PHOTOS: Super Nintendo World Gets Escalator Entrance, Dragon Statue Painted, and More Visible During Epic Universe Construction

Shannen Ace

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PHOTOS: Super Nintendo World Gets Escalator Entrance, Dragon Statue Painted, and More Visible During Epic Universe Construction

Twitter user @bioreconstruct has shared another aerial view of Epic Universe construction. The new Universal Orlando Resort theme park is scheduled to open in the summer of 2025 with IP-based lands, as well as some original attractions.

General Epic Universe Construction

Epic Universe concept art

The only confirmed land for Epic Universe is Super Nintendo World (bottom left of the concept art). The other rumored lands are inspired by Universal Classic Monsters (top left), The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (top right), and How to Train Your Dragon (bottom right). They will branch out from the edges of the park, while the center thoroughfare has three lakes with circular structures. To the right is a dual-racing coaster and at the back is the in-park hotel.

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Compare the concept art to this aerial photo, which is at a similar angle. The large lagoon at the back will be behind the hotel. The lakes in the park haven’t been filled with water yet, but the circular structures are taking shape.

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The above view is from behind Super Nintendo World. The flat circle in the center will be a fountain directly in front of the curved hotel.

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The next circular structure is thought to be a water ride. A flat circle of concrete leads to a raised concrete circle. In the center of the latter is a framework of steel.

The structure at the top left is reportedly a gift shop and quick-service restaurant.

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Two curved white pieces have been installed over the larger concrete circle, the beginnings of a domed roof.

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The third water-based circle is a restaurant. It already has a roof, with railings running around it.

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In the above photo:

  1. The Classic Monsters land
  2. The fountain
  3. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  4. Dual-racing coaster
  5. The water-based attraction
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From another angle:

  1. The in-park hotel and parking garage
  2. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  3. Dual-racing coaster
  4. How to Train Your Dragon coaster
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  1. Classic Monsters land
  2. Barbecue restaurant
  3. Water-based attraction
  4. How to Train Your Dragon land
  5. Park entrance
  6. Super Nintendo World

Regular day guests will enter the park at one end, while guests staying at the in-park hotel will have their own entrance.

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When entering through the main entrance, the How to Train Your Dragon land will be on the right and Super Nintendo World will be on the left.

  1. Park entrance
  2. Water restaurant
  3. Water-based attraction
  4. Fountain
  5. Dual-racing coaster
  6. How to Train Your Dragon land
  7. Super Nintendo World
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Here is a closer look at the entrance area. There are buildings on both sides, each with curved walls around the entrance corridor. At number 1 are concrete forms for columns and 2 marks steel frames that were recently added.

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The parking lot is near completion, so crew members can park there. The yellow arrow points at the park entrance.

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In the above photo:

  1. Entrance to Team Member parking from Sand Lake Rd.
  2. Warehouses
  3. Concrete plant
  4. Dual-racing coaster track
  5. Dual-racing coaster
  6. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  7. Team Member building
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The Team Member building will likely house offices, rehearsal space, and their wardrobe facility.

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Track for the dual-racing coaster is being staged in the parking lot before installation.

Dual-Racing Coaster (Starfall Racers)

Universal trademarked the name Starfall Racers, suggesting this will be the name of the dual-racing coaster.

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The two tracks of the coaster are yellow and orange. They go in and out of a show building.

  1. Track running through channels on the roof, protected by black tubing
  2. Track extending over maintenance bay
  3. New steel structure
  4. New concrete structure
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Large curved pieces and ladder-like pieces of steel are staged next to the coaster.

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Though there is still coaster track in the parking lot, plenty has already been installed.

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The two tracks follow similar paths, sometimes moving right next to each other, but also cross over each other at multiple points.

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Number 1 points to an end to the two tracks just above the show building where guests will board the coaster. The ride will take guests over the building.

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The dual-racing coaster is at the center of the above photo, right next to the How to Train Your Dragon land (4). The The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is at the top (3).

How to Train Your Dragon Land (Isle of Berk)

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The How to Train Your Dragon-inspired land is thought to be named Isle of Berk, the name of Hiccup’s island in the franchise.

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Near the entrance are two giant statues. One of them, a dragon, has been painted blue and gold. By “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” the third film in the series, the Isle of Berk’s entrance is flanked by a similar dragon statue and a Viking statue.

At 1, 2, and 3 in this photo, Viking ships are under construction.

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At number 1 in the photo above is the portal entrance to the Isle of Berk, with a pole on top of the structure. All of the Epic Universe lands will have these portal entrance structures. At number 2 is scaffolding and scrim within a curve of the How to Train Your Dragon roller-coaster, and number 3 is a bridge that goes over a dip of the coaster.

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A closer look at the area around the coaster and bridge shows some rockwork and fake green algae around what will presumably be a lagoon.

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This large building will be the Great Hall, a rumored restaurant. The arrow points at a new steel frame shaped like a house with a gable roof.

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A smaller building is across from the Great Hall, at the edge of the lagoon.

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Guests will enter the land by walking over the bridge and roller-coaster.

A theater is also under construction. Among Universal’s trademark filings was “The Untrainable Dragon,” which could be a version of the Universal Studios Beijing stage show “Untrainable” featuring Toothless.

Other How to Train Your Dragon-related trademarks are Hiccup’s Wing Gliders, Fyre Drill, and Dragon Racer’s Rally.

