heels walking at epic universe

Credit: Universal Experiences/Canva

Second, many guests are likely to find out that something else about Universal’s new theme park is epic–the distance between it and the rest of the entire Universal Orlando Resort.

Because the area around the existing resort–which includes Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park, Universal’s Volcano Bay, and CityWalk–is largely landlocked, developers had to move to another location to begin the construction of Epic Universe.

That’s right: Epic Universe will not be located on the same property as the rest of Universal Orlando’s offerings. Though Universal has said that complimentary transportation will be available to guests staying at one of Universal Orlando’s resort hotels, the long and short of the story–and more long than short–is that getting to and from Epic Universe will likely steal valuable time away from many guests’ day at the park.

Any way you slice it, such a revelation is mildly–if not extremely–annoying, to say nothing of inconvenient.

universal studios orlando map and epic universe

Credit: Universal Experiences/Canva

Third, Epic Universe will likely be extremely crowded during the first months following its opening.

In fact, guests who visit the new Universal Orlando theme park during its first year of operation will be in very good–and crowded–company, as the park is expected to welcome between five and six million guests during its inaugural year.

Sure, it’s possible to postpone your visit until after that first year, but if we’re honest–do any diehard Universal fans truly have that kind of patience and restraint? After all, Epic Universe is the first new theme park to be built at the Central Florida Universal resort since 1999. (Yeah, so we can’t really blame them for their impatience.)

epic universe

Credit: Universal Experiences

Additionally, guests visiting Epic Universe once it’s open can expect to pay premium prices for admission, among other things, especially in the beginning weeks and months.

There will be no shortage of guests eager to visit the new theme park when it opens, and as such, Universal will likely be able to name its price when it comes to admission to Epic Universe, food and beverage options within the park, accommodations, merchandise, and the like.

Related: Universal Orlando Makes Massive Change to Beat Disney World Once & For All

universal grand helios hotel

Credit: Universal Grand Helios Hotel at Epic Universe/Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

And because several million guests are expected to visit the theme park in the first year, it’s not unreasonable to expect Universal to create a new premium option for experiences akin to Disney World’s Genie+ and Lightning Lane options.

It’s the old “supply and demand” scenario–and Universal will likely work that scenario to its advantage in every way.

Epic Universe Will Make Everything More Expensive in 2025

Epic Universe will likely affect trips planned by Florida tourists in 2025, even if they have no plans to visit Universal Orlando Resort.

disney world four parks

Credit: Disney Parks/Canva

Universal Studios Florida won’t be the only entity taking every opportunity to make the opening of Epic Universe as lucrative as possible–not by a long shot.

Though other entities won’t directly profit from the opening of a third theme park at Universal’s Central Florida vacation destination–except for those who score new contracts with Universal in exchange for goods and services provided to guests inside the park–there’s no doubt that they have had their proverbial fingers on the pulse of Universal’s Florida resort for some time now, as they the announcement of Epic Universe’s official opening date.

Universal Orlando Epic Universe land and details

Epic Universe’s Celestial Park/Credit: Universal Experiences

Related: Brand-New “First-of-Its-Kind” Resort Now Open Near Disney World

Central Florida hotels, resorts, and management companies that offer condos, homes, and apartments for rent to cheerful vacationers will have their minds on the various ways they, too, can attempt to benefit from the opening of Universal Studios Orlando’s new theme park.

This may arise in the form of increased nightly rates at local hotels, steadily increasing rates as the success of the new park grows, and the addition of new features and services, each with a plentiful price tag all its own.

orlando international airport

Orlando International Airport/Credit: Orlando-Airports/Canva

Airlines that offer service to Orlando International Airport from cities around the world are likely to cash in on the increased demand from visitors headed to Orlando to be among the first to experience Epic Universe. The end result? An epic increase in the cost of airfare–and that’s in addition to the annual trend of increased airfare prices during the summer months.

Related: Major Airline Ends Multi-Year Partnership With Disney World

Epic Universe Could Even Sully Your Disney Trip in 2025

Though there would never be an official announcement made about such plans, it’s likely that Disney World has a strategy for sharing in the good fortune Universal Studios Orlando is likely to experience when Epic Universe opens, and it’s likely that such plans have been in place since before Universal officially announced the upcoming development of its third theme park in Central Florida.

epic universe disney world four parks

Credit: Universal Experiences/Disney/Canva

It’s not that we don’t love Disney, but when has the Mouse House not been first in line for the chance to boost revenue and increase earnings potential?

It’s unclear what such a possible strategy might entail or yield for guests of the Walt Disney World Resort in 2025, but rest assured that the objective is to increase revenue, and that could feasibly translate to higher rates at Walt Disney World Resort hotels–hidden, of course, under a pile of potential “discounts” and “savings,” mind you–as well as higher prices for park admission, increased prices for food and beverage options in the parks, increases in fees for Genie+ and Lightning Lane options, rising merchandise prices, and more.

Epic Increases in Traffic . . . Foot and Otherwise

The opening of Epic Universe will not only have the potential to lead to higher costs for Disney vacations in 2025, but it will also undoubtedly lead to increased traffic along the highways and roadways in Orlando and surrounding areas.

Related: The Lines at Disney World Are Insane, and It’s All YOUR Fault

traffic at disney world entrance

Credit: Becky Burkett/Canva

Increased foot traffic at Disney World may also be a byproduct of the opening of Universal’s brand-new theme park, especially if there’s a large number of vacationers who believe they’ll be ahead of the curve by visiting Disney World instead of Universal Studios Orlando Resort in 2025, as though there’s some guarantee that crowds will definitely be small at the four theme parks at Disney World.

If enough visitors hold the same belief, Disney World could see post-pandemic record crowd numbers during the first weeks and months of operation at Epic Universe.

Epic, Indeed . . . 

There’s no denying Epic Universe will be a spectacular addition to the growing number of theme parks in Central Florida. If you want to be blown away by Universal’s latest endeavor in Orlando–and for more information about the development and offerings at Universal Studios Orlando’s newest theme park, click on the video below.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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