This morning on the Comcast Q2 earnings call, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke may have let the cat out of the bag, acknowledging that Universal Orlando is looking to add a brand new theme park in the coming future. Now, to those of us that have been following the company’s movements here in Orlando, this comes as no surprise, but this does mark the first time someone from the company has admitted that a new park may be in the works.
Burke mentioned to shareholders that adding “Another gate in Florida would have the advantage of turning Florida from a two, or three-day destination, to potentially a week-long destination.” He also added that the company has filed a name registration for the new gate. This could be in reference to one of the possible theme park names we spoke about in a recent article. See more of what he said about a new park, as well as some newly filed permits for work being done at the site, and some more rumors about a possible name below!
NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke didn’t say much about the prospects of a new park, but he did mention that the company has a lot of intellectual properties that could be utilized. He said “We have a lot of great I.P. We love the theme park business, it’s one of our best, most-consistent businesses, and we think we have a very long runway… Another gate in Florida would have the advantage of turning Florida from a two or three-day destination to potentially a week-long destination… We think that that would be attractive.”
Over the last few years Universal Orlando has been acquiring hundreds acres of land south of the current resort. The first signs that something was happening was when Universal submitted water drainage plans with the city for the grading of more than 200 acres of the land earlier this year. More recently, plans to construct trailers near the center of the largest parcel were approved. Aerial photos of the area show the land has already been cleared and that an access road was recently paved to allow heavy equipment to access the area.
Another thing that Burke said during the call caught my interest as well. “In terms of a new gate in Florida, we are looking at it. We filed, basically, a name registration,” he said. This could be referring to the trademark we talked about earlier this month for “Fantastic Worlds,” a possible name for the new theme park. (See that story for even more details on the possible name.)
Since then however, we’ve seen another trademark from Universal show up, this time for “Epic Universe.” Both marks have different descriptions, and from the way they’re worded, it almost sounds like “Fantastic Worlds” may be the name of a new theme park, while “Epic Universe” may be a name for the new resort overall. Epic Universe could encompass the new theme park, a new entertainment complex (similar to CityWalk at the original resort,) hotels and more.
We still don’t have anything specific confirmed, other than the fact that the company is looking at building a new park in Orlando. Plus, a whole lot of land clearing is going on and a few trailers are being constructed in the middle. Everything else is rumor and speculation, but boy is it an exciting time to be a theme park fan in Orlando.
It’s still too early to know for sure when a new park could open, but I bet we get some announcements and details about this massive project as we get closer to Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021 down the street.
A new park for the Universal Orlando Resort could be ready as early as 2022, according to some insiders. For more information on possible properties that might be featured at the new park, check out our previous article on the subject. Stay tuned for more news and rumors about this exciting expansion of the resort!
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