Several years ago Universal Orlando Resort announced plans for Epic Universe, the third gate at its property, but from that day to this, everything we knew about Epic Universe (officially) as far as what would actually be inside the park when Epic Universe opened next year. was actually minimal. Only Super Nintendo World had ever been officially confirmed. Today Universal Orlando gave us our first look at Epic Universe, and Epic looks to be the right word for it.
Rumors of the different lands have all proven to be accurate. In addition to Super Nintendo World, Epic Universe will include a land dedicated to How to Train Your Dragon, Dark Universe, a land dedicated to classic Universal monsters, and a third Wizarding World of Harry Potter, called Ministry of Magic, which will blend a 1920's Paris aesthetic from the Fantastic Beasts franchise with the traditional British ministry from the main film series. But what really has me excited is the fifth land, Celestial Gardens, which feels like the real theme park game changer.
Celestial Gardens Is a Gamechanging Theme Park Hub... With A Cool Dual Coaster
Unlike Universal's other parks, Epic Universe will use the hub and spoke design that was pioneered originally at Disneyland. The four other lands will all branch off from a fifth area called Celestial Gardens, but what sets it apart from the traditional theme park hub is that it isn't just an entrance area, it's a theme park land of its own, that may also have the best attraction in the entire park.
Starfall Racers, a duel launch racing coaster will be located inside Celestial Gardens. While the duel launch coaster was expected, it was rumored to be part of the How to Train Your Dragon land, but will instead be part of the hub world. It will boast speeds of 62 mph, and 133 feet along 5,000 feet of track. The marquee moment is being called the "celestial spin" which will see two coasters doing an inverted criss-cross.
A second attraction, Constellation Carousel, will also be in the Celestial Gardens area, alongside all the traditional stuff you expect in a theme park hub, shopping and dining. Both full-service and quick-service restaurants as well as a tavern will be included. Atlantic, the full-service restaurant will be inside a full aquarium.
From Celestial Gardens, guests will have access to "portals" to the other four lands. The park is designed so that each of the other lands will be largely, if not entirely, hidden from view, so you will only see them in their glory once you enter them.
Universal Helios Grand Hotel Is Inside Epic Universe
The true highlight of Celestial Gardens, however, maybe the hotel. The Universal Helios Grand Hotel will be located at the end of the theme park hub, inside the actual Epic Universe park, giving guests likely both additional access to the park, and probably also incredible views of the property. Guests will have a dedicated entrance to Epic Universe, of course.
Epic Universe still feels a long way off, but now it feels a bit closer. Universal theme parks in a major phase of expansion, and if this is a taste of what is to come elsewhere, theme park fans should be very excited.
There's a lot about Epic Universe that we still don't know, at least officially. Exactly what attractions will be in the other four lands has not been confirmed. In the end, that just means it's going to be a fun year as we learn about what else is to come for Epic Universe before it opens next year.