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Everything We Know About Universal Epic Universe (Latest Updates)

Everything We Know About Universal Epic Universe (Latest Updates)

Universal Studios Orlando is getting ready to open its third theme park, and it’s been a long time coming. Epic Universe was first announced in August 2019, and after years of construction updates and pouring over new concept photos, the moment that the park opens its gates for the first time is almost here.

Scheduled to open in 2025, Epic Universe will be the home of the east coast’s version of Super Nintendo World, a new Harry Potter-themed land, attractions based on How to Train Your Dragon, and more.

But to tide us over ’til then, here’s everything we know so far about Universal Epic Universe.

What we know so far

Epic Universe

More than a year after Super Nintendo World opened at Universal Studios Hollywood, the East Coast is closer than ever to hanging out with Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach. But while the California version of the area is just a land in their already existing theme park, this one will be a part of an all-new theme park called Epic Universe.

And it won’t just be limited to the Nintendo theme, either; we’ll also see other themed lands coming to life as part of the brand-new park. A new hotel, Universal Helios Grand Hotel, will be opening at Epic Universe in 2025 as well, offering an exclusive entrance into the park for hotel guests.

Little by little, updates about what we can expect have been trickling in, and as more and more projects in the park are underway, those updates are starting to speed up. It’s an exciting time to be a theme park fan!

Opening Date

No official opening date has been announced yet, but we do know that Epic Universe will be opening sometime in 2025.

Without more information, it’s hard to predict exactly what month or even season the park will be opening, but it wouldn’t be too surprising to find out if the opening was before (or during) the peak summer season.

Lands & Attractions

Guests will travel through different “portals” to access each of the immersive areas of the park. There will be five different lands at Epic Universe:

How to Train Your Dragon — Isle of Berk

How to Train Your Dragon — Isle of Berk

Based on the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, so far, we know Isle of Berk will be themed after a viking village and include meet and greets with Hiccup, Toothless, and other characters from the movies, along with:

  • Hiccup’s Wing Gliders: A rollercoaster where guests board a “flying contraption” that sends them soaring around the land, seeing familiar dragons like Toothless and Hiccup along the way. It will have a 40″ height requirement.
  • The Untrainable Dragon: A live show including special effects and the chance to see Toothless flying over the audience
  • Dragon Racer’s Rally: Board a “Viking-made dragon-riding trainer” that appears to spin guests through the air. It will have a 48″ height requirement.
  • Fyre Drill: A kid-friendly boat ride where guests on board can shoot water at targets along the way as they compete for the high score.
  • Viking Training Camp: An interactive play area aimed at the youngest visitors

Celestial Park

Celestial Park at Epic Universe

Described as the “cosmic heart” of Epic Universe, Celestial Park will feature greenery, fountains, and a few attractions, including:

  • Starfall Racers: A dual-launch rollercoaster that reaches speeds of up to 62 mph along 5,000 feet of track. It will have a 48″ height requirement.
  • Constellation Carousel: A themed carousel that features representations of the constellations instead of traditional horses, which all lift six feet in the air and turn 360 degrees.
  • Astronomica: A wet-play area complete with fountains

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter —  Ministry of Magic

Ministry of Magic Portal

While no attractions that will be included in Ministry of Magic have been officially announced yet, we do know that a brand-new Harry Potter-themed world is coming to Epic Universe. The Ministry of Magic we know from the books and movies will incorporate details from the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

Though Universal hasn’t confirmed this yet, trademark filings from late 2023 seem to indicate that the main attraction in the land will be called Harry Potter and the Battle at the Ministry, which may be a dark ride similar to the ones that already exist in the Wizarding World parks at Universal and Islands of Adventure, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Other trademarks filed for the land include Tour en Floo, which may be the gift shop at the exit of the ride and Le Cirque Arcanus, a live show that might be themed to the circus from Fantastic Beasts.

Trademarks have also been filed for shops, including Cosme Acajor Baguettes Magique (a wand shop), Mademoiselle Malkin’s (a robes and clothing shop), and Les Galeries Mirifiques (a department store). Filings for restaurants include Patisserie Matagot (a bakery), two quick service locations called Café L’air de la Sirène and Le Gobelet Noir, and a bar called Bar Moonshine.

