While construction progress on Epic Universe continues to move at a rapid pace, other milestones for the new theme park in Orlando are being hit as well. Trademarks have been filed which appear to confirm many of the previously rumored ride names.
Let’s check in on those names, construction progress for all lands, as well as what new permits can tell us about one of the park’s canceled rides, in today’s news update. See the video version of this story below for additional visuals.
Epic Universe will be Universal Orlando’s newest theme park when it opens by summer 2025. It is currently being built about 2 miles south of the existing Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure parks.
The company recently announced that they have rebranded their Parks & Resorts division to now be called “Universal Destinations & Experiences.” As part of this new roll out, many of Universal’s logos have been updated, including the Universal Orlando Resort, parks, and CityWalk, (although most of these logos have been removed from the official website so many expect they could be tweaked a bit before returning).
Another logo that appears to have been updated, is for Epic Universe. So far this logo has only been shared by Universal Parks News Today, and does not appear on any public-facing Universal websites.
FIRST LOOK: New Logo Revealed for Universal’s Epic Universe Theme Parkhttps://t.co/Nuvx3CYKBB
— Universal Parks News Today (@UniNewsToday) March 8, 2023
Like the other new park logos, the possessive “S” has been removed from the logo, changing it from “Universal’s Epic Universe” to “Universal Epic Universe.”
As we begin our check in on construction around the Epic Universe area, there was one more interesting development since our last update. Trademarks have been filed by the company related to this project, including several that were rumored to be ride names at Epic Universe.
Multiple new marks were filed by Universal themselves, while a few more were filed by DreamWorks Animation, which appear to be related to the How to Train Your Dragon land at the park.
One of the first trademarks to show up was for Starfall Racers, the name we reported was likely going to be used for the massive dual-track roller coaster for the hub of the park.
The use for the Starfall Racers mark is described as being for amusement park or theme park services, as are most of the new trademarks.
From recent aerial photographs by Bioreconstruct on Twitter, we can see how quickly this “Starfall Racers” roller coaster is coming together. The sections of two-colored track closest to the park’s central hub are not yet connected to the rest of the installed track, with the station and maintenance building receiving work between these two areas.
It looks as though the ride’s first launch is being enclosed along the lower level of this structure. The track within this launch tunnel is black, but turns to the two golden colors as soon as you exit the tunnel and enter the tall top hat maneuver.
Continuing the two separate circuits, track has been installed for the areas immediately following the dual top hat section. This includes what could be another great airtime moment followed by a section where both tracks cross each other’s paths.
This Starfall Racers roller coaster is being manufactured by Mack Rides, and is expected to be the most thrilling coaster attraction for Epic Universe.
Rumored to be themed to space in some way, it is possible that the black platform seen near the front of the ride, between the two tracks, could be for some sort of themed element, perhaps a rocket, (seen below).
Foundations that may be related to an exterior queue are starting work. This could be similar to the queue areas for Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios Florida, which starts outside before entering a covered queue area attached to the station.
There are still plenty of coaster footers awaiting supports and track along the back half of the attraction.
The other ride for Epic Universe’s hub may have also had its name revealed in a recent trademark filing. This flat ride, which is located within the very center of the park, has long been rumored to be a carousel themed to constellations in space.
A new trademark for a theme park attraction just so happens to be named “Constellation Carousel.” This trademark was filed on the same day as Starfall Racers.
We’ve watched the lower level of this flat ride take shape and plenty of conduit installed for the ride, as well as water pipes for the surrounding lagoon and fountains, but now the lower level has been fully enclosed. Only the round ride pit within the center remains open to above. Hopefully that means we could start to see some carousel elements installed in the near future.
Footings for supports for a covered canopy, which appears to look like stained glass in official concept art, are installed around the perimeter of this attraction. And all of this is being built within the center of what will become the park’s middle water feature. Retaining walls for this small lagoon are being built now.
North of the carousel is the park’s large water fountain display, which will be surrounded by amphitheater seating according to official concept art.
Between the carousel and this large fountain, a small section of pipes forming a circle are being installed.
South of the carousel, the round restaurant and bar location, rumored to be named ATLANTIC, has had the roof put on its lower level kitchen areas, (seen in the photo below). This kitchen, as well as a small tunnel leading to and from backstage areas, look like they will be buried and act like a basement level, as the walls of the structure have been lined with a weatherproofing material.
