With just a little over a year for the park to be completely built, Epic Universe has already started testing multiple rides with dummies. As some structures continue to grow around the park, smaller details like colorful courtyards, decorative windows, and themed brickwork are being installed. Plus, new trademarks give us insight into possible names for the Wizarding World land.
Let’s dig into all of that, as well as work happening in every area of Epic Universe, in today’s news update! See the video version of this story below for additional visuals.
Thanks to new aerial photos taken by Bioreconstruct on social media, we are able to get an updated look at progress around the Epic Universe site.
We’re starting today’s update at the park’s Wizarding World area, where the outlines for pathways leading out of the land can now be spotted.
The future gate, seen at the arrow in the photo below, will be for the land’s only exit path.
Heading inside the land, windows are starting to become visible, installed in the facades for the buildings that make up these tall Parisian city blocks.
It appears that actual glass windows have been placed in the frames within multiple structures, including the street-facing facade for the land’s main attraction.
The arrow in the photo below is showing what could be the main ride’s entrance or exit.
Warner Bros. has filed multiple trademark applications that are expected to be the names for attractions, dining, and shopping locations within this land at Epic Universe.
One of these trademarks is for what we believe will be the name of the land’s main attraction, “HARRY POTTER AND THE BATTLE AT THE MINISTRY,” which is rumored to be a tracked high tech dark ride set within the British Ministry of Magic.
The exit gift shop for this attraction may be named “TOUR EN FLOO,” as it is rumored to be themed as a travel agency based around the Floo Network.
The other attraction for the land, what permits refer to as a live stage show, is expected to be called “LE CIRQUE ARCANUS,” as it is rumored to be modeled after the circus from the second Fantastic Beasts film.
The Parisian-inspired names for many of dining and shopping locations throughout the land were also trademarked.
“COSME ACAJOR BAGUETTES MAGIQUE” is expected to be the land’s wand shop.
“PATISSERIE MATAGOT” will be a small bakery at the back of the land.
“LES GALERIES MIRIFIQUES” is a department store in the middle of the land.
“CAFÉ L’AIR DE LA SIRÈNE” is one of the land’s quick service restaurant locations.
“LE GOBELET NOIR” is the land’s other quick service restaurant.
“BAR MOONSHINE” is a small bar located on the far-right side of the land.
And “MADEMOISELLE MALKIN’S” will be a robes and clothing shop.
The only location for the land not accounted for in recent trademarks is the candy store, which is expected to be named “K. Rammelle.”
One final trademark application that was posted, is simply for the term “MINISTRY OF MAGIC,” which was registered for use within theme parks. This goes along with the rumored name for the land itself, which is expected to be called “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic.”
Over at the Dark Universe section of the park, the land based on the Universal Monsters, the roller coaster attraction has apparently reached another milestone.
What could be weighted dummies can be seen on this coaster train, which is parked at the maintenance building, shown at number one in the next photo.
It was rumored that this attraction started cycling recently, and if these are dummies, that certainly appears to be the case.
Zooming out to reveal the entire roller coaster, multiple large trees have been planted around the coaster’s exterior queue area.
This is creating an almost forest-like atmosphere around the ride.
It appears that the framing around the coaster’s final brake run is being themed, seen in the next photo, with scaffolding around the area.
A new Notice of Commencement related to this land at Epic Universe shows LifeFormations as the contractor, (now known as LF Studios). They specialize in animated and static figures for outdoor attractions.
Expected to be named “Curse of the Werewolf,” the indoor swing launch section of this spinning roller coaster has been rumored to feature one, or two perhaps even two, werewolf figures. If this rumor is true, it is possible that this could be the company providing them.
Moving on to construction near the land’s main attraction, an indoor tracked KUKA arm ride featuring all of the Universal Monsters, the structure for the gatehouse in front of the ride’s large manor facade continues to receive work.
This smaller structure will act as the attraction’s main entry point and signage.
After passing through it, guests will walk over this bridge, which is rumored to be above an old, dried-out moat in front of the manor.
Behind the manor, work is picking up within the exterior queue areas for the attraction. A garden area is taking shape. Stacks of cinder blocks for this work can be seen staged nearby.
The brick-themed walls of the open air queue areas behind the garden are being painted, matching the gloomy style of the manor itself.
