Epic Universe News Update: Official Concept Art, Names Announced, and Construction Progress

Officially announced in August 2019, we’ve been talking about the development and construction of Epic Universe since 2018. Currently we are probably a little over a year away from the opening of this new theme park in Orlando, Florida.

Around the site we can detailed work happening on the Donkey Kong Mine Cart ride’s temple, coaster trains are on the track for How to Train Your Dragon and Dark Universe, and scaffolding is coming down around the impressive Parisian buildings of the Wizarding World.

New official promotional art for Universal Epic Universe

But that’s not all, because Universal has finally revealed official details for Epic Universe, including all new concept art for the park, a look at how all of the portals into each of the themed worlds will look once completed, and full details for Celestial Park, the park’s central hub.

This marks the first time the company has confirmed all of the lands of the park—not only giving us the official names for each, but also their logos, and detailed renderings for their entrances.

Let’s dig into all of the details from this week’s official announcement, as well as construction happening within all of the worlds of Epic Universe, in today’s news update. See the video version of this story above for additional visuals.

Updated official concept art of Universal Epic Universe

For the first time since 2019, the company has revealed more details for Universal Epic Universe. With a blog post, press release, updated website, and a beautiful video presentation on YouTube, Universal Orlando has revealed many new details for the park, including the official names for each of its five themed lands.

The announcement took time to explain how the portals will work, allowing us to travel between worlds within Epic Universe.

The first land we encounter, of course, is Celestial Park, Epic Universe’s central area and our hub to each of the other worlds.

Official concept art of the entry area inside of Epic Universe

Official concept art of the entry area inside of Epic Universe

Universal says that “With acres of rolling gardens, chasing waterways and strolling pathways, Celestial Park puts the park back in theme park.”

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic is “where guests will discover a different era of the wizarding world in an all-new land that blends 1920s wizarding Paris from Warner Bros. Pictures’ Fantastic Beasts films with the iconic British Ministry of Magic from the Harry Potter series”

SUPER NINTENDO WORLD is “where guests will enter the iconic green pipe and discover a new way to play as they step into the worlds of beloved characters like Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Donkey Kong.”

How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk, “where guests can soar with dragons in a colorful world filled with Viking adventures based on the wildly popular How to Train Your Dragon film franchise.”

And Dark Universe is “where guests encounter everything from the experiments of Dr. Victoria Frankenstein to the shadowy landscape where monsters roam in a world of myth and mystery.”

Official rendering of Celestial Park within Epic Universe

While we will be getting more details for each of the four worlds outside of the main hub in the coming months, this week’s announcement has revealed many official details for Celestial Park itself.

Universal calls Celestial Park “the heart of Universal Epic Universe and the first world guests will encounter at the new theme park.”

The three attractions of Celestial Park, Constellation Carousel, Starfall Racers, and Astronimica

Inside this area we have three attractions, including Constellation Carousel, the grand centerpiece of Celestial Park.

Official concept art for Constellation Carousel

“Here, explorers of all ages will take a fantastical whirl aboard constellations that glide forward, backward – and even make 360-degree rotations – through the milky way in a choreographed dance of music and starlight.”

Recent photo of Astronomica construction, Aerial Photos by: bioreconstruct

Astronomica, “an interactive wet-play area that also doubles as a giant compass rose to the many wonders of Epic Universe.”

Official concept art for Starfall Racers

And Starfall Racers,” a dual-launch racing coaster that sends guests rocketing through the skies aboard comets in a race to see who’s the fastest of them all.

Reaching speeds up to 62 mph and heights up to 133 feet along 5,000 feet of track, Starfall Racers will be Epic Universe’s most thrilling coaster experience with unique maneuvers such as the “Celestial Spin,” in which the two coaster vehicles perform an inverted crisscross while speeding through the air.

Recent photo of Starfall Racers construction, Photo by: bioreconstruct

Concept art for Nintendo Super Star Store

Celestial Park will feature unique shopping options, including the Nintendo Super Star Store, “where guests can shop an assortment of merchandise themed to SUPER NINTENDO WORLD,” and a sweets shop named Moonship Chocolates & Celestial Sweets which will be located near the front of the park.

