Epic Universe News Update: Potter Mural, Coasters Testing, and Universal Teases News

Universal Epic Universe will be opening in Orlando in 2025, but we’re witnessing it come to life before our very eyes with new colorful additions showing up every day. New murals have been spotted in the Wizarding World, a possible animatronic in How to Train Your Dragon, all roller coasters have been seen testing, and new projects are just getting started around the work site.

Thanks to new aerial photos from Bioreconstruct on social media we’re able to check in on progress in all areas of Epic Universe in today’s news update. See the video version of this story above for additional visuals.

How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk

Kicking off our update within How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk, the lagoon basin was recently finished with a dark color, but now appears to have retained some recent rain water.

The boat ride within this land, expected to be named “Fyre Drill,” has intentionally been filled with water however, as it is gearing up for testing.

Across from the boat ride, themed elements have been painted atop this outdoor quick service, named “Spit Fyre Grill,” seen at the arrow in the photo above.

One of the actual ride vehicles for this family-friendly outdoor boat ride can be spotted hiding under a bridge.

Parked within the boat launch access canal leading from backstage to the ride, this boat is equipped with water cannons, as we expected, as this will be an interactive attraction where riders can fire water cannons at various targets throughout the ride.

Checking in on the roller coaster attraction for the land, which we believe will be named “Hiccup’s Wing Glider’s,” we can see that something has been added to the first launch since we last checked in.

What appears to be a human figure has been added next to the gears within this short show scene that precedes the coaster’s first launch. This may be an animatronic Hiccup figure, seen here hand-cranking the ride to power the lift!

This scene has been rumored to feature both Hiccup and Toothless figures. Another impressive Toothless animatronic is expected to be located later on the ride’s second launch as well.

After the coaster’s second launch, the trains pass through a tunnel beneath these large grandstands, being built now behind the two flat rides.

The spinning flat rides are expected to be named “Dragon Racers’ Rally,” based on the Dragon Racing from the films.

Looking at a staging site nearby, we can spot several dragon houses ready to be installed within the land.

Acting like large bird houses, these are based on the dragon houses seen in the later How to Train Your Dragon films, when the Viking-residents of Berk live with the dragons in harmony.

We know that several of these dragon houses will be installed on the top of the land’s main retail location and candy store, located within the center of the land across from the Meade Hall dining location.

Below is a publicly released permit image showing what this structure will look like when completed. We can see these dragon houses perched atop the roof, with a couple even sporting a dragon tail hanging out of them.

Retail location permit image, fasttrack.ocfl.net

Dark Universe

Heading to Dark Universe, the world of Universal Monsters, the courtyard in front of this land’s portal continues to receive its round celestial shapes.

The portal itself has received a bit of color, now showing off a more moody dark purple design.

Scaffolding has come down around the dark broken brick wall at the front entrance to the village, which guests will first encounter after passing through the portal.

Scaffolding is also down around the back section of the large retail and restrooms building in the center of the land, at the end of the main village street.

This opening on the right leads to the main restrooms for the area. The area above is a small path leading to and from the main retail location.

The small unpainted structure on the corner is listed as “fog room” in permits. It features what permits refer to as a show window on the front side facing the pathway. This small section of the structure is not meant to be entered by guests.

Prep for paving around this section of the main pathway is starting now… as well as for the round courtyard in front of the land’s main ride, expected to be named “Monsters Unchained: The Frankenstein Experiment.”

The other attraction for Dark Universe, a spinning roller coaster expected to be named “The Curse of the Werewolf,” has been testing recently.

Local WESH 2 News got some great aerial footage of this ride testing. We can see the coaster cars spinning in this footage, as well as its swing launch through the small show scene in the middle of the ride, which is rumored to feature the Wolfman inside. See the full video below.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic

Heading into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic, scaffolding continues to come down as new paint continues to be applied to the many large-scale Parisian-style buildings of the land.

Footers for the circus tent-shaped entry to the land’s live stage show have appeared.

And a Fantastic Beasts-inspired mural has been painted on the city facade directly behind this circus tent-shaped show entry. The interior space behind this mural is where the queue for the live show will be located.

Just outside of this building, the streets are being paved. Both the street and the sidewalks for this area are being formed at this time.

This side street leads directly to the land’s main attraction, which is a massive indoor ride based on the British Ministry of Magic.

Super Nintendo World

Inside of Super Nintendo World, color continues to spread out throughout the land, including now covering the main entrance to Yoshi’s Adventure. Located at the base of Mt. Beanpole, we can now see the iconic layers of color around the opening for this ride’s entrance.

Above the entrance connections for the attraction’s marquee have been installed.

Despite being unwrapped for the last few weeks, the Yoshi-shaped ride vehicles for this attraction are once again under wrap.