Super Nintendo World

Super Nintendo World portal at Epic Universe

This super adorable new land is based all around your favorite Nintendo games. When it opens, you’ll find all your favorite characters woven into attraction after attraction but to kick it off, you’ll first have to enter that iconic green pipe we all know and love!

As Universal says “It all begins the moment guests enter the portal to SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, which will transport them through the iconic green pipe into the immersive land. As guests emerge from the pipe, vibrant scenery and exciting kinetic energy surround them as they are greeted by the familiar sights and sounds that they’ve experienced on their Nintendo game consoles – from the towering Mt. Beanpole and majestic Peach’s Castle to swaying Piranha Plants, pacing Goombas, spinning coins, ? Blocks and more.”

The details have been pouring in for this amazing new land, so let’s dive into what you’ll find:

Power-Up Bands

In addition to the rides, restaurants, and shops, Super Nintendo World will also offer Power-Up Bands, which is a wearable for your wrist that will allow guests to “enhance their play throughout Super Mario Land and Donkey Kong Country.”

Guests with Power-Up Bands can collect coins by punching ? blocks, earn digital keys and collect stamps on attractions, plus more. And, you’ll be able to track your rankings through a leaderboard – video game style!

Super Mario Land

First up at Super Nintendo World is Super Mario Land, home of the Mushroom Kingdom. Here you’ll have 2 attractions, a restaurant, a couple of snack stands, shops, and spots to meet and greet your favorite Nintendo characters:

  • Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge: In this revolutionary attraction, guests become part of Team Mario as they take on Team Bowser in an epic race for the Golden Cup. Through a blend of augmented reality, projection mapping, and immersive environments, the thrill of the Mario Kart video game series is brought to life in an exhilarating ride experience. It’s an adventure that combines cutting-edge technology with the beloved characters and excitement of Mario Kart, promising an unforgettable journey for all who dare to join in.
  • Yoshi’s Adventure: When Universal Epic Universe opens its doors, visitors can look forward to the exciting U.S. debut of Yoshi’s Adventure, a ride cherished by fans worldwide. Designed with families in mind, it promises an unforgettable journey through the colorful landscapes of Super Mario Land. Riding alongside Yoshis, guests will be treated to stunning views and plenty of surprises as they search for glowing eggs. Along the way, they’ll encounter familiar characters, adding an extra layer of magic to their adventure.
  • Toadstool Café: A café serving up dishes inspired by Super Mario and all the beloved characters. Options include Mario and Luigi-themed burgers, Super Mushroom Soup, Piranha Plant Caprese, Fire Flower Spaghetti and Meatballs and more. The restaurant will even have virtual windows where guests will be able to see several Toads cooking up their meals!
  • Yoshi’s Snack Island and Turbo Boost Treats: Snack stands serving treats and beverages.
  • 1-UP Factory and Mario Motors: Retail shops selling Super Mario themed items.
  • Meet and Greets: Designated spots where guests can meet, greet and interact with Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad

Donkey Kong Country

Just beyond the borders of Super Mario Land, you’ll find the lush world of Donkey Kong Country. As guests approach the entrance, they’ll be greeted by a vibrant tropical landscape straight out of the beloved video game series. Towering trees, cascading waterfalls, and iconic landmarks like The Golden Temple await exploration. It’s an immersive experience that transports visitors into the heart of Donkey Kong’s jungle paradise. Here’s what you’ll find there:

  • Mine-Cart Madness: Using an innovative ride system and unique coaster design, Mine-Cart Madness promises jaw-dropping excitement at every twist and turn. Riding in specially designed mine carts, visitors will experience heart-stopping maneuvers inspired by the iconic Donkey Kong video games as they race to protect the golden banana.
  • Snacks and souvenirs: Universal has confirmed there will be places to purchase food and souvenirs in this area of Super Nintendo World, but all the details have not yet been released.

Dark Universe

Dark Universe portal at Epic Universe

We know the least about the last land, called Dark Universe, but we feel safe to say that it is the land that lots of horror fans are very excited about.

Inspired by the classic horror films, Dark Universe will be a land dedicated to Universal’s monsters, headed up by Dr. Victoria Frankenstein.


