It has been over a month since Universal officially announced that they’re building their next fully fledged theme park in Orlando. An opening date has not yet been announced for Universal’s Epic Universe, but you better believe we will be checking in on the progress for this new park over the next few years.
Today we will be taking a look at the park’s future site from the air, thanks to photos shared exclusively with Orlando ParkStop. These photos show all of the cleared land that will be utilized for the new park — as well as backstage areas, at least one hotel, and a massive parking lot. Stay tuned for more rumor news and permit updates for the new park in the coming months as well. Let’s dig in to today’s update!
Before we take a look at the theme park areas, let’s check in on the backstage lot. This will be the first area to see major construction, as permits for employee parking lots and warehouses have already been approved. This area is right up against Sand Lake Road, seen on the right side of the image above, and will be used for staging, parking, and Creative work related to this massive project in the coming years. When the park opens, it will be where Team Members park and the backstage areas that run the park will be located.
The photo below shows the backstage areas as seen from above the theme park, looking north, towards Sand Lake Road. Below that is an overlay of the current backstage area permitted plans onto an aerial photograph.
Zooming out further, in the image below, we can see nearly the entire area for the theme park in the foreground. The backstage area is in the back-right. The in-park hotel is in the back-center. And the lands will be on the left and right side of the image. Parking will be off screen to the bottom-right.
It’s hard to tell from the image, but we’re looking at an area about one and half times the size of Islands of Adventure here. Below it is the same image, along with some approximate labels for the different parts of the theme park.
Below is an approximate map for all of the lands for Epic Universe, drawn on top of the actual development plans for the area. The roads seen between each of the themed areas of the park will be for emergency vehicles, including fire engines and ambulances, to be able to gain access. Once we start to see these access roads be built, we will have a much better understanding of how the land will be laid out.
This image below shows us that the drainage pond that will be located behind the hotel is still only halfway formed at this time. Once complete, this pond will be part of the view from rooms that don’t face the park. It is also rumored to be where fireworks will be set off from for the nightly show. In the image below, the hotel will be located in about the center of the photo, with this lagoon behind it. The rest of the park continues on to the left.
While still facing this way, looking south, we can see the bottom half of the theme park in front of us, as well as the area where the parking lot will be. The parking lot will be at the top-left of this photo.
Here is a closer view of the future location of the parking lot, along with where they plan to build a new road named “Universal Way.” It will connect the future Kirkman Road expansion to the existing Destination Parkway. This new road will take visitors to and from the massive parking lot.
In addition to the parking lot, this area (the eastern-most part of Universal Orlando’s southern campus,) may someday offer an additional theme park or some other type of entertainment offering. There’s more unused land located to the south of where the theme park and parking lot will be built that could be utilized for additional hotels or other future projects as well.
Rotating the camera to the left, the image below shows a view of what is located just to the north of the massive parking lot, and to the east of the theme park: a water treatment plant. This treatment plant butts up against the right side of the theme park, where most of the park’s future expansion will be located, as well as the backside of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them land.
With the treatment plant located here, some have speculated that that may have been part of the calculation for placing the Fantastic Beasts land in this corner of the park, as that land will be set mostly indoors. Perhaps an inside land is part of how Universal plans to get around the fact that this water treatment plant can sometimes, well, not smell too good.
That’s all for this photo update. Please credit “Orlando ParkStop” if using any of these images in your own articles or videos, and link back to this story when possible. Thank you! For more details on what lands, rides and more we think will be found at the new park, see our story all about the Rides and Patents for Epic Universe.
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Stay tuned for more news on the new theme park and more! Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email below to never miss an update. Official Concept Art: Universal | Graphics by Alicia Stella | Aerial Photos: Anonymous