Things are getting exciting at the future site of Universal’s Epic Universe. Construction on backstage support structures is moving at a rapid pace, but more interestingly, sections of the theme park are literally taking shape, as the lands and hub areas are being graded.
Plus, new permits for the hotel at the back of the park and one of the lands have been filed, which could hint at what construction we may see next. And, could an entirely new area of the park be added? Let’s dig into all that, and more, in today’s news update. Check out the video version of this story below for additional visuals.
New permits related to the new park were filed with Orange County a few weeks ago. One set of permits is for Building 1620 as part of Project 905. That’s the project we believe is a new Wizarding World land. The permit lists the building as “a ride combination building.”
These permits are the first ones related to actual theme park areas of Epic Universe that have been filed since the project resumed after pausing last year due to the pandemic. This may give us some indication that the theme park areas are back on track and construction will be moving there next, after focusing mainly on backstage areas until this point.
Another set of permits recently filed were for Project 910, which was thought to be for the hotel at the back of the park. The most recent of these permits do list the project as a Hotel or Motel, confirming our suspicion. Another one of these permits is listed as being for a “Parking Garage” for the hotel.
In our last construction update, back in November, we spoke about a new chiller plant that was beginning construction. Now, thanks once again to Bioreconstruct on Twitter, we can see that this new chiller plant looks to be nearly complete.
A second structure has also gone up in the backstage areas behind the future theme park. This one appears to be listed as “Warehouse 4” in the permits, and will be a single story structure.
The new warehouse is being built near the employee parking lot behind the theme park, and is only the first of several warehouses that will be added.
The speculation map above shows locations for all of the rumored lands, as well as the hotel at the back of Epic Universe. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)
While most major work has been going on in backstage areas behind the theme park itself, we have seen quite a bit of movement in other areas lately. Near what will be the center of the park, for example, we can now see a perfect circle that will be part of the hub.
This circle contains a large fountain in the drainage plans and in official concept art. This is the top ring of the three-ring hub, or, if you’ve been following along with us for awhile, it’s what we call the snowman’s head!
Other areas are also being graded, including a massive berm and cut out section of land along the side of what we expect will be the How to Train Your Dragon land.
This massive dirt shape will become part of the land’s roller coaster, while also helping to block views of the parking lot and other areas of Orlando from inside of the theme park.
And speaking of the parking lot, the shape of the roads leading into parking and drop off areas for Epic Universe have been created, and look ready for paving.
This road will be named Universal Way, and will connect from the existing Destination Parkway, seen on left of the image above, and the extended Kirkman Road, which is under construction now.
The image below shows what Universal Way will look like once complete, and you can see how the dirt is perfectly shaped to match it now.
There is one last area of land grading I wanted to mention, as it is the area that will eventually be home to Orlando’s Super Nintendo World! From the new aerial photographs it appears that the entire Super Nintendo World section is graded and just about ready for foundations to be poured.
You can even make out the future warp pipe entrance shape facing the hub!
But, that’s not all that has been graded in this area. The expansion plot located above Super Nintendo World also appears to have been partially flattened. This area was not yet expected to receive any construction, so this new clearing work could simply be for a staging area for supplies. Or, perhaps it is possible that an additional area is already being added to Epic Universe?
There have been rumors for Pokemon being added to the park in the future, or even for an Illumination mini-land to be added as a fifth land after Nintendo, How to Train Your Dragon, Wizarding World, and Universal Monsters.
The area that has been flattened doesn’t seem to take up the entire expansion plot, but it does appear to have a path leading directly to the hub.
Could this mean we’ll see more lands than we originally thought? Or will this just be a temporary staging area for supplies during construction, with the path leading to it used for work vehicles?
I guess we will learn more soon, when either the area is filled with materials for staging near Nintendo, or, the area receives new foundations. We’ll keep an eye out for new permits in the meantime, just in case.
The new theme park is literally starting to shape up, and more of the areas seen in site plans and concept art are coming into focus! Be sure to follow us so you never miss an update.
Special thanks to Bioreconstruct for the amazing aerial photography. If you’re not already, you should follow Bioreconstruct on Twitter for more aerials around all of the Orlando theme parks.
That’s all for now, but be sure to check out the video version of this story for more visuals, and see our Everything We Know story, or the video below, for more details on the upcoming Epic Universe theme park in Orlando.