Universal Orlando is building a whole new theme park a couple miles south of the current resort called Universal’s Epic Universe. This new park is expected to open with four themed lands, as well as a central hub with attractions of its own. One of the themed lands will be based on the Universal Classic Monsters, and thanks to newly discovered permits and site plans, we’re getting our first look at the layout this land.
Universal’s Classic Monsters include iconic characters from horror films the company produced from the 1930s through the 1950s, including Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman, the Mummy, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. This is the third land we’re exploring the site plans for in recent months. Permits for the Super Nintendo World and How to Train Your Dragon lands have already been revealed. Let’s go over the plans for Universal Classic Monsters to see what we can learn, plus some of the rumors for what types of attractions we might expect in this land.
UPDATED 2/12/2020: Updated site plan image with more detail added.
UPDATED 2/07/2020: New video added with additional visuals.
UPDATE: This newly filed site plan image (above) includes additional details, namely in the center area of the land. Original article as follows. (Click on the image for full resolution.)
The site plan images below, which were obtained by Orlando ParkStop through a public records request, appear to show the proposed layout for the Universal Classic Monsters land at Universal’s Epic Universe. This land will be located in the north-west corner of the park, just to the left of the hotel expected to be positioned at the back.
The permits for this site plan were specifically filed for foundation work for project 902, which we believe to be a land based on the Universal Classic Monsters. Since the site plans are designed for the foundations for the two main attractions, we cannot tell exactly what types of structures they will be specifically. (You can click on the site plan images for higher resolution versions.)
This land appears to contain two main attractions, as well as smaller structures for dining, shopping, and perhaps some small entertainment or meet and greets. The image below contains labels I have added for the possible attractions, as well as an expansion plot which is labeled as phase 2 in the plans. On the very left of the image we can even see some of the lanes for the Kirkman Road expansion, which will connect the existing resort to the new theme park.
Much of what can be seen does seem to line up with what we saw in the officially released piece of concept art for Epic Universe. Although, what appears to be a large amphitheater in the concept art looks somewhat smaller in the site plan. It’s possible that the concept art is using a temporary image of a theater, and may not apply to the actual attraction seen in the plans.
The structures in the site plan are rumored to be themed as a small European village, similar to the settings in the original Dracula and Frankenstein films from Universal Pictures in the 1930s. It is rumored that the land will be themed as Frankenstein Village, with Frankenstein’s Castle looming in the background. What appears to be the windmill from the original film’s climax can also be seen in the official concept art, and a corresponding structure for this can be found in the plans.
Before we get to the rumored attractions for this land, let’s first look at the smaller structures. Back of house restaurant support can be found behind B1510, located between the land’s entrance and the main attraction. Labels for things like a walk-in freezer, food waste collection, oil traps, and more can be seen at the back of this structure, which likely means it will be some type of dining establishment.
Details for the structures in the center of the land are scarce, but it’s possible that these could be shops themed as the village square. It’s also possible that small walk-through attractions, interactive experiences, or even meet and greets of some sort could be scattered throughout this area as well. The official concept art appears to show what could be village shops, alleys, and trees throughout the center of the land.
Looking at the bottom-left of the site plans, B1540 seems to line up with what many have speculated to be the windmill as seen in the classic Frankenstein film. The structure itself appears to be split into several sections with defined entrance and exit paths. While there have been rumors for some type of walk-through attraction for this land, I have to wonder if this structure could house an elaborate meet and greet, where we walk through multiple areas and get a chance to have our photo taken with Frankenstein’s Monster at the end.
To the right of this structure is B1530, one of the two possible attractions. This structure could be a theater of some sort. We cannot tell from the plans whether it will be an outdoor amphitheater, an indoor theater, or if it’s even a theater at all. What we can see is a sort of entrance courtyard area, similar to what we might find at other theater attractions at Universal Orlando. This area does not appear to be set up as a ride entrance, with standby and Express queues, like we can see for the other main attraction in the land.
The courtyard for this possible theater features a corral area, that would keep guests in the area before showtime, and a separate path out of the structure on the right. Both areas seem to include theming of some sort. What might be a themed tower or rounded roof can be seen on the right. Stairs placed on the outside of the structure tell us that it is at very least more than one story tall.
Some have speculated that this land could see some type of stunt show, perhaps similar to Waterworld at Universal Parks around the world. While others are hoping for the return of Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue which closed permanently Universal Studios Florida. This structure appears to be larger than the former Beetlejuice show theater, but also smaller than a venue needed for Waterworld. Hopefully we learn more about this mystery structure as additional permits are filed—or after construction starts.
The main attraction will reportedly see guests enter through Frankenstein Castle, located at the back of the land. If we look closely at the site plan, it appears that there are a couple paths leading into what might be a castle facade for the attraction. These paths may be at an incline, rising towards to castle. With the castle set higher than the rest of the land it could be visible rising above the treetops and roof line when standing on the other side of the village.
It’s hard to tell from the plans, but it’s also possible that there may be a water feature resembling a moat beneath the pathways into the castle. This possible moat would then continue around the south side of the structure and down towards the structure we believe to be the windmill. If this is a water feature, it could very well play into what type of attraction is built in that expansion plot along the west side of the land.
The main attraction is rumored to be a high-tech dark ride that would feature all, or most, of the Universal Classic Monsters. It has been rumored for awhile that this ride would use KUKA arm technology, similar to the ride system for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. However, this ride may utilize the newest version of this technology, known as the G3 RoboCoaster.
Unlike the G2 RoboCoaster, in use at rides like Forbidden Journey, the G3 RoboCoaster runs on actual roller coaster track. That means it is not restricted to only run on one level, but can instead climb inclines and even drop back down. By moving around on track that is set up in three-dimensions, instead of only two like previous attractions, you can increase the thrill level, as well as create a more interesting ride path for your attraction.