Super Nintendo World

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Super Nintendo World at Epic Universe promises to have a different kind of entrance from the version of the land at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan. As usual, guests will enter through a green warp pipe, but it’s now clear from construction that they will then go up an escalator. Poles have been added at the front of the portal to later support themed elements.

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Super Nintendo World will be fully shielded from the outside world, just like its Californian and Japanese counterparts.

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The structures inside the land are starting to become more distinct. The brown track near the bottom of the above photo is for Yoshi’s Adventure, a people-mover attraction that already exists at Universal Studios Japan but not Universal Studios Hollywood.

Guests will enter through Peach’s Castle above the large set of stairs near the center. The steel tower next to the Yoshi’s Adventure track will be Mount Beanpole. The large show building on the right is for Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.

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Colorful weather-proof sheathing is on the walls surrounding the land. These will eventually become fake hills.

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Super Nintendo World will be multi-layered, with themed, dynamic elements all around guests.

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The arrow in the above photo shows scrims over a rounded entrance for the Yoshi’s Adventure track, which moves inside and outside.

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At number 2 in the photo above is the future entrance to the Mario Kart attraction. As with the other versions of the land, it will look like Bowser’s Castle.

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Behind the Mario-themed section of Super Nintendo World will be the Donkey Kong area. This area is also planned for Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan.

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The arrow above points to the beginnings of a brick façade for the show building of the Donkey Kong ride.

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The green frames on top of the show building will hold up more themed elements.

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The ride will be a family-friendly coaster. It’s rumored to be named “Mine Cart Madness.”

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As the name suggests, guests will ride around in mine carts, just like in the games. According to patents filed by Universal for the “Boom Coaster,” while the carts will appear to run along an old track, they actually run on a rail that allows the carts to appear to jump over gaps in the track.

The arrow in the photo above points to a steel frame for a peaked roof.

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This arrow points at one of the gaps in the fake track.

Classic Monsters Land (Dark Universe)

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The Classic Monsters land is rumored to be called Dark Universe, which was the name of a canceled series of films. Universal trademarked “Dark Universe,” along with Curse of the Werewolf — potentially the land’s main ride — and The Oak & Star Tavern — maybe a restaurant for the land.

In the photo above:

  1. Retaining wall for a hill and a quick-service restaurant
  2. A building frame
  3. The roller-coaster
  4. Another attraction
  5. A village
  6. Entrance portal
  7. In-park hotel
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From another view:

  1. Entrance portal
  2. Village
  3. Manor façade main attraction
  4. Roller-coaster
  5. Retaining walls
  6. Barbecue restaurant (outside the land)

The manor façade at the front of the main attraction’s show building has a tower at the center top of it. The village currently consists of two large buildings that could be made to look like small houses close together.

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Here’s a closer look at the village and the beginnings of different façade roofs.

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Curved concrete walls lead up to the front of the manor, potentially for an exterior queue. The yellow arrow points at a new building frame.

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The entrance portal to Dark Universe is one of the biggest so far, with a gable roof, one tower on the side, and another on the top. The steel framework around the top tower looks like it could be the beginning of fake rockwork.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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At the center of the photo above is the largest show building in Epic Universe, housing the main attraction of the third Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

On the right is the Team Member building (4). On the left is the parking garage for the in-park hotel (2). And at the top is the lagoon with a peninsula for fireworks launching (3).

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In stark contrast to some of the other portals, the entrance to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is just an archway in a square structure right now. A concrete wall juts out from one side. But beyond the portal, several buildings are huddled close together to mimic the architecture of Paris, France.

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Not far behind the portal is a replica of Porte Saint-Denis, an arch in Paris. The land will be inspired by France’s answer to Diagon Alley, Place Cachée, as seen in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” Interactive wands will be integrated into the land, apparently with an upgrade.

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Bio points out there’s only one concrete structure (1) in the land, while everything else is made up of steel framework. At 2 in the above photo are supports for a potential backdrop.

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At 2 in this photo is a domed roof made of steel.

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Crews are creating Haussmann-style roofs on the edges of this buildings. These kinds of curved roof edges are common in Paris.

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While the land is inspired by France, the main ride will transport guests to the U.K. Ministry of Magic.

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A theater attraction will reportedly be in the building with a dark roof.

Universal Hotels

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Multiple hotels are also under construction near Epic Universe, including this long, curved hotel. In this photo:

  1. Day guest parking
  2. Epic Blvd.
  3. Hotel access road
  4. Kirkman Rd. extension
  5. Universal Blvd.
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The hotel is structurally complete but has no theming. It has a rounded archway entrance and rounded windows.

This hotel is to the south of Epic Universe.

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Work has begun on the foundation of a second hotel. Through the center of this photo are dedicated bus lanes in the middle of the Kirkman Rd. extension (1). A new median is under construction on Universal Blvd. (2)

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The in-park hotel is progressing, with two stories on the left half and several columns across the right half. The perpendicular building is the parking garage.

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The park entrance will be through the square building on the left in the photo above. Two small circles of concrete criss-cross nearby.

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There are at least four levels to the parking garage and potentially more on the way.

Epic Universe is expected to open in the summer of 2025.

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Author

  • Shannen Michaelsen

    Shannen has been a Disney Parks fan and lover of dogs since childhood, despite Pluto's attempt to eat Shannen's Minnie Mouse doll the first time they met. They've made up now. You can email Shannen at shannen@wdwnt.com.