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Universal's Epic Universe (South Expansion Complex) - Construction Resumed


Well-Known Member
Do you actually believe this new park will not lead to higher Universal ticket prices. Right now you can buy an annual seasonal pass for $216. When the new park opens and you get 3 instead of 2 what will happen to the price. Also when they have thousands of more hotel rooms and the are not as dependent on locals what will happen? The answer is simple. Season passes with and without blackouts will increase to be closer to WDW prices. Daily tickets will go up too. The competition between Disney and Universal is for tourists with lots of money. Neither company cares about the $200 to $300 a yeat customer. They want people who stay in their hotel and ot timeshares and spend a fortune. They want you to stay in their rooms, only spend time at their parks and in their resorts and eat in their restaurants. The only question I have for Comcast is are they going to start a timeshare like the DVC? Disney has no problem with people like me who have Platinum Plus Annual Passes but they will be reducing the benefits of the lower passes as they add more and more resorts and Comcast is the same. They don't care about anything but the bottom line.
I recall spending $170 for a 2-day pass for Universal around Christmas. Universal will maximize their profit as best they can. I never mentioned anything with about their ticket prices I was talking about Disney's. If people are willing to pay more and still visit, the prices will rise. WDW prices have been rapidly increasing yet people still visit in droves. Universal is not attempting to spread the people who visit the 2 parks over 3 parks, they are attempting to attract guests. If that means stealing people from Disney, great! Disney won't struggle, but they can not stop adding expansions after this wave ends, and continuously increase the prices at the same time. When Universal adds a new park, of course, the Annual passes should increase. You gain more value. I see the new park as a win for the consumer.


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I guess you never heard of Disneyland, which has the Grand Californian with direct access to California Adventure for years. While I agree the hotel looks great, I do have questions about the parking. It looks like the hotel parking is in the fallout zone from the fireworks. If they have a nightly fire works show that could cause problems for parked cars and those driving on the road to the north. I am not sure the roads name but its a public road and the lawyers may have a problem with those fireworks causing accidents.
When did Universal confirm nightly fireworks for the park?


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Not trying to be a party pooper, but the new Star Wars hotel will have a direct entrance into DHS, through Galaxy's Edge, part of the immersion of the hotel, and it will be done long before this.

But it will require you to take transporation to get there, you won't be able to walk out of the hotel directly into the park.


Well-Known Member
Just a thought. What appears to be massive show buildings doesn't necessarily mean a single attraction. These could be covered lands like WoL's new concept. A convenient concept for a humid and rainy environment.

Yes, you could have Mario Kart and DK Country in that one building that connects to both parts of Nintendo Land.
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Well-Known Member
I'm happy for the competition to be heating up, but from the few details we have this seems like it would be at the bottom of my list of Universal parks to visit. I am surely very strange in this regard, but I was never hugely into Nintendo, haven't seen the Fantastic Beasts films, and also haven't seen How to Train Your Dragon or many of the Dreamworks films. So, honestly, all of the themes mentioned so far kind of leave me cold. With these parks that have no overarching theme, it really comes down to how interested you are in experiencing the individual IPs and I think IOA and US have more that interests me in that regard.

I know you can have great attractions based on mediocre IPs. On that note, though, I think Pandora's success owes a lot to the fact it is attached to DAK. Stick that land on this park, and I wouldn't be any more interested in visiting.
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Well-Known Member
We've never been to Uni. DH and I have said we would, but always ended up spending all our time in the bubble. In a way, I want to keep Uni for when/if we tire of WDW. And if UEU is anything like the concept art, that looks like an amazing place to visit. I'm loving all the water features in particular, and that big coaster!


Well-Known Member
I may wait until after D23 before I make the final decision about this, but I'm more excited by the possibilities of this than anything Disney is working on at the moment, save for Galaxy's Edge.

The possibility of a Dark Universe world is particularly appealing. A horror-themed land (especially if it's more Horror Nights, less Not-So-Scary) is the perfect use of those characters, far better than a half-baked attempt to start a film franchise.


Well-Known Member
When did Universal confirm nightly fireworks for the park?
I was watching the DIS Universal addition and they said the art indicated fireworks will be part of their nightly show. I kind of doubt it because of where the fireworks appeared in the art. You are right though, they never said their would be nightly fireworks.


Well-Known Member
First reaction... Sorry for the ramble. I’m writing this on a train.

Kudos to Universal Orlando and Comcast. A little over a decade ago this proposal would have been laughed out of the room. Universal Orlando was more likely to have gone bankrupt than create such an ambitious expansion. The fact we have true competitor to Walt Disney World, is impressive. This park is likely aiming to propel the yearly gate clicks to over 30 million. For perspective, that’s right around Tokyo Disney Resort and Disneyland Resort. While those two will likely have grown even further by the time Universal Orlando reaches those numbers, Universal Orlando is in a state of becoming a true world class destination with volumes as big as any successful Disney resort.