While the attraction details we’ve discussed are still only rumors at this point, we do know for certain that this land will contain at least one, very large, attraction when it first opens. But there may be another attraction on the horizon for this land, as the site plan specifically says that the area on the left is for a phase 2 expansion. Normally when something is marked as phase 2, and not simply “Future Expansion” that means they already have a plan for what will be built there, but it’s being put off until a later time.
So, what could this phase 2 entail? With a plot that’s 3.34 acres of expansion space, they certainly have more than enough room to create another ride. One of the rumored concepts for this additional experience is a boat ride based on the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Hidden at the farthest section of the land, this theoretical new attraction could be set in a lagoon separated from the town by trees. An outline for a future pathway can even be seen in the plans, which may eventually lead to the new attraction’s entrance. Perhaps this area leading to the expansion space could even contain a water feature from the start?
Looking around the plans, what appear to be themed elements can be found scattered here and there, including what might be a pair of gargoyle statues below the main attraction building, (seen in the image above). There appears to be a sign of some sort, perhaps with the town’s name on it, located near the land’s entrance. And a notation for the land’s entrance portal can be found, stating that the plans for that structure will be in the permits for 901, which is the project number for the park’s central hub area.
These site plans for the Universal Classic Monsters land are the third set of permits we have seen for the new theme park. Last month we got our first look at the site plans for How to Train Your Dragon land, and before that we saw the plans for Super Nintendo World. In the image above we can see how all three lands will be situated within Epic Universe.
Universal’s Epic Universe is expected to open in 2023. Stay tuned to the site for continuing coverage of the new park. Hopefully we’ll get our first look at the rumored Fantastic Beasts area next, as well as attractions for the central hub, which will include a massive dueling roller coaster. Subscribe to our news feed or enter your email address below to never miss an update, and see our full list of Epic Universe related articles here. And check out the video version of this article for additional visuals.
For help booking your next trip to Universal Orlando request your free quote from Elizabeth at Destinations in Florida today! She’ll help you plan the perfect vacation with the best rates on ticket packages and on-site hotels, and her services are totally FREE to you.
Stay tuned for more news on Epic Universe and more! Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email below to never miss an update. Site Plan & Other Graphics: Alicia Stella/Orlando ParkStop | Main Image & Screenshots: Universal Pictures | Official Concept Art: Universal
Subscribe to Receive Email Updates
Consider supporting us on Patreon for as little as $1/month. All patrons receive behind the scenes posts and exclusive podcasts. Learn More
Why can’t Universal can make a deal with ViacomCBS to build a SpongeBob themed area for Universal’s Epic Universe instead of the Monsters?, UOR has focused too much on horror films at their theme parks
“UOR has focused too much on horror films at their theme parks”. Really? Aside from during HHN, what is there?! Beetlejuice show went and at a push you could technically class The Mummy ride as horror, but other than that there is nothing. The same at HHN Hollywood, The Walking Dead is leaving and that just leaves The Mummy. If you ask me Universal needs more horror. Without the UCM, there probably wouldn’t be a Universal now,
Many people I talk to, talk about two emotional memories from old time monster movies:
1) Watching these movies with parents or older family members on UHF channels (cable TV of 60s-70s)
2) Scary comedy (Young Frankenstein, Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein)
Can a theme park ride evoke either of these? The fine line between these emotions and cheesiness is a threat.
PS: They could go to the site nearby in Florida where they actually filmed Creature of Black Lagoon movie and get inspiration?
Those Monsters saved universal studios from certain bankruptcy in the 30’s. In the forties it was Abbott and Costello. It’s about time universal showed the Monsters the respect they deserved. Btw, I really don’t mean to nitpick but Frankenstein had no castle. That was castle Dracula.
While there is no mention of a castle in the book, the films have referred to the Frankenstein manor as a castle. https://horror.fandom.com/wiki/Castle_Frankenstein
DONALD R VANCE
i think the so called windmill might be Frankenstein’s lab tower it was separate from the castle remember. just a thought.
It’s Castle Dracula. Frankenstein didn’t have a castle in any version of the story.
I was hoping for Dracula’s castle as well. Keep the village generic and have both Dracula’s castle and Frankenstein’s windmill. Then the Creature’s black lagoon. Most people won’t care if you meld stories. Either way, I’m really excited for this land. I do think will need an awesome ride or two and a great restaurant to attract people during the day and not just at night. The G3 Robocoaster technology sounds like it could be just that.
So cool. A large high tech dark ride (emphasis on dark) through a spooky medieval castle being scared by classic Universal monsters sure sounds like something I’ve always wanted at a Universal park. This idea perfectly fits Universals style
Another great read, thanks Alicia.
Universal does a fantastic job at detailing everything, which is one of the top reasons I enjoy the park as an non coaster, limited 3D rider. I’m hoping that castle can just have an incredible queue like Forbidden Journey for us nonriders to enjoy. I’d live to see a 3D immersive ride system like that of Flight of passage, with limited vehicle movement. I get motion sickness fairly easily and was thrilled I was able to handle that with a bit of Meclizine.
Tim R Bearden
Build the Thing! I can’t wait to see the classic monsters again.
Great Job once again Alicia. This is gonna be my favorite spot, and you all can find me there especially at night being immersed in the Village of Frankenstein being a Villager to save my favorite Universal Classic Monsters. This is gonna be so beautiful at night, and just think once opened and we have a great Full Moon Night, thats when we should do a great meet up. The anticipation is getting exciting for this part of Epic Universe
Could they add Adams Family characters to the Frankenstein side?