In what might be the biggest hard launch since Taylor Swift showed up at a Chiefs game, Universal Orlando has released more details on their highly-anticipated Super Nintendo World by announcing all five entirely new immersive worlds at the upcoming Epic Universe. And get this — in addition to SNW, we’re also getting a brand-new Wizarding World of Harry Potter (plus three other worlds, but more on that in a minute).
Slated to open in 2025, Epic Universe will offer more than 50 new ride, entertainment, dining, and shopping experiences sprawling over a 750-acre site just a few miles away from Universal’s existing parks: Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay. After entering the park through the first “portal,” guests will find themselves in Celestial Park.
Here, all five worlds of the Epic Universe align, with each of the other four worlds being accessible through its own unique “portal.” This isn’t unlike Universal Studios Orlando’s major competitor in the area (*cough-Disney World-cough*), which also has multiple parks that require multiple passes. But it’s a price that many of us will happily pay for a chance to “fight” Bowser, ride alongside Hagrid, or shake hands with a Minion.
Understandably, the fresh intel on Universal’s ambitious expansion has fans losing their ever-lovin’ minds. The renderings make Epic Universe look otherworldly (times five!) with touches of heroes, gods, and even elysian vibes. So, where are you going first? The Ministry of Magic or Donkey Kong Country? Here’s what we know about each of Epic Universe’s five “astonishing” worlds.
Consider this the main promenade… but with an, ahem, epic twist. Celestial Park is a world of its own with a bit of an astrological motif. With rides, attractions, restaurants, and more all named after famous gods and goddesses from mythology. Swirling squirting fountains and lush green space lend themselves to the magical, mystical feel.
But it’s the rides everyone wants to know more about, right? Celestial Park is home to three attractions sure to wow visitors upon their initial entrance into the park:
- Constellation Carousel — a “cosmos-inspired” carousel with bottom-mounted “cars,” each playing on the constellation theme
- Astronomica — a splash pad of epic proportions
- Starfall Racers — an actual roller coaster featuring a unique “dual launch” design where two sets of cars “race” through the sky
How to Train Your Dragon: Isle of Berk
You watched it happen in the films: the creation of a place where humans and dragons live peaceably among one another. In the Isle of Berk world, it will feel just like you’re living in the time of Vikings and dragons. You’ll enter the Viking world and have a chance to interact with it. Eat like a Viking. Engage in a boat battle. Or, even more exciting, you’ll have a chance to make your dreams come true and ride a flying dragon. (Please someone tell us we can meet Toothless!)
Playing on Universal Studios’ long history in horror, Dark Universe pays special homage to all their dark, twisty settings and those classic baddies from the catalogue: Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and a werewolf. In other words, says Brian Robinson, chief creative officer of Universal Creative, “Everything you’ve ever wanted to experience with monsters is in this world.”
Will you be changed by a werewolf? Will you feel the cold embrace of a vampire? Universal is remaining tight-lipped on this one.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Ministry of Magic
Yep, there’s an entirely exciting new spinoff of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter we’re all already obsessed with. This world will meld together the modern British Ministry of Magic with the 1920’s American version from Fantastic Beasts. The ride is still top secret but promises to be the most thrilling adventure yet. Cross your fingers for floo powder and an expansion of the Hogwarts Express!
Super Nintendo World
Accessible by an icon big green pipe, this might be the park we know the most about, as there are already iterations in Japan and Hollywood. There will be a Mario Kart ride, for starters, where you’ll have the chance to chase down Bowser. There’s also an interactive Donkey Kong Country. And, of course, you’ll have the chance to interact with all your favorite Super Nintendo characters.
The crowning piece for Epic Universe is probably Universal Helios Grand Hotel. It’s the first of its kind in-park resort hotel that is the centerpiece of Celestial Park and boasts a whopping 500 rooms. With access to fine dining and endless adventure, why would you choose to stay anywhere else?
Feeling overwhelmed but ready to start packing your bags? Save a seat for us!