They deserve some serious respect. They’ve done what 60 years of gated Disney attractions have attempted to do with little success- created an alternative to Disney. An alternative that WILL require a response. In the short term Disney will point to Star Wars and Epcot, but internally something will happen.

What that is I have no clue, but that’s just mentioned to put an underline under Universal’s success. While I would be the first to say much of their art direction and taste sucks, I can’t even begin to argue with their success.

With my praise aside, I want to look at this park...

While we don’t know much about the finalized content, we can actually learn a lot about this park.

Now onto this park. It’s interesting. It should be immediately off putting for a Walt Disney World fan. As opposed to either of the models I’ve discussed above, it is a strange hybrid of the two.

A quick glance at the concept art reveals a center spine traveling from front to back. Once you travel past the gates it looks like you’ll see a globe in the distance, a fountain show providing in the foreground, and landscaping close of all. It should actually be a neat view that comes into perspective when looking at it head on. Move a little to the right or left, and the view falls apart. Kind of a neat way to draw people in. It also emphasizes the fact the park is large.

This is the point where I’ll blast the hotel concept. It provides the background for the central icon, and is an icon in its own right. Yet it looks like Universal got jealous of Grand Destino or something...

I’ve talked about good hotel integration and bad hotel integration. A well integrated theme park integration can reinforce story and enhance the experience for every guest. The Contemporary played with this technique, but the Disneyland Hotel at Paris, Grand Californian, and Miracosta further perfected it. Instead of being obtrusive overlooks that distracted from story, they would tell story. It’s the exact opposite of the motels on Harbor Boulevard at Disneyland. A hotel became something to show off instead of be hid.

Universal has shown a bizarre lack of attention to integrating hotels into story. Most glaringly Volcano Bay has two towers above a supposed tropical paradise. What gives? It sacrifices the guest experience of the many for those wealthy few who can pay for the hotel. It’s frustrating, but not alone in this offense. We need look at Universal Beijing and Tokyo Disney Sea to see a disregard for the needs of many guests, for the few.

But back to the core issue. This spine represents the primary means of travel in the park. What’s funny about this spine is not its ambition or design, but instead how (to steal a word from Bob) nondescript it is. It looks like a nice park, but honestly there’s practically nothing trying to tell a story. It could easily be Google’s new campus. It looks like it has fantasy vibes, but the design is understated. But why?

Because the spine isn’t supposed to tell much of a story. It’s only meant to be an efficient means of conveyance to the many “Epic Universes.” Jutting off this nondescript office park, are extremely immersive worlds and attractions. This is when Universal starts telling story.

It might be truthfully said that this park is a mechanism to get you to your favorite franchises. This has negative connotations that I don’t necessarily want to give, but it’s essentially a theme park strip mall. A nice and orderly store front leads to different chain stores. The same is true of this park and its various franchises. You’re on the nice orderly nondescript spine, and then pick your franchise.

It’s a little disappointing to see theme parks deconstructed into a franchise buffet, but hopefully we’ll see push back after this park.

Obviously everything is subject to change. But this gives us our first clear view into what they’re planning. It’s the opposite of surprising...

One last thing. Epic Worlds is a terrible name. Horrible! But does anyone care? I know their management doesn’t...
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Well-Known Member
The dueling coaster is not part of HTTYD and is it's own ride w/o a land.

HTTYD is getting a smaller coaster that you can see at the bottom of the concept art. Not tiny like Hippogriff/Barnstormer, but still a very good size. Think closer to something like Hagrid's.

View attachment 395183

There is also zero chance the hub is going to be free. Zero.
Agreed on the hub. It will be behind the gate. The design does open a tantalizing possibility.

We’re entering into a post queue world (or at least Disney and Universal would like to). By having very controlled access into and out of each land, they could effectively control crowd flows. Imagine booking each epic universe throughout the day. Your Nintendo is at 10 and your Fantastic Beasts is at 2. This would allow the park to control crowds into and out of each land and potentially eliminate queues... Theoretically.


Well-Known Member
Agreed on the hub. It will be behind the gate. The design does open a tantalizing possibility.

We’re entering into a post queue world (or at least Disney and Universal would like to). By having very controlled access into and out of each land, they could effectively control crowd flows. Imagine booking each epic universe throughout the day. Your Nintendo is at 10 and your Fantastic Beasts is at 2. This would allow the park to control crowds into and out of each land and potentially eliminate queues... Theoretically.
The virtual queue thing has not worked as Universal hoped and is not really being pursued any more.

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