Checking in on the windmill-themed dining location, we can see that the exterior theming for the windmill itself atop the restaurant is being added to the framing.
Unpainted slanted beams can be seen sculpted around this landmark, which was first seen in the original Frankenstein film.
It is rumored that the windmill will have a flame effect, which gas lines have been installed for. This goes along with the name for this restaurant being “The Burning Blade Tavern,” as we’ve seen in trademarks.
The other dining location for this land, which we have not seen a trademarked name for yet, continues to receive extensive work along its front-facing facade.
It appears to be designed as multiple village storefronts on the exterior.
How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk
Dark Universe isn’t the only place we can see a ride testing with dummies, as both of the Sky Fly rides within the How to Train Your Dragon land are filled with appear to be water dummies.
Simulating the weight of people, this will help them test and adjust the counterbalance for this dragon-racing themed spinning ride.
The colors for each of the ride seats correspond with the Dragon Riders’ team colors from the films.
Zooming out, thanks to a bit of rain a few days ago, we’re getting our best look yet at what this land’s lagoon may look like once filled in.
The next photo is a good look at some of the theming details for the bridge where the roller coaster passes under within the lagoon.
Themed archways have been added for the coaster’s station entry and exits, as seen in the next photo.
And the roof has been installed over the coaster’s first launch.
In the center of the land, the Meade Hall has seen its tallest point of framing installed.
The tip of this structure has been topped with an American flag to commemorate the milestone.
Additional pieces of framing that may make up the internal structure for the mountain atop this dining location can be seen staged on the ground.
Some of the framing pieces may also be for the nearby retail location, which is seeing framework installed that will make up the themed dragon houses atop its roof, seen at number 3 in the photo below.
A rounded roof structure has been enclosed over the candy store section of this retail location, seen at number 2 in the photo above.
Major progress has been made for the boat ride in this land, as the guide rails for its layout have been installed.
This attraction is expected to be an interactive boat ride where riders can spray targets along the path.
New decorative elements have been installed within the central areas of the ride, themed as trees and fire. This goes along with the expected name for the ride, “Fyre Drill.”
Universal recently put out a casting call for actors, puppeteers, and musicians for Epic Universe. It is possible that they were casting specifically for the show within this section of the park, expected to be named “The Untrainable Dragon.”
The show, which will likely be similar to the show that first debuted in Universal Studios Beijing, will feature actors, large scale puppets, drummers, and more, all of which align with the casting call.
Super Nintendo World
Moving across the park to Super Nintendo World, a hole is being dug out near the portal, in front of the land’s exit.
Plumbing work related to a decorative fountain in front of the Nintendo Store facing the hub may be happening.
Prep for forms to connect the upper level of Peach’s Castle is happening now.
Many connection points for prefabricated facade pieces seem to be ready on the front of the Mario Kart ride entrance. These will be for turrets, as well as Bowser’s face for the fortress-themed entry.
Many more Yoshi-shaped ride vehicles have been installed along the path of the omnimover-style Yoshi’s Adventure family ride.
These Yoshi-shaped vehicles now almost completely fill the track layout.
Temporary safety walls have been constructed around the entire track layout as these ride vehicles are being installed.
In the Donkey Kong mini-land at the back of Super Nintendo World, the kiosk in the center is being enclosed.
The order window for this small snack stand can be seen formed on the side facing the area’s courtyard.
From the angle in the next photo we get a good look at the ride’s exit bridge, which passes over the water feature leading from the future temple facade.
Unpainted brickwork continues on the right-front of the structure. This will likely be painted gold to match the completed brickwork on the back of the structure.
What will be themed as large, oversized bricks along the top of the side wall are being formed now.
To the left we can see some of these forms that have been partially completed, but still unpainted.
Attachment points for additional wall theming has been added around the entry point into an indoor scene near the beginning of the ride, after the main lift hill, (seen at top-right of the photo below).
Heading into the central areas of Epic Universe, which we believe will be named Celestial Park, the portal entry into the theme park itself continues to take shape.
Once poured, these temporary forms will be removed to reveal the concrete portal structure.
After entering, guests will find themselves at the edge of the start of the park’s central water features. Here they will get an immediate view of the entire central area of the park, with no additional walking needed for a grand reveal.
A section of the cascading waterfalls leading from the start of the park’s water feature down to the octagonal restaurant’s decorative pool has started to be formed.
