Universal Prepares to Resume Construction of Epic Universe Park in Florida


Conceptual rendering of Universal Orlando Resort’s newest theme park: Epic Universe.

NBC Universal

Work finally resumes on Universal Orlando Resort’s fourth theme park, Epic Universe.

The park, which was announced in 2019, had previously halted construction in July due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, Universal revealed that it will take several months to go full throttle because it needs to realign the project and get its suppliers and contractors back together.

“The restart of construction for Epic Universe is a fantastic time for our employees and for our theme park business in Florida,” said Brian Roberts, president and CEO of Comcast, parent of NBCUniversal. “It is our largest investment in the state and represents our enthusiasm for the spectacular park and the economic opportunities it will generate.”

The company seeks to turn its two-park resort into a week-long travel destination, not just a two- or three-day trip for families. The company also operates Volcano Bay, a water park a mile away from the Universal Studios parks.

The new park will be on a 750-acre site just a few miles from the existing complex. Universal said it will provide transportation between all of its properties.

Universal Orlando employs 25,000 people and will hire an additional 14,000 workers, including professional, technical and culinary staff. The company said Wednesday that restarting construction at the Epic Universe will inject billions of dollars into Florida’s economy and create thousands of jobs during its development.

Typically, it takes three to four years to build a large-scale theme park. The land was cleared in 2018 and will be the first park Universal has built since 1999, when Islands of Adventure opened. In the past decade, Universal has expanded its two parks to include Harry Potter-themed grounds Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.

Analysts speculate that the new attractions could be based on Universal properties like Minions, classic monsters, and even Nintendo. Universal executives have been silent on the details. Tom Williams, CEO of Universal Parks and Resorts, called it “the most immersive and innovative theme park we have ever created.”

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

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