News

Universal Orlando Announces New Park & A Plug

Before we get to the big theme park news of the day, we have a tiny bit of blog news. Melissa and I were each asked to include a story in a new Disney book that came out. The book is put together by Brad Williamson and called My Day at Disney: Stories from the Disney theme parks told by people just like you and me! Here’s a link to the book.

If it wasn’t obvious from the title, My Day at Disney is made up of stories from many people who traveled to Disney Parks. The stories range from funny to sentimental with everything in between. We were excited to be a part of the book. Obviously, Disney theme parks have been a big part of our lives and I love both stories we were able to share. I’m excited to get a copy and read everyone else’s story and hope you’ll do the same!

Moving on to the big news of the day – Universal Orlando announced a new theme park today. The new park will be called Epic Universe and will be Universal Orlando’s third theme park, not counting the Volcano Bay water park. Outside of the park’s name, there were very few details announced.

This being a Disney theme parks blog, I’m not going to cover this news in great detail. Part of the reason is because there isn’t many details to dive into. The other reason is Melissa and I both enjoy the Universal Parks we’ve been to but none of the four (Universal Orlando’s two parks, Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Hollywood) are favorites. I’m not drawn to the studio theme like other themes, and that holds true even for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Likewise, I’m not the biggest fan of roller coasters and Universal has plenty of roller coasters.

Hogwarts lake reflection USJ

On the other hand, Universal has done some exceptional work in recent years. Much of this work has centered around Harry Potter, as both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are exceptional environments with great attractions and detail. All of the Harry Potter lands have been a roaring success and are some of the best theme park lands in the world, regardless of if you’re a fan of the franchise or not.

With that recent work in mind, a new theme park is an exciting prospect. While there was no announcement about what will be included in Universal’s Epic Universe, it stands to reason that Super Nintendo World will be built here. I’m very intrigued with this IP and think it could produce some of the best modern day attractions in the world. Having it open in Universal Studios Japan next year will be an interesting first look into what could headline Epic Universe.

Monsters US

Outside of that, I can’t say I’m very interested in what Universal could offer in their new park. Universal’s classic monsters is an exciting proposition but after that it becomes fairly uninteresting. The Illumination studio isn’t my favorite, although there could be some cool dark rides done. I’d be interested in another Harry Potter area but am far less interested in a Fantastic Beasts land. Shrek, Kung-Fu Panda, How To Train Your Dragon and other IP’s don’t hold much intrigue to me. What would catch my attention would be an acquisition of Lord of the Rings, James Bond, Mission: Impossible and, to a lesser extent, Star Trek. Universal has shown how well they can create adventure attractions and all of those IP’s fit that bill. I’m not sure how intriguing of an environment any of them outside of Lord of the Rings offers though.

One last thing I’d like to touch on before we move to how this affects Disney is that terrible name. I think the word ‘epic’ peaked about 5 years ago and has felt very overused from that time on. Along with that, Universal’s Epic Universe is a dumb thing to say. Universal and Universe with Epic sandwiched in between them is nightmare fuel for someone like me who cares about titles way more than it should. I actually did like the rumored “Fantastic Worlds” but I’m guessing Universal didn’t want “world” in the title of their new park. Disney is no stranger to bad names. Everyone should do better!

Moving on to how this affects Disney theme parks for us, the consumer – I think it can only help. Competition for Orlando’s tourist dollars are at an all-time high. Thankfully, Disney investing in their parks is showing no signs of slowing down. I imagine that will only continue over the next decade with another park opening down the street. Whatever you think of Universal, the news today is certainly good as it will have lasting effects on theme parks in Orlando and throughout the world.

Dragon side fire US

What do you think of Universal’s Epic Universe? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. If you enjoy what you’re reading here on Wandering in Disney please subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email and like our social media pages. You can find all of those on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading and have a great day!

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