These are the dining locations we know are coming to Epic Universe so far:

How to Train Your Dragon — Isle of Berk

  • Mead Hall: A quick service dining location that will offer up a “hearty menu including meat, fish, sandwiches and desserts” along with alcoholic beverages including meads, ciders, and ales.
  • Spit Fyre Grill: A quick service dining location outside of Fyre Drill
  • Hooligan’s Grog & Gruel: A racing-themed food stand in Viking Camp

Celestial Park

  • Atlantic: A full service, fine dining restaurant themed after a Victorian aquarium serving seafood and steaks
  • The Blue Dragon Pan-Asian Restaurant: Serving Asian food and cocktails, this table service restaurant promises to include many Celestial Park Easter eggs
  • The Oak & Star Tavern: A barbecue restaurant
  • Pizza Moon: A pizza restaurant

Epic Universe News & Updates

May 2024

So many details were revealed today – all centering around the highly anticipated Super Nintendo World. While some specifics are still TBD (primarily in Donkey Kong Country), we did find out a lot about the attractions – which include 2 different options in Super Mario Land and one over in Donkey Kong Country.

Universal also gave us a few more details about the Power-Up Bands, which will be a wearable that allows guests to interact with elements through all of Super Nintendo World.

Read more in the release from Nintendo.

March 2024

More details were revealed about How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk on March 28, 2024, when Universal announced the attractions and dining options that would be included in the land. Visitors would get to experience four rides, a live show, and a character meet and greet, along with different quick service dining locations themed to the How to Train Your Dragon franchise.

How to Train Your Dragon meet and greet

A press release published at the time promised that guests would be surrounded by “immense architecture featuring hand-carved details, lush landscaping, and extraordinary heights of rolling hills surrounding vibrant dragon houses and local establishments.”

January 2024

Blue Dragon restaurant at Epic Universe

At long last, Universal finally started sharing concrete details about what we could expect at Epic Universe, starting with Celestial Park.

On January 30, 2024, a press release described Celestial Park, or the hub area for Epic Universe, as “lush living gardens nestled along shimmering waters surrounded by stunning architecture inspired by astronomical and mythological elements.” The land will include a rollercoaster, restaurants, and shops. The press release confirmed that attractions would include Starfall Racers and Constellation Carousel, along with a wet-play area called Astronomica. Four restaurants were also announced (Atlantic, the Blue Dragon Pan-Asian Restaurant, the Oak & Star Tavern, and Pizza Moon) along with a candy store called Moonship Chocolates & Celestial Sweets.

Universal also shared that guests would find portals to the other lands in the theme park — The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic, Super Nintendo World, How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk, and Dark Universe — which were also officially revealed for the first time.

March 2021

Nearly a year after construction shut down on Epic Universe, it resumed, slowly ramping back up to full speed.

July 2020

Construction was paused on Epic Universe in July 2020 after COVID-19 shut down Universal Studios, as the company shared during a conference call with investors.

August 2019

On August 1, 2019, Universal officially announced their fourth theme park, Epic Universe, would be built just a few miles from the original resort. In a press release, the company announced that the new park would also include new hotels, shops, restaurants, an entertainment center, and more, all set on a 750-acre site that promised to double the total acreage available to the parks.

Marcus Li

Thursday 25th of April 2024

Regarding the Dark Universe land, I'm a bit skeptical. The attempt to kickstart the Dark Universe with the Mummy reboot wasn't exactly a hit. Hoping Universal learned from that and offers something truly worth while this time around.

Jenna Pritchett

Thursday 25th of April 2024

So thrilled to hear about the Wizarding World expansion to include the Ministry of Magic! Nicole, do you think they'll feature any particular events or characters from the books that we haven't seen yet? Can't wait to visit!

Heather Thomas

Thursday 25th of April 2024

We really aren't sure (yet). Universal has been slowly trickling out the info, but we're hopeful we'll get more about that land and the Dark Universe land SOON!

Derrick H.

Thursday 25th of April 2024

Stoked about Super Nintendo World!

Ella-Marie Jensen

Thursday 25th of April 2024

Just read about the Epic Universe updates, super excited for the Isle of Berk – my kiddos are huge How to Train Your Dragon fans! I'm already planning our family trip for 2025. Now we just need to know WHEN in 2025 stuff will open!