On the left side of the hub, just outside of Super Nintendo World, work continues on enclosing this multi-purpose structure, seen below. The left side of this structure is expected to house a Nintendo-themed gift shop, which is located just outside of the land’s exit. In the middle of the structure will be restrooms. And the right side, which is receiving the most new construction now, is rumored to be a pizza quick service location named “Moon Pie.”
Moving over to Super Nintendo World, the portal entry into the land is looking much cleaner than the last time we checked in. While guests enter the portal on the ground level, it is still rumored that they will be taken upstairs to the upper level via an escalator.
What appears to be a cut-out section behind the portal entry may be for this rumored escalator.
The Mushroom Kingdom courtyard area of Super Nintendo World is looking more and more like the original Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Japan every update.
At the very back-right of the land, the Donkey Kong coaster is continuing to make good progress. Yoshi’s Adventure, along with the Mt. Beanpole mountain can be seen at the back of the courtyard area. To the left, framing for the Bowser’s Fortress entry facade of the Mario Kart ride can be seen. On the lower level, the future entrance to Toadstool Cafe is visible, as well as the stairs leading down from Peach’s Castle.
There have been rumors that with the extra space in Orlando’s version of Super Nintendo World, that we may see some sort of addition located beneath Peach’s Castle, not found in Japan. Early rumors suggested some sort of character stage or meet and greet area, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Thanks to the recent trademarks, we may have the name for the area themed to the Universal Monsters. One of the trademarks is for “Dark Universe.” This was the rumored name for the land since early in development, even before Epic Universe was announced.
The land was being developed around the time the connected film series was attempting to take off. It is looking like even though the cinematic universe didn’t happen as intended, the term Dark Universe may live on, as the name for this themed land at Epic Universe.
Another trademark filed by the company seems to confirm a rumored name for the roller coaster within this area, as first reported by Screamscape. The ride is expected to be named “Curse of the Werewolf.”
The station and maintenance areas for the roller coaster is receiving roof and other exterior work to connect and complete the structure.
Prep work appears to be starting within what will become this attraction’s queue areas now. It is not expected to have an indoor queue, but sections may be covered.
The large barn-like structure for what may be a swing launch section of this short roller coaster attraction is being weatherproofed at this time.
This structure features an exaggeratedly sloped roof, which is a style also seen on the backside of the land’s entry portal. Rooflines like this can be spotted on elements of the original village facades used in the classic Frankenstein films.
The portal is receiving other themed elements as well, including multiple wireframe ‘chips’ to create shapes along the top and front of the portal itself. These chips are the framework that will later receive plaster or similar materials to create rockwork and themed structures with a sculpted appearance. What looks to be a section of a round tower with small windows is staged beside the portal on the ground.
What may be exterior covered queue for the land’s main attraction has been installed behind its entry facade and interior queue areas.
This massive indoor ride is rumored to be named “Monsters Unchained,” but so far a trademark for that name has not been filed.
Another trademark that we did get might possibly be related to this area. “The Oak & Star Tavern” could be the name for the land’s largest restaurant, which was referred to as “The Stakehouse” in early concepts.
These early concepts did call for a large tree to be the centerpiece within its dining room, so the name could fit. However, with a space and stars motif within the center of the park, this name may not be for the Dark Universe after all.
There is one more land that has seen recent trademarks filed as well. Unlike the others, these were filed separately under the DreamWorks Animation umbrella of the company.
From these trademark filings it appears that this section of Epic Universe may be named “How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk.”
Within the area, a couple rumored attraction names appear to have been confirmed, including “Dragon Racer’s Rally,” which was the name we suggested could be for the pair of Sky Fly flat rides for this land.
Construction on the land’s indoor theater has been picking up steam, with stadium-style tiered seating areas now visible within the theater itself.
Many suspected that this could become home to the stage show “Untrainable,” which first debuted in the new Universal Studios Beijing theme park. A new trademark for “The Untrainable Dragon” may have revealed the name for it here.
Another Trademark is for the term “Hiccup’s Wing Gliders.” This perhaps may be the name for the launched roller coaster for this land, but we’re not 100% certain just yet. It has been rumored that the queue for this attraction will take us through Hiccup’s home, and his wingsuit will be on display.
