Universal Orlando’s upcoming theme park is being constructed a couple miles south of the current resort, and Epic Universe is starting to hit some big milestones this week.
Steel has been rising in the area we think will be a new Wizarding World land, but now a large part of the Universal Monsters main ride’s steel has gone up as well. Plus, the very first roller coaster track for the new park has been installed, as part of the Donkey Kong mine cart ride in the Nintendo area. Let’s explore these areas, and more, in today’s photo update.
UPDATE 6/19/2022: See the video version of this story below for new visuals and additional details.
Compare the wide shot above with the official concept art. It’s starting to become more obvious how each of the rumored lands are taking shape on the ground to match the official art released from Universal.
First up, let’s dive right into the major, mind blowing development for Super Nintendo World! We have track!
The Donkey Kong mine cart roller coaster is designed to make it appear as though your ride vehicle is jumping over gaps in the track, just like in the video games.
The ride is also being built at Universal Studios Japan, as an expansion for the first Super Nintendo World. It is set to open in 2024 there, but should open along with the rest of the park when Epic Universe opens by summer 2025.
There are plenty of coaster footings installed, so the track pieces are just getting started.
Zooming out, extensive work on the lower level of Mt. Beanpole has been ongoing. You can even spot the entrance to Yoshi’s Adventure, a family omnimover-type ride. The round opening in the front is for the ride’s entrance.
The Mario Kart ride and other Super Nintendo World areas are not nearly as far along at this time.
See the image below to see where each attraction is located.
Moving across the park to the opposite corner, the land we believe will be another Wizarding World has been seeing a lot of steel rising.
The structure they are building has long been rumored to be a massive recreation of the British Ministry of Magic as seen in the original Harry Potter series. See our previous story about some of the rumors for how this attraction will be laid out.
The first part of steel rising was for what we believe will be queue areas for the Ministry of Magic ride. The new steel framing that has started to be added looks to be around the ride’s load area.
Behind this area, the backstage team member support building and offices walls’ are starting to be raised.
This method of building has the concrete walls poured flat on the ground first. Once set, they are lifted into place to form the walls of the large structure. It is quick and efficient.
Nintendo and Wizarding World aren’t the only lands with steel rising though. Now, the land we think will be based on the classic Universal Monsters is seeing a big surge in construction as well!
The steel structure taking shape is what we believe will be the facade and entry area for the land’s main attraction. Likely themed to Dr. Frankenstein’s manor, this entry will lead to a large ride building, similar to the way the Hogwarts Castle is built facing guest areas, hiding the large building that contains much of the ride behind it.
In the site plan for this area below, you can see the part of the structure they are building. It can be seen jutting out below the large attraction building, shown in blue on the graphic.
The rest of the Monsters area is being shaped as more drainage pipes are installed. There will be two quick service restaurant locations, shopping, and new rumors suggest a family roller coaster attraction of some sort. See more on that here.
Outside of the Monsters area, footings are being installed for the start of vertical construction on a restaurant in the theme park’s central hub area.
On the left side of the photo below, the round shape of the hub’s massive fountain display has taken shape. To the right of that, a central water feature that will likely have a flat ride (perhaps a carousel) overlooking the water. And at top-middle, a bit of prep work for the hub’s massive dueling roller coaster has begun, with retaining walls being installed.
The next photo has an arrow pointing at the area where the hub’s racing dual coaster will be installed.
Below is a close up of work happening for the hub coaster.
Here is a video showing a possible layout for this massive roller coaster, sure to be the most thrilling attraction at Epic Universe:
Next photo shows a closer view of the large fountain display at the top of the park. Behind it, at top of image, is the area where in the in-park hotel will be built.
A lot of shaping is still happening at the How to Train Your Dragon land on the bottom-right area of the park. This land will have a large roller coaster built at the north side of the area.
Before we close, it looks like work has finally gotten back around to the flat parking lot for the theme park. This is located just to the east of the main theme park area.
Roads leading into the parking lot are also making good progress.
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