Art depicting the interior of Nintendo Super Star Store

There will be an array of full service and quick service dining locations including:

Atlantic – a full-service “surf and turf” restaurant set inside a Victorian aquarium complete with captivating views of Celestial Park

Atlantic restaurant concept art

The Blue Dragon Pan-Asian Restaurant – where diners take a culinary journey across Asia as they enjoy authentic Chinese, Japanese and Thai fare in this full-service restaurant accented with neon dragons and ethereal lanterns.

The Blue Dragon Pan-Asian Restaurant concept art

Additional “must-eat” locations within Celestial Park include The Oak & Star Tavern, where guests can enjoy savory barbecue, Pizza Moon, which will serve up a tasty menu featuring a variety of pizzas, and more.

The Blue Dragon Pan-Asian Restaurant interior art

One more thing that was officially announced, was the name for the hotel located at the back of the park.

Official concept art for Universal Helios Grand Hotel

The Universal Helios Grand Hotel is “designed to transport guests to a world where the heavens and earth unite – complete with 500 rooms, one-of-a-kind views and its very own dedicated entrance into the theme park.”

Additional details for the lands outside of Celestial Park are expected to be revealed in the coming months, likely beginning in March and then every month through the summer.

Promotional art featuring all of the worlds of Epic Universe

Universal has confirmed that an interactive Epic Universe preview center is coming to Universal CityWalk later this year. We expect it will be replacing the recently closed Legacy store.

One interesting tidbit worth mentioning from this week’s announcement, is that the word “summer” is conspicuously missing from all descriptions of when Epic Universe will be opening. Now, it only says that this new park will be opening in 2025.

Official logo as seen in presentation video

Now, let’s check in on construction around all of the worlds of Epic Universe.

Celestial Park

Beginning at the front of the park, where guests will enter Celestial Park, we can compare how the entry portal into the park measures up to the official renderings.

Recent aerial photo of entry portal, Aerial Photos by: bioreconstruct

The tower above the entry portal features all of the planets aligned, this portal is called The Chronos according to Universal.

Chronos Tower official concept art

Entering Celestial Park, we can compare progress around the waterfalls near the entrance, to concept art for the area that is now known as “Luna Overlook.”

Waterfalls seen in recent construction photo

Waterfalls seen in official concept art

A new milestone has been hit within the center of the park, as the ride system for Constellation Carousel is finally being installed.

We can see sections of the turntable for this elaborately themed carousel ride about to be lifted into the ride pit via the open roof.

Over at Starfall Racers, new rockwork was recently revealed around the dueling roller coaster’s comet-shaped icon.

This rockwork matches renderings that were recently released as part of the official announcement.

Official rendering of Starfall Racers

A section of land is being prepared near the front of the park. Permits indicate that the two dining locations planned for this plot are beginning site work now, but they may not open with the park.

New work starting within Epic Universe

Permitted as Project 914, work will start on this Mexican dining location and an Italian dining location, but according to rumors it could open over a year after the park debuts.

Permit for new site work related to this plot, fasttrack.ocfl.net

Curiously, the model of Epic Universe revealed in the official announcement video appears to leave out this particular building.

Official image of Epic Universe model with plot circled

Another project that had seen new plans in recent years since the park was first announced, Meteor Astropub, as seen rapid construction. This location was not mentioned by name in the announcement.

Recent construction of Meteor Astropub

How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk

Over at How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk, the portal into the land is seeing more rockwork and hillside mesh added on the top of the structure, allowing it to look even more like its official rendering.

Official concept art for the portal

Current construction progress on the portal

A roller coaster train can be spotted on the tracks near the second launch, wrapped so we can not see how the train will be themed. It is expected to be themed with homemade dragon wings, as this attraction is expected to be named Hiccup’s Wing Gliders.

The mossy rockwork around this coaster launch at the middle of he ride features what appears to be a mist curtain effect, which the train will pass through as it enters this scene.

