Universal Orlando announces new Epic Universe theme park
Scottie Andrew and Brian Ries, CNN
(CNN) — There’s a new theme park coming soon to Florida, and this one promises to be epic.
Universal Orlando announced Thursday construction had begun for Epic Universe, a long-rumored fourth park that executives promised “forever changes theme park entertainment.”
The massive new park is the company’s first new property since water park Volcano Bay opened in May 2017. CEO Tom Williams said Epic Universe is the “most immersive and innovative theme park” in its lineup, which also includes Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure.
At more than 750 acres, the park more than doubles the company’s acreage in Orlando, according to a statement. It’s located near the Orange County Convention Center, a few miles south of its sibling parks.
Universal execs stayed mum on just which franchises would occupy Epic Universe, but they promised guests would encounter “beloved stories” throughout the sprawling park. Concept art appears to portray at least two roller coasters, several indoor rides, large pools of water and a towering palace.
Resort officials said the new park is a win for the Central Florida economy, too. The company plans to hire an additional 14,000 employees to staff the park and new hotels, shops and entertainment venues. Universal Orlando is the third-largest employer in the area, with more than 25,000 employees.
The company declined to provide an opening date for the park, but here’s hoping it goes a bit smoother than a recent launch.
When the “Harry Potter”-themed roller coaster Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opened at Islands of Adventure in June, fans waited up to 10 hours through technical issues and lightning storms for their turn to ride.