Universal Orlando: a brief history
UPDATE: Universal Orlando Resort announces new theme park: Epic Universe. Read more here.
The Florida theme park scene may be getting the biggest news it’s had in years.
For the last few days, Universal Orlando has been alerting the world on their social media accounts that “something epic is coming.”
The Aug. 1 news conference at the Orange County Convention Center could announce anything, but Universal fans and insiders point to a new theme park being announced.
If it happens, it would be the first theme park, not including the Volcano Bay water park, in the last 20 years to open in the Orlando area.
Islands of Adventure was the last park to open, back in May 1999.
There are a few things that lead us to believe the announcement will be a new park, the first being how Universal made the announcement.
When the park announced on social media Friday that “something epic is coming,” it triggered fans to cite the “Epic Universe” name.
The possible patented names also hint at what type of attractions may be in a new park. “Fantastic Worlds” may mean that we will be seeing a new Harry Potter-themed land, this time based on the film series and book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
Despite all the speculation, there are concrete plans underway for something new.
Development plans from 2018 show the future construction of a new road, an empty lot possibly for parking, another empty area possibly for a new park, and sections for warehouses and office buildings.
The area where all this is planned is at Universal Boulevard and Destination Parkway, not connected to the existing Universal Orlando Resort but a few miles away.
Although, the soon-coming conference will be only 20 minutes and have a brief Q&A after, Universal also could announce other news in addition to a possible new park.
One possibility is a new roller coaster that may be coming to Islands of Adventure’s Jurassic Park area.
On Tuesday, Universal posted a picture of dinosaur eggs and caption saying “Something is hatching...” on its Instagram.
Many of the people who commented on the post and theme park insiders believe it refers to a new Jurassic Park themed roller coaster.
Earlier this week, Universal trademarked the name “Velocicoaster” — although trademarking a name doesn’t mean it will happen.
Track pieces possibly belonging to the “Velocicoaster” have been seen on Universal’s empty lot that may house a new theme park.
Apart from a new roller coaster, the announcement could also include news on a brand new Nintendo-themed land.
In 2015, Universal and Nintendo announced that they were working together on theme park lands, and a year later, said that Nintendo lands would be coming to Universal’s Japan park first, then Orlando and Southern California.
Universal has broken ground on Super Nintendo World in Japan and said it will open in 2020, but has said nothing more about when or where Nintendo will come to Orlando.
Earlier this month, the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast posted on Instagram leaked concept models dated in 2016 for Super Nintendo World.
In October 2017, Terminator 2: 3D was closed to the public. The park has said only that it will be replaced by “an all-new live action experience based on a high-energy Universal franchise” that will open in 2019. No further information has been released.
Some theme park insiders, like Orlando Park Stop, say that the live-action show will be themed around the Jason Bourne franchise.
No matter what the news is on Thursday, something “epic” is coming.