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

MisterPenguin

Fully Pfizered!
Premium Member
The smallish circular building on the right side of the park resembles an entrance to the Space Fantasy coaster at Universal Japan.

Doesn't look like it to me, if it is it's too generic looking.

I'm excited for the nintendo areas omg, those look exactly like the models that leaked

Well Space Fantasy Coaster (which is totally not Universal's version of Space Mountain) could easily be rethemed to Super Mario Galaxy. And the entrance to the dueling coasters is right opposite that attraction, facing each other. The dueling coasters doesn't live in any land, it is off of the hub. And the dueling coaster has a sugarloaf mini-mountain sticking up just like in SMG. And the buildings across the way look like the buildings in SMG.

the hub may have a "celestial theme" due to an insider's information. It looks pretty trippy. And the idea is that to get to the major "lands" one has to travel through the universe, making SMG an ideal offshoot of the celestial hub.

Or.. I'm 100% wrong.
 
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ParkPeeker

Well-Known Member
Well Space Fantasy Coaster (which is totally not Universal's version of Space Mountain) could easily be rethemed to Super Mario Galaxy. And the entrance to the dueling coasters is right opposite that attraction, facing each other. The dueling coasters doesn't live in any land, it is off of the hub. And the dueling coaster has a sugarloaf mini-mountain sticking up just like in SMG. And the buildings across the way look like the buildings in SMG.

Also, over at the DIS, they talked about how the hub may have a "celestial theme" due to an insider's information. It looks pretty trippy. And the idea is that to get to the major "lands" one has to travel through the universe, making SMG an ideal offshoot of the celestial hub.

Or.. I'm 100% wrong.
If it was super mario galaxy, I would like more distinct looking buildings, even though that kinda looks spacey. Could you point out the mini mountain in the pic? At the very best I would want to see rosalina's observatory or the mario head airship parked. If not, have the mushroom spaceships that are scattered throughout the game's different worlds, or something very distinct. It just doesn't seem very distinctly SMG.

But then again it's not the most detailed concept art, just an overall view.
 

MisterPenguin

Fully Pfizered!
Premium Member
If it was super mario galaxy, I would like more distinct looking buildings, even though that kinda looks spacey. Could you point out the mini mountain in the pic? At the very best I would want to see rosalina's observatory or the mario head airship parked. If not, have the mushroom spaceships that are scattered throughout the game's different worlds, or something very distinct. It just doesn't seem very distinctly SMG.

But then again it's not the most detailed concept art, just an overall view.

It's outlined in red in the pic just a page or two back.
 

FigmentForver96

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.



With Disneyland and Magic Kingdom, the park’s lands essentially flow from one to the next. With the exception of the Central Plaza, which resides in a place apart (that’s actually somewhat false. Originally the Central Plaza or Hub was clearly part of Main Street USA, but recent changes have somewhat muddled its identity particularly in Florida), the whole park was a collection of different lands. Each land was part of the “Magic Kingdom.” Thus the public became accustomed to Disneyland or MK taking them to different locales. The immersive locales were Disneyland.



Fast forward to EPCOT Center and there’s a new approach. Instead of journeying to a make believe place that would transport you to different times and places, EPCOT Center would be a real place. It was self aware, almost like documentary knows it’s documentary and might reference the viewer, so too would EPCOT Center reference and acknowledge the guest. You wouldn’t be visiting the old west, you would be visiting EPCOT Center and you would be able to enjoy EPCOT Center’s attractions. While there would be fantasy attractions, there was not the same level of attempt at trying to explain them. While we have become accustomed to immersive lands with contrived back stories explaining why we are sitting down on a motorcycle bike to suddenly be transported to an Ikran, EPCOT Center didn’t waste time on that. Great stories came in great architecture with powerful messages at EPCOT Center. That amusingly made the queues look decidedly unattractive from our point of view, but we have become used to the exact opposite. Extreme attempts to explain away cast members, queues, ride vehicles, FP, Coca-Cola, toys, etc.



You were never visiting Germany- you were visiting the Germany Pavilion. That’s a fundamental difference between Magic Kingdom and Epcot. That meant the park didn’t try to hide its buildings or flow from one land to the next. It was supposed to be big, impressive, and inspiring. Interestingly, this is exactly the opposite of almost all current park projects. Very interesting park Epcot... Disney’s MGM Studios was the same train of thought as Epcot. You were visiting Disney’s MGM Studios, not Hollywood or anywhere else.



Jump forward again to Tokyo Disney Sea and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We’re back to the Disneyland style of one land flowing into the next. You discover each place as you come to it- and you’re supposed to feel as though you’re not in a theme park. When you go to Africa, you’re in Africa. The lands of the park are the park’s identity. They pull this immersion off in spectacular fashion. The harmony between these lands is simply stunning (particularly at TDS... What genius!). DAK also does some super cool storytelling through its layout, but that’s different story... :) *



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...


*Shanghai Disney is a weird beast. If anything, it’s more like Epcot in a weird way. Weird weird weird.
You hit it right on the head! Bravo!
 

MisterPenguin

Fully Pfizered!
Premium Member
ah I see thanks, yea that doesn't look super mario galaxyish to me.

Really?...

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You're entering the ride through a green pipe.

