• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Universal's Epic Universe (South Expansion Complex) - Opens Summer 2025

trr1

Well-Known Member
Tommy Hawkins
@tommyhawkins
20h

Central Hub tonight, here's a close up of the Main #EpicUniverse fountain. laying utilities for the Carousel/lake to the right, notice foundations started on the QSR at 4oclock, BBQ restaurant 7oclock position, Potter QSR 10 oclock, Hub coaster at 12 oclock
@bioreconstruct
1655234340501.png

Tommy Hawkins
@tommyhawkins
The hotel in USB is called The Universal Studios Grand Hotel, Beijing's hotel design is roughly similar, but much more boxey. #EpicUniverse is thought to be called Universal's Grand Helios Hotel. Anyway enjoy this pre-construction breakdown, check out the pool, looks amazing:
1655234421692.png
 

UpAllNight

Well-Known Member
I’m so excited for this park.

I’m from the UK & have visited Florida on 4 occasions (all long trips 14-21 days), first trip as a kid in 1999, which by coincidence was Islands of Adventures opening year. I didn’t return for 15 years, but one of my best memories in life is that feeling of how Islands of Adventure absolutely blew my socks off In 1999. It remained by fave theme park for 15 years until I visited again, and saw Potter...where it cemented it’s place.

I’ve always been Disney at heart as most are having been brought up on it, and having frequent trips to DLP as a kid - and this worked it’s magic on me a few years later where Disney World was my preference & it dethroned Islands (Animal Kingdom specifically). Visited Cali and Disneyland where Disneyland took the crown, until I went back this year and Islands once again blew me away with Velocicoaster & Hagrids. I absolutely adore the place, despite some areas needing work.

Good theme parks make long lasting impressions. I think Universal Studios is a mess at the moment, but that visit in 1999 as a kid made such a lasting impression on me that it still FEELS like I’m on holiday when I’m there. It just makes me happy, despite the ride lineup somehow being worse than 2 decades ago.

To see a new a universal park, 26 years later, to see what they can do & feel that excitement of newness, I think we’re in for a treat.

Disney made a Universal great & in turn they’ve made Disney up their game. Let’s not forget the VERY lean years. My hope is that Disney keep knocking it out of the park with new rides, because we’re all then winners.

My concern, for Universal, is that by focussing so much on Epic, it’s going to be a decade before Studios is sorted. Islands just needs some solid refurbs I feel (Dudleys, Poseidon , CitH, FJ, River Adventure)
 

wdwfan4ver

Well-Known Member
My concern, for Universal, is that by focussing so much on Epic, it’s going to be a decade before Studios is sorted. Islands just needs some solid refurbs I feel (Dudleys, Poseidon , CitH, FJ, River Adventure)
I think some of those concerns you might be true, but I don't think they are going to ignore the 2 parks for 10 years completely.

My reasoning is 2 things. 2028 is when the Simpsons contract is expiring and is very possible Springfield could be gone. It is in Universal's best interest to replace that area as soon as possible if the Simpsons theme park rights don't get extended.

The 2nd thing I read about the offices of Islands of Adventure and Studios being moved into that 750 acres of land Universal bought. Not all that land is for Epic Universe. That in return means Islands of adventure and Studios gets more space for able to do stuff like adding attraction or other stuff to the 2 parks by moving offices. I doubt it it will take Universal a decade for that office movie due Universal needs to give returning visitors a reason to go to the original 2 theme parks.

I agree with the expansion plot focus in Epic Universe, but also they have hotel land plots that are not used yet in the 750 acres of land. When Epic Universe opens there are going to be 2 or 3 hotels open, but there is something like 3 more expansion plots for hotels. It is in Universal's best interest to use the hotel plots in that 750 acres of land. I'm sure guests want to stay close to Epic Universe as possible.
 

JT3000

Well-Known Member
I think some of those concerns you might be true, but I don't think they are going to ignore the 2 parks for 10 years completely.

My reasoning is 2 things. 2028 is when the Simpsons contract is expiring and is very possible Springfield could be gone. It is in Universal's best interest to replace that area as soon as possible if the Simpsons theme park rights don't get extended.