Themed safety netting continues to be added near the first section of the roller coaster. Mossy rockwork can be seen poking up near the back of the Meade Hall restaurant, on the right of next photo.

The mountain structure atop this structure is now covered in scaffolding.

Here’s a good look at the sign above the outside quick service location’s ordering window. We can see how it says “Spit Fyre Grill,” and features art of a fire-breathing dragon cooking foods on a spit.

Super Nintendo World

Checking in on work happening around Super Nintendo World, here’s a look at how the completed portal appears in official concept art.

Official concept art for Super Nintendo World portal

Brickwork has continued to wrap around the land’s portal entry, now installed along the right side.

A major milestone for the land, the flag has been installed atop Mt. Beanpole.

The moving clouds at the top of the mountain have also been installed.

Behind Mt. Beanpole, colorful theming is being added to the side wall of the Donkey Kong Mine Cart Madness roller coaster attraction.

Vines and flowers are being added to this recently painted brick temple wall.

Additional prefabricated flowers can be seen staged on the ground within crates.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic

Moving on to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic, we can see how the portal appears in official art compared to real life.

Official concept art for the portal

Inside of the land, scaffolding has finally come down in front of multiple facades, mostly on the left side of the area.

While the exteriors around the area’s main attraction are themed to Paris, we will magically travel via the Floo Network to arrive in the British Ministry when entering.

At the very end of the street on the left side of the land, we can see this unique structure, which was also recently revealed.

Connections at the base of this uniquely shaped wall at the dead end of the street certainly look as though some sort of large statue or monument may be installed here.

Dark Universe

Last but not least, the Dark Universe, the world of Universal Monsters, is offering us some new surprises, as what appear to be gravestones have appeared near the land’s entrance behind the portal.

Official concept art for the Dark Universe portal

We may enter the land by first passing through a spooky graveyard, setting the tone for the entire area.

New tower structures are taking shape on either side of the tall central tower on the manor facade for the land’s main attraction, “Monsters Unchained: The Frankenstein Experiment.”

This week’s announcement has confirmed that some of the characters for this ride will be Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and a new character named Dr. Victoria Frankenstein.

Official rendering for the manor

New vines have been added to the manor facade, seen in center of next photo. These vines appear to be similar in style to the vines wrapping around the land’s entry portal.

The other attraction for this land, a spinning roller coaster named Curse of the Werewolf, has been testing in recent weeks.

We can see one of the trains for this attraction sitting in the station.

Peaceful Thrill Seeker recently got footage of the entire ride circuit testing.

The barn-like structure in the middle of the ride, which contains a swing launch section, has seen all of its roofing tiles installed.

At the back of the area, work continues on the windmill-themed dining location, expected to be named The Burning Blade Tavern. A new pathway can be seen leading to the restaurant’s covered patio seating on the right.

Zooming into the windmill structure itself, we can see the rotating mechanism installed for the blades of this Burning Blade Tavern to be attached to.

Behind this restaurant, framing for an entirely new structure has suddenly started to be installed.

Permits refer to this construction as Building 1050, which is labeled as backstage operations, so it is not intended to be accessible by guests.

Universal Helios Grand Hotel

Before we wrap up, the Universal Helios Grand Hotel really looks just like the new official concept rendering, with more of its exterior wall panels and windows being installed every time we check in.

Official concept art for Universal Helios Grand Hotel

The dome for the rooftop bar at the center of the Helios hotel’s roof is being constructed now.

We can see some of the dome sections being staged on the ground.

The center piece in place now is what these sections will be connected to at the top.

That’s all for this update, but be sure to check out the video version of this story for additional visuals. A huge thank you to Bioreconstruct for the amazing aerial photographs. You can follow him on Twitter, Bluesky, or Mastodon for more incredible theme park photos.

Wide aerial photo showing recent progress around Epic Universe

Official photograph of a model of Epic Universe

Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email address below to never miss an update. Official Concept Art: Universal Destinations & Experiences | Aerial Photos: Bioreconstruct | Permit Documents: fasttrack.ocfl.net | Graphics and Overlays: Alicia Stella | Other Images as Captioned

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