A new addition to the Universal Orlando Resort theme park lineup is in the works, with the ultra-immersive Epic Universe being announced Aug. 1 by Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Universal announced Oct. 24 that the new park would open in 2023.
The new subsection of the Universal resort would be the first major theme park built in the United States since Disney California Adventure in 2001, and many reports have speculated on the massive undertaking.
“Our new park represents the single-largest investment Comcast NBCUniversal has made in its theme park business and in Florida overall,” said Roberts during the press conference announcing Epic Universe.
Universal owns a 750-acre area close to the existing resort on Universal Boulevard to house the new park.
Not much is known about the new park, however, as there is still not even an estimated year of completion for the project. Construction has started on the foundation and infrastructure of the park, but Universal is not willing to reveal any more details.
Due to the confidentiality of the attraction, there is much speculation from theme park enthusiasts as to what could be in the park when it opens.
“They haven’t really told us anything at all,” said Cecilia Falcon, an employee at Universal Studios Orlando. “We know just as much as anybody online, we only really know where it’s going to be located but anyone can look that up.”
With the uncertainty of the contents of the park, speculation surrounding Epic Universe has led some to believe that a Nintendo-themed area could be on the horizon, as well as another Harry Potter themed area. Some have said they hope for a new DreamWorks attractions, perhaps centered on either “How to Train Your Dragon” or “Kung Fu Panda” films.
What is known, however, is that Universal wants to bring an amount of immersion to the new park to rival Galaxy’s Edge; the new Star Wars themed land within Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Epic Universe could also prove to be a significant economic boon to the city of Orlando as well, creating an estimated 14,000 jobs in the area, as well as increasing the starting wage for employees of all Universal parks to $15 an hour, according to the company.
In a city that hosts the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, this new park could open many doors for people who are interested in cultivating a career in theme park entertainment and operations as well.
Falcon, who is also a student at Rosen College, said: “It will definitely help a lot of people find jobs in the parks, whether it be in theming, attractions, or operations.”