The 2nd thing I read about the offices of Islands of Adventure and Studios being moved into that 750 acres of land Universal bought. Not all that land is for Epic Universe. That in return means Islands of adventure and Studios gets more space for able to do stuff like adding attraction or other stuff to the 2 parks by moving offices. I doubt it it will take Universal a decade for that office movie due Universal needs to give returning visitors a reason to go to the original 2 theme parks.

I agree with the expansion plot focus in Epic Universe, but also they have hotel land plots that are not used yet in the 750 acres of land. When Epic Universe opens there are going to be 2 or 3 hotels open, but there is something like 3 more expansion plots for hotels. It is in Universal's best interest to use the hotel plots in that 750 acres of land. I'm sure guests want to stay close to Epic Universe as possible.
Moving offices to the Epic Universe campus could potentially free up a decent amount of space at the Studios. IOA? Not so much. There's practically nothing backstage but a service road on all sides. It's pretty hemmed in and will require attraction replacements in the future.
 

J4546

Well-Known Member
Maybe Disney and US can reach an agreement to sign over rights to all the Marvel characters in the future, allowing for a more expansive Marvel based land in a FL Disney park. How much $$$ I dont know. Maybe even a trade, say Disney gives them SImpsons for the Marvel stuff....I dunno.
 

JT3000

Well-Known Member
Maybe Disney and US can reach an agreement to sign over rights to all the Marvel characters in the future, allowing for a more expansive Marvel based land in a FL Disney park. How much $$$ I dont know. Maybe even a trade, say Disney gives them SImpsons for the Marvel stuff....I dunno.
Never gonna happen. Not unless the MCU bubble bursts and the characters lose most of their relevance & value.
 

Jon81uk

Well-Known Member
Maybe Disney and US can reach an agreement to sign over rights to all the Marvel characters in the future, allowing for a more expansive Marvel based land in a FL Disney park. How much $$$ I dont know. Maybe even a trade, say Disney gives them SImpsons for the Marvel stuff....I dunno.
There are plenty of Marvel characters that Universal can currently use but either haven’t used or just added in the most basic way such as a restaurant or small ride.
 

UpAllNight

Well-Known Member
Strangely all this multiverse talk has made me accept the cartoon like nature of MSHI more - “in this multiverse, hulk is a rollercoaster” 😅 . It would be criminal to do anything that impacts Spiderman. It’s still a top 10 ride all these years later, and Disney haven’t exactly treat the franchise well just yet. Leave Marvel at IoA, there’s plenty of other areas in need of work first (like all of studios except Diagon)
 

UpAllNight

Well-Known Member
Moving offices to the Epic Universe campus could potentially free up a decent amount of space at the Studios. IOA? Not so much. There's practically nothing backstage but a service road on all sides. It's pretty hemmed in and will require attraction replacements in the future.

I think Disney with Disneyland, and to an extent Universal with the Hogwarts Express, have shown that there are ways and means of inventive use of space through themed entertainment.

I’m not familiar with the office locations mind, are they between IoA and USF or on the far side of studios?

I feel Islands still has good expansion space though, I think there’s a plot on Seuss, there’s 2 currently unused theatres and I seem to recall a plan / discussion around creating a big plot next to Spiderman that takes the toon lagoon theatre. There’s still options for IoA, although if I were the one making decisions, I’d be focussing on refurbs for that park and placing any investment in the studios.
 

puckett26

Member
Seems that some here share the same opinion that WDW has of Universal and even Sea World. Failing to recognize competitors as competition. Universal has seen extreme growth and is evolving from a 1 to 2 day park(s) experience to a full blown vacation resort. It started by "stealing" a day or two from WDW guests to potentially flipping the script and encouraging families to stay on site and spend a few days away at Disney. I still believe WDW is the superior resort destination, however, Universal has been competitive when it comes to capacity additions and new/improved experiences over the last decade plus. They move at a much better pace and don't "scale back" as much on budgets and deliverables.

Our first family trip to Disney World was in 2013, we stayed on site and spent all 5 days at WDW and 0 days at Universal or Sea World.

Our second family trip in 2016, we stayed on site at WDW for 6 days but spent 2 of those days at Universal.