There will be several of these cascading water features to create the illusion of it being the headwaters for all of the park’s central water features.
At the base of these cascading waters, the floors of the somewhat shallow pools in front of the restaurant continue to be finished. The arrow in the next photo is pointing at round patterns of what may be pipes or small fountains.
A bridge-like pathway in the center of the park’s hub is being constructed, seen at number 3 in next photo. This bridge will separate the lower water features from the park’s central water basin, where the Constellation Carousel sits.
A section of the domed roof for the carousel has been installed, featuring an unpainted version of its decorative design.
This piece may only be a test section for now, as no others have been installed since this one in recent weeks.
What may be the first pieces of the rounded track for the base of the carousel can be seen inside the ride pit, but it’s hard to tell for sure.
Decorative pavement styles are being created for a small courtyard area just outside of the entrance portal into the Starfall Racers attraction.
The base for this roller coaster’s marquee can be seen installed to the side of this colorful pavement, at top-right of next photo.
Forms for the edges of the walkway can be seen already in place, at numbers 1 and 2 in the photo below. They act as the entrance to this small courtyard from the park’s main path.
All of the portals within the park will have a decorative little courtyard design like this one, each with their own distinct styles.
Small samples from each of these courtyards can actually be seen staged across the street from the theme park areas.
This rainbow design seen here is expected to be placed in front of the portal to Super Nintendo World, for example.
These test samples are being used to see how they hold up to the elements over time.
Back to Starfall Racers, the coaster attraction’s large icon located at the front of the ride, facing the park’s hub, continues to be enclosed.
This comet-shaped structure, seen at number 2 in the photo below, is being surrounded by celestial rings and is expected to be bronze and silver in color.
According to permit documents, the tail of the comet icon structure will actually stretch all the way into the roller coaster’s station building.
A cover has been placed over the pipes for the splash pad area in the center of the park.
Near the back of the park, work continues on adding the viewing areas for the large fountain show.
To the right of the fountain is the restaurant we believe will be named Meteor Astropub.
The footings for a round covered seating area around the rounded part of the structure have been installed. Permits say this dining location will have both indoor and outdoor seating.
Nearby, footings for a round structure that permits refer to as an outdoor bar are becoming more defined, seen below.
On the opposite side of the fountain, the dining location we believe will be named Oak and Star Tavern has received a round planter or fountain in front of its main entrance.
Expected to feature barbecue or smoked foods, the structure includes chimneys in the exterior design, like this one seen on the left side, as well as these small smokestacks above the front entrance.
North of the fountain, at the very back of the park and in front of the hotel, the dining location rumored to be named Blue Dragon has received additional new framing around the front of its structure.
Epic Universe Hotels
Moving on to the hotel at the back of the park, expected to be named Universal Helios Grand Hotel, work is picking up on the exterior structure along the lobby and dining areas facing the theme park.
Construction has reached the top floor of this ten-floor hotel.
A rounded support structure that will support the domed rooftop bar area at the center top of the hotel is beginning to take shape.
The Helios hotel is raised up above the theme park’s central areas. This will help it be visible from anywhere within the middle of the park, acting as the backdrop for Celestial Park.
Across the street from Epic Universe, the first floor exterior facing the pool at the Universal Stella Nova Resort seems to have had its glass walls installed.
We can compare the tiles being installed along the back side of the structure to the way it appeared in the concept art that was shared, presumably accidentally, on the official Loews Hotels website.
We can see the pool taking shape for its sister hotel, Universal Terra Luna Resort, and how it compares to the art as well.
Both the Universal Stella Nova Resort and Universal Terra Luna Resort are expected to be officially announced very soon, possibly before the end of the year. See our recent story for more details on these hotels.
Behind the Stella Nova Resort, it appears that a sidewalk has been added, seen at number 5 in the next photo, which will eventually lead all the way to the main entrance for Epic Universe. The traffic lights at these intersections on Epic Blvd have already been installed. And new palm trees have been planted within the median. The main entrance to the parking lot for the theme park can be seen at the intersection at the top-right of the image.
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.
Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email address below to never miss an update. Official Art: Universal Orlando | Aerial Photos: Bioreconstruct | Permit Documents: fasttrack.ocfl.net | Graphics and Overlays: Alicia Stella | Other Images as Captioned