Meet the five lands of Universal Studio’s new Orlando theme park Epic Universe [Updated!]

April 2024 Update: Epic Universe have unveiled a deep dive look into How to Train Your Dragon: Isle of Berk. Read on!

The most anticipated new Theme Park in the US is without question Universal Studio’s upcoming third gate in Orlando*, Epic Universe.

While plenty of rumours have been floating around since the park was announced in 2019 about what it would feature, and some (like Super Nintendo World’s inclusion) have long been confirmed, a few weeks back we finally got an official confirmation of every land in the park.

Though plenty is still unknown about some of the rides and attractions that will be featured when the park opens in 2025, here’s the video that officially introduced us to Epic Universe’s five lands:

So from this video, and some other details that have appeared online, here’s everything you can expect from the park, when it opens next Summer (an exact date has yet to be announced).

Celestial Park

The way Epic Universe will be laid out will see the land “Celestial Park” sit at it’s centre, with four portals taking you to the themed lands around it. This is a take on the OG Disneyland hub-and-spoke model, that many parks around the world have emulated – though Universal have never followed suit. Until now.

Celestial Park will be uniquely themed for Epic Universe – it doesn’t rely on any existing IP – and will lean heavily into the “Park” side of its name, with an impressive array of fountains and flora at its core. But it won’t just be a land for scenic enjoyment – there’ll be rides and attractions here too.

The two rides confirmed will be Constellation Carousel, which will be similar to New York’s SeaGlass Carousel and Starfall Racers, a massive 1,500 m dual-track roller coaster, that will reach speeds of almost 100 km/h.

Accompanying the above video, they also released this animated look at Celestial Park:

The land will also serve as one of the entry points for the new Helios Grand Hotel – Universal’s first in-park resort, which will expand upon the theming of the Celestial land, and offer 500 guest rooms.

How to Train Your Dragon: Isle of Berk

Epic Universe will not only play home to Universal’s first How To Train Your Dragon ride – the franchise is getting its own themed land here! And last week they gave us the first video detailing what the land will look like…

In Isle of Berk, we’ll find the Hiccup’s Wing Gliders roller coaster, a boat ride named Fyre Drill, a “Gerstlauer sky fly” ride Dragon Racer’s Rally and the Untrainable stage show currently seen exclusively at Universal Studios Beijing, which opened in 2021.

The video confirms that the roller coaster will be family friendly, and that Fyre Drill is going to be an interactive experience. Think Orlando’s Men In Black ride, but with water cannons! We can’t wait to check these out.

Super Nintendo World

We’ve long known that Epic Universe would serve as the home for Orlando’s Super Nintendo World – which is already open in Japan and Hollywood, and is due to open in Singapore in 2025. But we now know so much more about what we can expect on launch. Effectively, the park will mirror what will be available in Japan by the time it launches.

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, an augmented reality dark ride we rode last year in Hollywood, will be there, as will the Yoshi’s Adventure family ride and Omnimover, which to date has been exclusive to Japan. The third ride will be in a Donkey Kong themed area of SNW, with the roller coaster Mine Cart Madness – that will notably feature a simulated jump of the track. That ride will open later this year in Japan, and will be ready in time for the launch in Florida.

There are rumours that additional attractions will be rolled out in the years following the park’s opening, with Zelda and Luigi’s Mansion amongst the possible expansion plans.

Dark Universe

Back when the Tom Cruise version of The Mummy was released in 2017, it was set to kick start a new Universal Cinematic Universe of classic horror monsters. As The Mummy underperformed at the Box Office, this never properly materialised, but the branding behind that Cinematic Universe, dubbed Dark Universe, is getting utilised as a land exclusive to Epic Universe.

Monsters Unchained: The Frankenstein Experiment, a dark ride, and Curse of the Werewolf, a spinning roller coaster, will be the two main rides here. I’m sure we can expect plenty of photo opportunities in this land with the classic monsters, too, and there are rumours of a Creature of the Black Lagoon boat ride that will open sometime after the park’s launch. Though this remains firmly a rumour.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Ministry of Magic

And finally, Harry Potter fans will be excited to see a third Wizarding World land open in Florida. It’s the second time Orlando has received an exclusive expansion of the IP, and the first in a decade. Diagon Alley (at the OG Universal Studios Orlando park) opened in 2014, as did the train that took you between it and Hogsmeade (in Islands of Adventure). Hogsmeade and Hogwarts Castle, meanwhile, can also be found in Japan, Hollywood and Beijing.

This third themed land will take you to the Ministry of Magic, with the dark ride Harry Potter and the Battle at the Ministry. It’s expected to be an elevator themed attraction, similar to Disney’s iconic Tower of Terror, however the exact details have yet to be confirmed.

A stage show Le Cirque Arcanus taken from Crimes of Grindelwald will also feature in the land – confirming this land will be taking from the Parisian side of the Harry Potter universe.

With plenty of details still to come about even the already announced experiences, all this information is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Universal Epic Universe has in store…

Stay tuned to the AU for more on Universal Epic Universe as the Summer 2025 launch date approaches, and visit their official website for more.

Concept art supplied by Universal Studios. 

*Fourth if you count their water park, Volcano Bay.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.