Our third family trip in 2018, we stayed on site for 7 days but spent 3 of those days at Universal and SeaWorld.

Our most recent trip in 2021, we stayed off site in a beautiful VRBO rental for 8 days. We split our park time almost evenly as we spent 4 days at WDW, 3 days at Universal and 1 at SeaWorld. Rising hotel prices and lack of on site benefits has created a value bubble in our opinion. Disney lost a significant % of our total vacation spend over 4 trips.

That is a significant amount of $ that was diverted from WDW to their competition. Ignorance leads to bad decisions which corresponds to an opportunity cost that is difficult to measure (or possibly ignored). WDW does not know how much $ they are losing because I am spending it at Universal and SeaWorld. They only care about and focus on $ I am spending while there and trying to monetize every aspect of my vacation. The value proposition is not as strong and WDW certainly seems to have lost its focus on customer experience and satisfaction.

After Epic Universe is built, we will definitely look into staying on site or closer to Universal and SeaWorld and probably spend our fewest number of days at WDW. Why? Universal will have a brand new park to experience and they are constantly improving the current parks. Unlimited express pass and better room rates are desirable values when comparing packages between the parks. WDW needs to stop overselling and underdelivering or they will continue to lose Orlando vacation market share.
 

UpAllNight

Well-Known Member
^ We’ve just split stays doing 10 at Cabana Bay & 10 at Caribbean Beach. Cabana Bay was much cheaper & to be honest, much better.

I think what Universal have done particularly well is make their resort feel like a vacation. An hour early entry, all walkable with lovely views, no mass pre planning, you can drop out of the parks, have a few drinks and return to them then stumble home from citiwalk without going anywhere near a bus.

The biggest contrast for us was the above vs waking up at 6 am on what’s supposed to be a break, for a measly half hour early entry to Animal Kingdom. You get there and everyone is just stressed, tired and intent on getting where the need to be. Because if you don’t wake up for early entry you’ve paid a lot for on-site benefits you’re not using.

The differences between our 2 different stays was stark, and we’re probably more “universal people” now
 

puckett26

Member
Maybe Disney and US can reach an agreement to sign over rights to all the Marvel characters in the future, allowing for a more expansive Marvel based land in a FL Disney park. How much $$$ I dont know. Maybe even a trade, say Disney gives them SImpsons for the Marvel stuff....I dunno.
If I were Universal, I would refurb Marvel land and beat WDW at their own game/branding. Marvel deserves Harry Potter type theming. It may potentially sell just as many tickets as Star Wars and Harry Potter. Theming could be centered around being a part of a comic book story and needs to incorporate some of the other heavy hitters.

Make the land interactive and have character interactions and mini shows throughout the day. Maybe they can install a second Spider-Man ride that does web swinging the correct way. Give me a simulator/4D experience (I know Universal has too many of these) that simulates being in the suit and competes with Flight of Passage. If you can't tell, I am a massive Spider-Man fan and wouldn't mind a themed NY area that is Spider-Man only. Have him kicking a little A throughout the day and make it extremely interactive with fans like the Star Wars characters pre-pandemic.

Back on track, give me an old school "comic based" omni-mover or dark ride that is a massive team-up event and includes all of the major heroes and villains. Avenger campus seems to be disappointing (based on reviews - I have not visited) but created substantial buzz. There is a void in this area to meet strong customer demand.
 

puckett26

Member
^ We’ve just split stays doing 10 at Cabana Bay & 10 at Caribbean Beach. Cabana Bay was much cheaper & to be honest, much better.

I think what Universal have done particularly well is make their resort feel like a vacation. An hour early entry, all walkable with lovely views, no mass pre planning, you can drop out of the parks, have a few drinks and return to them then stumble home from citiwalk without going anywhere near a bus.

The biggest contrast for us was the above vs waking up at 6 am on what’s supposed to be a break, for a measly half hour early entry to Animal Kingdom. You get there and everyone is just stressed, tired and intent on getting where the need to be. Because if you don’t wake up for early entry you’ve paid a lot for on-site benefits you’re not using.

The differences between our 2 different stays was stark, and we’re probably more “universal people” now
You nailed the value proposition points that I did not expand upon. Couldn't agree more.
 

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Top Bottom