Universal has just opened one of the world’s biggest roller coasters. Now what?


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  • Image via NBCUniversal
  • The area of ​​the epic universe that would be themed How to Train Your Dragon

Universal showed they are still moving forward despite the pandemic when Islands of Adventure welcomed VelociCoaster to its lineup earlier this season. The high-speed, thrilling roller coaster has quickly become a must-see for many roller coaster enthusiasts.

VelociCoaster and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure combine to make Universal Orlando a major destination for thrill seekers. With these two highly anticipated new rides now open, it’s unclear what Universal has planned next for the Orlando resort.

The leadership of parent company Comcast has remained steadfast in its commitment to add new attractions to every Universal park every year. The company has also indicated that it will continue to invest in Florida’s two existing theme parks while the Epic Universe is built.

This park is expected to open around 2025. It will offer a mix of thrill rides and family attractions, which will exploit all the latest entertainment technologies. But, even as these massive new attractions are built at Epic Universe, things on the North Campus are expected to start picking up speed in the coming months.

Alicia Stella from Orlando park stop has made a name for himself with original reporting on numerous projects across Universal Orlando that have proven to be accurate. With an almost perfect track record, Stella turns to her crystal ball again to predict the sequel to the thirty-one-year-old station.

In a high-profile interview with Orlando Weekly, Stella has exposed many rumors that she is tracking down. Despite comments from management indicating new investments in each park, Stella isn’t convinced we’ll see any significant additions to Islands of Adventure before Epic opens. Instead, she points to currently closed attractions, such as Poseidon’s Fury, as what could help keep crowds out for years to come.

Stella believes the main investment over the next few years will be at Universal Studios Florida. This park hosted an impressive new waterfall show last year. Still, many previous attractions before the stunt show have received mixed reviews, with the high profile. Fast and furious– thematic attraction being almost universal panoramic.

Instead of bringing more intellectual property into the park, Stella believes we’ll see an increase in Minions or the Wizarding World.

“A sequel to the derivative film ‘Minions’, called The rise of Gru, comes out next year. So a new attraction that is linked to the first Minions movie and set as part of the Villain-Con convention where Gru meets the Minions for the first time would be a good shot for synergy, ”they said.“ And Universal has only had success with every addition to the movie. Wizarding World, and Diagon Alley has far fewer attractions than Hogsmeade, making it a good candidate for a new race.

The Villain-Con ride, which is supposed to replace the Shrek 4D ride, has been rumored since at least 2018, but Stella believes the trackless driving system has now been removed from the concept.

Every ride rumor involving trackless technology now appears to be on hold. Universal had to face a steep learning curve with the massive trackless vehicles used on the Skull Island attraction at Islands of Adventure. Stella points to a confluence of personal struggles with technology and the high-profile uses of it by competitors as a possible reason Universal has apparently pulled out of the tech for now.

Instead, Universal could continue to venture into augmented and virtual reality in high-capacity attractions. For example, Universal Studios Japan made history this spring when it opened the Mario Kart-themed Dark Ride, the first large permanent theme park to use user-based augmented reality. This attraction is also currently under construction at Universal Studios Hollywood and will be included in the epic Orlando Universe.

The Epic Universe is rumored to include a VR attraction that allows guests to take a simulated broom ride. However, this ride can now be moved to Universal Studios Florida.

“Rumors of a virtual reality flying broomstick ride would do it the same way The Twilight Saga: Midnight Ride at Lionsgate Entertainment World in China, which won the THEA award for Outstanding Attraction last year. If this is true, it could end up being the world’s largest capacity VR attraction, ”says Stella. “The wizarding world is no stranger to breaking through the barriers of theme park attractions when it comes to new technology, and this is perhaps no exception.”

At Universal Studios Florida, the broom attraction would replace the Fear factor stage which is annexed to Diagon Alley. In Diagon Alley, a currently closed gate is supposed to connect to this potential expansion ground. It’s unclear why the resort management chose to speed up this attraction, moving it to Universal Studios instead of waiting for it to make its Epic Universe debut.

Plans for a Lionsgate park similar to China’s were leaked last year. These shots show a multi-story indoor theme park a few blocks from Epic Universe. It is believed to include many of the same attractions as the Chinese park, including the award-winning park. dusk Virtual reality experience.
Ironically, the original plans for the Diagon Alley expansion area were meant to be the Ministry of Magic, but those plans are now expected as part of the Epic Universe.

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The Epic Universe hotel is visible on the left side of the image and the Wizarding World themed land entrance area on the right side.  - IMAGE VIA NBCUNIVERSAL

  • Image via NBCUniversal
  • The Epic Universe hotel is visible on the left side of the image and the Wizarding World themed land entrance area on the right side.

Surprisingly, the Wizarding World has yet to be confirmed for Epic Universe. Stella warns us not to read too much.

“I don’t think the company would be better served by announcing new territory in the Wizarding World on a virtual industry call with investors. This is the type of ad you’re hype around with, with all the pomp and circumstance, “they said.” I’m sure it was no coincidence that the properties mentioned were owned by Comcast, the parent company of Universal. ”

Properties confirmed for Epic Universe include DreamWorks, considered a How to train your dragon earth, and Enlightenment. Previously, there was no indication that Illumination was to be featured in the new park. “I’m not sure anyone knows what Comcast CEO Jeff Shell meant when he said Enlightenment was coming to Epic Universe,” Stella explained. “My first instinct was that we could eventually see a new mini-country added to the plans with attraction clones like The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash, SING On Tour from Universal Studios Japan and maybe even the version from Beijing Minions-Super Silly Fun Land theme. But again, this is where my mind went.

Click to enlarge
The epic universe area that would be themed How To Train Your Dragon - IMAGE VIA NBCUNIVERSAL

  • Image via NBCUniversal
  • The area of ​​the epic universe that would be themed How to Train Your Dragon

Stella also thinks we might see more DreamWorks at the two existing theme parks despite a few rumors to suggest.

“We’ve seen what appears to be a plot based on How to Train Your Dragon for Epic Universe, but this is only one part of a very large catalog of properties under the DreamWorks umbrella. DreamWorks Destination in KidsZone may just be the start of greater brand representation in existing parks, ”they said.

Trolls, Kung Fu Panda, and Madagascar the attractions have all been the subject of numerous rumors. There have also been talks about a DreamWorks stage show at the former Blue Man Group venue.

This can include copies of existing DreamWorks attractions, such as the Kung Fu Panda rides at Universal Studios Beijing. This park is slated to open later this year.

As usual, Universal is probably waiting for more announcements from Disney regarding their next birthday celebration to release details on their future attractions. Disney is expected to release this information this summer or early fall.

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