395308
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
This is not political but part of the way Universal and Disney are paying for these explanations is due to the Trump tax cuts which allow for 100% write off of capital investments. That can cover 21% of the cost as they won't have to wait years for the tax deduction. The rest of it will come from higher ticket and food prices offset by increases in attendance. Using attenance of 20 million a year, a $10.00 per day increase would bring in $200 million a year and that is $600 to $800 million over the years of construction. The cost of the hotels, unlike Disney's, are paid for by Loews Hotels as they own them and share the profits with Universal. If the tax law changes expect massive cuts to both Disney and Universal expansion plans.
uh oh...red alert.
Galaxy's Edge was likely a direct response to the Harry Potter success. We'll see.
they said they rushed that announcement...but I’m drawing a blank as to why they needed to then?
A "direct" response that took 9 years
Avatar would classify as a response. Disney didn’t even own the Lucas IP till 5 years after Potter was announced and they we’re building the second phase.

As soon as Disney figures out what Star Wars is...then maybe they can use it as a response.
It is when the Park opens. Disney will already be over that by then. I think the announcement was crazy because based on supply and demand of labor by 2023 the starting wage should be $18.00 an hour for both Disney and Universal. Minimum wage laws have no relevancy in the Orlando labor market. They need to attract more people from outside the market to fill all their jobs. Lets keep the economy growing so both resorts continue to grow.
Let’s hope so...substandard wages to feed corporations has been the m.o. in Orlando for 35 years...which is 34 years too long imho
And I'm sure this will further anger the Universalists, but Epic Universe is a stupid name. Way to tap into the Fortnite generation. Was Lit Adventure already taken? LOL
Would it be stupid kinda like new lands with ambiguous names that the designers still can’t explain what the hell it means?

I hate it when that happens
Beasts is more likely Ministry of Magic.

I would suspect that three-five years from now, DHS will have two more rides.
That means shovels need to be moving soon....whattaya have in mind?
This seems like a weird comparison. Also, unless I missed something, don't think anyone is really giving Uni a hard time regarding the potential for 9 opening day rides.
Seems valid enough. Uni is already starting to get scoffed at for a park that is years from opening and undoubtedly is still being set...
While the comparison park is still limping along after the shovels hit the grounds 33 years ago.
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.
Good news: Disney pretty much finished that...might have even opened one already 😉
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
Really?...

*snip*

You're entering the ride through a green pipe.
Green pipes as a form of transport have been in every Mario game since the original 1985 Super Mario Bros, they're in no way unique to Mario Galaxy. Also, the design of Peach's Castle used in Galaxy was first established in Super Mario 64, released in 1996. This design is seen in all Mario games since then including the New Super Mario Bros series, Mario Kart, Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi, Mario 3D Land/World, Mario Odyssey among many many others.

Those tall rocks are also way too generic to make such a connection.

If the concept art had scenery that more closely resembled the smaller Galaxy specific "star festival" details like this scene, then I might think there were influences specifically from that game-

Or Rosalina's Comet Observatory or Starship Mario-
 
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ParkPeeker

Well-Known Member
if that's supposed to be a mario pipe, that's sad

Green pipes as a form of transport have been in every Mario game since the original 1985 Super Mario Bros, they're in no way unique to Mario Galaxy. Also, the standard design of Peach's Castle used in Galaxy was first established in Super Mario 64, released in 1996. That design has been used in all Mario games since then including the New Super Mario Bros series, Mario Kart, Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi, Super Mario 3D Land/World and Mario Odyssey among many many others released before and after Galaxy.

Those tall rocks are also way too generic to make such a connection.
also it doesn't look like peach's castle
 
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ParkPeeker

Well-Known Member
That's what the teaser showed as well...
Sequence-01.Still009.jpg


I still think will be seeing better concept art down the road...Similar to how Epcot concept art will show a better look compared to it's 2017 concept art.
that's a proper mario pipe. The area in the picture we are looking at and talking about isn't even the nintendo area.
this is
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Sharon&Susan

Well-Known Member
If Toad is referenced in any way in Super Nintendo World, it’s a reference to Paper Mario...

Because pretty much every non-enemy NPC is a Toad in Sticker Star and Color Splash. The next game will probably be Paper Toad where every single character, good or bad, is a Toad!
 

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
The more I think about this name, the more I feel like it's almost a guarantee that it will need to be renamed or rebranded. The original name when the property became a resort instead of just a theme park was "Universal Studios Escape." They had to change this to "Universal Orlando Resort" because it didn't market well. It did not convey that there was a second theme park, dining and nightlife district,, and onsite hotels to those who were not in the know. Similarly, "Universal Studios Islands of Adventure" was later rebranded as "Universal's Islands of Adventure" because it sounded like a new area within the existing park and not an entire separate theme park.

"Come visit Universal's Epic Universe!" - it sounds like buzzword marketing for the existing resort.
 

JT3000

Well-Known Member
I've never seen so many people so willing to draw concrete conclusions from the most vague of concept art, with no actual details given yet... 🤨

It was a disappointing announcement, basically aimed squarely at the GP who weren't already aware of what was going on. While y'all argue over imagined details that were never actually confirmed, I'm still over here waiting for the real ones.

I will say that a whole land dedicated to HTTYD sounds completely ridiculous, which is why I refuse to believe it. I'm not thrilled with Fantastic Beasts either, but I believe it simply because Universal is attached to that franchise at the hip. I suspect we will be seeing a more general Dreamworks land when it's all said and done, with mini-lands dedicated to their biggest franchises. Otherwise we know what's getting replaced first.

I'm also hoping this park doesn't open with just 4 lands. I understand wanting to have space left for expansion, but that is overdoing it. A new park should still have 5 lands minimum. Hopefully they just excluded some big things from the concept art because the details are not set in stone yet.
 
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ParkPeeker

Well-Known Member
To someone not looking deep enough into the conversation, it looks like I'm nitpicking the pipes and the castle of the already fully modeled/detailed nintendo area, which I think looks great.

Smh mister penguin making me look bad 😂
 
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