Universal Orlando’s upcoming theme park, located just a couple miles south of their current resort, is under construction now. Since announcing that work was finally “full steam ahead” earlier this year, we’ve seen a flurry of activity around the park’s work site.
While the park’s Super Nintendo World area has seen the most progress, followed by what we believe will be a Universal Monsters land, another Wizarding World, and How to Train Your Dragon, work with in the park’s central hub had been lagging behind.
But now, thanks to new aerial photographs by Bioreconstruct on Twitter, we can see that excavation work and retaining wall installation has begun on an attraction located directly within the center of Epic Universe. UPDATE: Check out the video version of this story for additional visuals.
Universal executives are saying Epic Universe should be open by the summer of 2025, at the latest. And work has kicked into high gear around the large section of land near the Orange County Convention Center to prove it.
The first foundations were poured for Super Nintendo World at the new park just two months ago, and we’re already seeing footings installed for the Donkey Kong roller coaster this week. Within the last few weeks alone, the shape of an expected British Ministry of Magic ride building just magically appeared.
Most of the focus has been on work happening within the lands of Epic Universe, as that is where much of the work has been so far, but now we’re starting to see a bit more action within the center of the park.
The central hub will not only be filled with dining and shopping for guests making their way between the various portals into the themed lands of Epic Universe, but it is also expected to contain a couple attractions of its own.
One of those attractions, a massive thrill coaster featuring two tracks, has yet to see its construction begin. However, just this week we’re getting our first look at work beginning on the second attraction for the middle of the park.
Rumored to be an indoor carousel, the structure for this ride in the center of the park is depicted as a round stained glass building, set beside the park’s central water feature.
Looking at the latest aerial view of this area, we can see the shape for this central lagoon and ride pit being constructed.
Zooming in even closer, it appears that retaining walls are being installed around the circle.
Trucks carrying loads of dirt can be seen in the area as other large equipment continues to shape the land.
According to permits filed with Orange County, this structure in the plans is referred to as having a “Ride Pit with an Acid room and Liquid Chlorine room.”
The notes on the permit’s utilities page continue, saying it will also have an “Indoor Oil Water Separator to support a Hydraulic Elevator and Lift.”
Some site plans for the park also indicated that the smaller dome adjacent to the large stained glass structure seen in the concept art may be for holding a queue area for this attraction.
While some early speculation focused on this structure possibly containing a show of some kind, newer rumors, coupled with permit information from last year, paint a picture of a flat ride of some sort. Most people are guessing it will be a carousel.
Adding fuel to this rumor, Universal has patented a new piece of technology to be used specifically on a carousel attraction.
The patent, which is titled “Carousel ride systems and methods” describes a new type of lift system that could lower all of the seats to the same level for easier loading and unloading, and then lift them back up and down during the ride.
Whether or not this structure built alongside the new theme park’s central water feature will in fact be a carousel may be answered within the coming months. As we watch construction on the ground progress, this possible “ride pit,” as described in the permits, may hold more visible clues to discover.
A big thanks to Bioreconstruct for sharing these amazing aerial photos. If you’re not already, you should follow Bioreconstruct on Twitter for more photos around the Orlando theme parks.
See the video version of this story for additional visuals. And be sure to check out our last story all about what the new possible Harry Potter attraction for Epic Universe may be like. Also see our How Big is Epic Universe story, or the video below, for more details on the upcoming Epic Universe theme park in Orlando.
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