Looking around the land, we can spot several piranha plants that have , covered in protective plastic. There appears to be at least 5 piranha plans visible in this one photo alone.

In the staging lot near the Epic Universe work site, there appear to be several cloud shapes.

These clouds are likely scenic elements that are part of one of the show scenes on the Mario Kart ride.

Inside of the Donkey Kong Country mini-land, the rockwork around one of the exterior scenes for the Mine Cart ride is receiving coats of primer.

The palm tree flanked section of the colorful temple wall on the left side of the area appears to be completely formed, now awaiting color.

Celestial Park

New rockwork is being formed just outside of the entrance of Epic Universe, located to the right of the Chronos entry portal.

Inside of Celestial Park, within the center of Epic Universe, the rockwork lining the tracks in front of Starfall Racers has been fully formed now.

Color continues to be added to the comet-shaped icon in front of this dual track roller coaster attraction.

After the train for this attraction was revealed via Bio’s aerial photos, WESH 2 News was able to get footage of Starfall Racers testing… and it is looking extremely fast.

In the video below we can see the train passing through the signature maneuver for the ride, coined the Celestial Spin. Only one track appears to be testing currently. This means that all coasters at Epic Universe have been spotted testing in recent weeks!

The other ride for Celestial Park, named Constellation Carousel, has seen framing for the top of its domed roof arrive on site.

This dome structure will be installed atop the main dome over the carousel.

Similar to the rockwork seen at the park entrance and in front of Starfall Racers, what appears to be framing for rockwork can also be seen in two sections around Constellation Carousel, (seen at the arrows in the next photo).

With the fountains and effects installed for the park’s large fountain display, it does appear to be shaped similarly to a compass rose, with 4 points for North, East, South, and West.

Near the fountain, framing for the roof of the CelesTiki outdoor bar has been erected.

Exterior progress is being made on all of the restaurants for Celestial Park, including the Pizza Moon quick service location near Super Nintendo World.

Small bridges can now be seen installed over cascading waterfalls near the back of the park. These bridges are located in front of the hotel, as well as The Blue Dragon Pan-Asian Restaurant.

Epic Universe Hotels, Roads, & More

The Universal Helios Grand Hotel has seen nearly all of its external walls and windows installed along the side facing the park.

Work continues on framing around the rooftop bar and domed roof, as well as the ballroom located adjacent to the bar.

The next photo is a ground view of the Helios Grand hotel as seen from Sand Lake Rd. behind the park.

Across the street from Epic Universe, all of the colorful reflective tiles have been installed on the Universal Stella Nova Resort.

The next photo shows Stella Nova Resort from the ground on Universal Blvd. (Helios Grand Hotel can be seen peeking out from behind it on the left.)

To the left of Stella Nova, its sister hotel, Terra Luna Resort, is seeing rapid progression on its tile installation.

Terra Luna on left, Stella Nova on right (and Helios Grand in center back)

The next photo is a good look at the color gradients of tiles for Terra Luna so far.

Near this area, to the east, a small road has been completed. Featuring a roundabout, this short road even has all of its markings. Named Constellation Way by Universal, this little road connects Destination Pkwy to a parcel of land marked as Future Development for the Epic Universe area.

Constellation Way at 1, future expansion at 5

Currently this parcel is being used for staging of construction materials, but someday could be home to a new resort the size of Cabana Bay, although no plans have been permitted for this site as of yet.

Permit image showing road names, with Constellation Way on botton-right

Behind the park, located west of the Epic Universe backstage areas, a new project has begun construction.

Known as Project 980 in permits, site plans show an office building, warehouse, and parking lot.

Site plan permit image of Project 980

Currently the office building is under construction, with foundation prep work happening now for the warehouse.

It is rumored that this small complex will be for new Universal Creative offices, which are being added in addition to the existing offices closer to the existing parks.

Location of Project 980 relative to backstage areas

Before we wrap up, be sure to stay tuned as we should have a new announcement later this week! Universal Orlando has teased that something will happen on Thursday, March 28th.

It is expected that we will be getting a new announcement for each of the individual worlds of Epic Universe every month through the summer—which is when the preview center is rumored to open in CityWalk—and it looks like the next one is in just a couple days.

Likely future location for Epic Universe Preview Center in CityWalk

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 and on the ground photographs. You can follow him on X (formerly Twitter), Bluesky, or Mastodon for more incredible theme park photos.

Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email address below to never miss an update. Official 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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  • Yogagirl42


    This is a fun update, we’re over here getting more and more excited!! I was looking at Google maps and it looks like there may be the start of a walkway from Terra Luna and Stella nova that I am noticing. It looks like it has drain tile underneath it, so maybe it will be the start of a permanent structure? Do you guys see that on any of your Videos or photos? I would post a photo, but I don’t see where to attach a photo. If you email me I can send it! It would be amazing to be able to walk from those two resorts into Epic universe!

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