Much of the coaster circuit has been installed, including the ride’s first launch. The section of track leading to this launch is expected to be one of two enclosed show scenes featuring Hiccup and Toothless.
Retaining walls for the area’s lagoon, which the roller coaster passes through and even below the water line at one point, are being themed. These themed walls will make the lagoon appear to have been man-made using bricks and logs by the residents of Berk.
The two large statues within this lagoon continue to receive their theming. These statues will be the first thing visitors see when entering the land.
We can see the viking helmet of the statue on the left and the dragon spikes of the statue on the right.
Within the center of this land, the Great Hall restaurant has had all of its walls installed. A roof has been placed over the kitchen and bathroom sections of the structure, but not yet over the main round dining hall, which is surrounded by columns just like in the films.
One last trademark that may be related to this area is for the name “Fyre Drill.” It’s possible that this could be the name of the boat ride, which is starting to see more work itself in recent weeks.
This interactive boat ride will allow riders to blast targets using on board water canons. The lagoon for this boat ride is connected visually the area’s main lagoon. Work going on now appears to be related to creating retaining walls around the boat ride.
The final section of the park to check in on today is the Wizarding World area. So far it does not appear that any trademarks have been filed for this land, but when they are, they will likely be filed by Warner Bros. Entertainment, and not Universal. Early on my theory for the land’s name was something like “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Fantastic Beasts,” but we’ll see if they go that route.
Within the land, which will be themed as Wizarding Paris as first seen in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the framing for the entry arch looks complete and ready to receive panels to enclose it.
Work is happening fast to weatherproof and enclose many of the streets large-scale Parisian-style facades. Behind these tall facades, smaller structures are being built and enclosed for what will become shops and dining locations.
The facades around the area’s main attraction, rumored to be named “Battle for the Ministry of Magic” are just as tall as the massive structure for this indoor ride.
A dead end near the ride’s entrance is being enclosed. To the right of this wall, in the image below, are what permits say are restrooms.
It is becoming difficult to see into the streets of this land between the tall facades, but a theater attraction is connected to the area’s main ride, with its own dead end at the back of the area. To the right of the theater, false facades for what would’ve been the land’s third attraction are starting to be installed.
What may be the ascending staircases of Place Cache from the second Fantastic Beasts film are being built here. New permit information for this area show backstage storage areas beneath this structure, but not any guest areas behind it.
Originally there were plans for a virtual reality attraction set within the French Ministry in this area of the land, but they have been canceled. New permitted plans show this dead end street on the right side of the land as being surrounded by facades. These permits describe non guest-accessible areas within these facades that will only be big enough to add “show props,” “visual elements,” and “special effects” within the windows.
There does appear to be one actual guest area within these facades that will be a real retail location. The small footprint seen in the photo below is shown as having a retail location and stock room in new permits. This very well may have been the original exit gift shop for the now canceled ride.
The rest of the facades in this area however, are not planned to have anything behind them. That does leave a fairly sizable expansion plot for another attraction at this land later.
Before we wrap up this Epic Universe update, let’s check in on the three hotels for this expansion of the Universal Orlando Resort.
The hotel at the back of the park is making slow progress, now beginning to enclose a section of the first level of the 500-room, 10-story structure.
Major construction on the hotel across the street from Epic Universe is looking near complete at this point. This hotel will feature 750-rooms itself, as well as its sister hotel next door.
The sister hotel has seen its land cleared and prepped, so should start major construction itself in the coming weeks!
That’s all for now, 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 for more incredible theme park photos.
Be sure to check out the Everything Epic Universe video playlist for more details on every area of this new theme park, and stay tuned for more construction updates.
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All right. You might know I have been very skeptical of all this reporting from the start, and I believe I’ve had reason to be so. Universal has yet to formally announced any of this, and these blog services have been wrong before.
But you took me seriously, Alicia. You showed the parents and trademark filings. I have spent some time fact checking all this. It checks out. You got it spot on this time.
Now whether we will see all of this fall pat exactly as we speculate is another story. There’s still some wiggle room as to what will go where and what exactly these things will be. But the filings do show intent.
So bravo. You not only did your homework, you showed your work. Good job. That is good journalism.