PHOTOS: Epic Universe Construction Adds Themed Elements in How to Train Your Dragon, Classic Monsters Lands

Katie Francis

Updated on:

PHOTOS: Epic Universe Construction Adds Themed Elements in How to Train Your Dragon, Classic Monsters Lands

Katie Francis

Updated on:

PHOTOS: Epic Universe Construction Adds Themed Elements in How to Train Your Dragon, Classic Monsters Lands

The next Universal Orlando Resort theme park, Epic Universe, is on track to open by the summer of 2025. A lot of details on this brand new theme park are still unannounced, but there’s a lot happening around the construction site. Aerial photographer bioreconstruct has been providing construction updates on Twitter and we’ve collected the latest round of photos to share with you.

Epic Universe concept art

Park Entrance

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Several concrete columns are in half-circles at the entrance to the park.

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Some of the columns have already been connected with walls. To the right in the photo above are two domes, part of a larger structure.

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The photo above labels approximately where elements of the entrance will be.

  1. Admission sales
  2. Security and admission
  3. Oval entrance courtyard
  4. Signature gateway

Crews are preparing to pour concrete for a building near the admission sales locations.

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A building on the west side of the entrance is partially constructed. Some of it is still a steel framework in need of walls and roofing.

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The central corridor of Epic Universe will have several water features and circular structures.

  1. Service access to waterside restaurant kitchen
  2. Entrance to the restaurant above the kitchen
  3. Curved walkway between two water features
  4. Water feature excavation
  5. Park gateway

Central Hub (“Celestial Park”)

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The park will also have celestial theming. This photo shows more of the central corridor and “Celestial Park.”

  1. Park gateway
  2. Water feature adjacent to the restaurant
  3. Walkways between water features
  4. Walkways between water features
  5. Dual-racing coaster
  6. Entrance to How to Train Your Dragon land

The dual-racing coaster has two tracks: yellow and orange. They cross over and under each other in an offshoot of the park’s center. Though Universal’s Islands of Adventure once had Dueling Dragons, a dragon-themed dual-racing coaster, this new coaster is not part of the How to Train Your Dragon section of the park.

In the photo above, bio points out theming work underway by the coaster, plus a small dome recently constructed next to a larger dome — rumored to be a water-based carousel.

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Here’s a closer look at the new elements at the front of the dual-racing coaster. Three curved beams of steal stretch from the roof of the building to a support on the ground. A construction worker sits atop the support.

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Work has begun on installing a roof over the coaster’s launch building. A curved frame is now over the loading area, but paneling hasn’t been installed.

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Trees have been planted around the curves of the coaster at the edge of the park.

Nearby, a boom crane is hoisting two brown towers into place. These are part of the How to Train Your Dragon land, for an aerial spinning ride.

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In the photo above:

  1. Frame for themed element in front of dual-racing coaster
  2. Viking ships in How to Train Your Dragon land
  3. Spinning ride tower
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The dual-racing coaster will be between the How to Train Your Dragon land and the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter area — neither land has been announced, though the visible theming all but confirms them.

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Here’s another look at the rumored carousel. There is one large dome and one smaller dome. As crews finish installing the smaller dome’s frame, temporary supports are still being used.

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The flat sections of concrete next to the domes are the beginnings of the water feature’s floor.

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Earlier this year, Universal patented a type of carousel and trademarked the name Constellation Carousel. We don’t know for certain if the patented system or name will be used for this attraction, though.

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This photo shows the circular features of the central corridor. From bottom to top: a restaurant, the carousel, and a fountain.

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Tiered concrete benches have been installed around the circular fountain for show viewing.

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The fountain is in front of the in-park hotel, which will have its own dedicated entrance to Epic Universe.

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The circular waterside restaurant isn’t the only dining location — a BBQ restaurant is also planned. Arrows in the above photo point at the restaurant’s chimneys.

Near the entrance to the park, crews are excavating an area between two buildings. Number 3 in bio’s top photo is at a potential VIP room.

The bottom photo looks at more excavation and future water features near the front of the park, and the waterside restaurant.

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A closer look at the restaurant shows tiers of seating going down from the entrance.

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Meanwhile, behind the in-park hotel is one water feature already filled with water. A peninsula — already covered in grass — sticks into the center of this lake, presumably as a fireworks launch area.

Epic Universe In-Park Hotel

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Speaking of the Epic Universe in-park hotel, it’s already a few stories tall now. The hotel is curved along the edge of the park at the far end from the main entrance.

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Directly behind the hotel, in front of the lake, is a parking garage.

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Elements of the park line up with the center of the hotel for a cohesive look.

How to Train Your Dragon Land (‘Isle of Berk’)

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The How to Train Your Dragon land is rumored to officially be named the “Isle of Berk.” At the entrance are two statues that also appear in the “How to Train Your Dragon” films — hence why we know this is definitely the theme of the land.

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There’s a Viking statue on the left and a dragon statue on the right, both painted blue and gold. Viking boats are behind them with rocks surrounding.

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Crew members are painting the boats.

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They have dragon figureheads.

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A wider shot of the land reveals the entrance portal at number 1 and a pole at the center of a bridge walkway at number 2. Numbers 3 and 4 are rockwork, while 5 is a smaller bridge.

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The statues and boats will eventually be surrounded by water. In the films, the statues are a gateway for ships.

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In this photo, we can see the How to Train Your Dragon coaster going beneath the entrance bridge and over the future lake.

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This building near the land’s entrance has a steel tower atop it and three peaked grooves.

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Under the scrim at number 3, another Viking ship is under construction.

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Themed roofing has been installed at the station for the How to Train Your Dragon coaster. The planks appear misaligned and rough. There are two chimneys.

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A restaurant in the land will be inspired by the Great Hall in the films. It’s at number 1 in the photo above. 2 is the roller coaster station and first launch, 3 is the coaster’s service bay, 4 is a service building, and 5 is a power and water plant.

Here are the spinning ride towers again. One is installed — at number 1 — while another is staged next to its concrete foundation — at number 2.

Number 4 is the loading platform for a boat ride.

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The large building is a theater for a show likely similar to one that already exists at Universal Studios Beijing called “Untrainable.”

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Roofing has been installed over the theater seating inside.

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The boat ride will move through a section of the bay beyond a bridge.

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The second launch of the How to Train Your Dragon coaster is in the center of this photo.

Samples of rocky theming are highlighted in this picture.

Additional Hotels

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Offsite are two more hotels. One building seems complete.

The oval shape of a pool is already visible.

A road runs between the two hotels.

  1. Medians ready for the intersection of Universal Blvd and Kirkman Rd
  2. Future site of a full-circle raised ramp
  3. Resort access road
  4. Resort access road

Super Nintendo World

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Back in the park, the only land that has been announced is Super Nintendo World. The land already exists at Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Hollywood. The Florida version will open with both attractions from Japan, as well as the Donkey Kong expansion (which is also under construction in Japan).

Guests enter through Peach’s Castle, and paving of the walkway past the castle is already complete.

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A grand staircase descends from the courtyard in front of Peach’s Castle. Unlike at Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Hollywood, guests will enter the land from the top via an escalator, instead of from the bottom.

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The yellow-orange track in these photos is for Yoshi’s Adventure, an omnimover ride. The arrow points at the entrance to the other attraction — Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge (Koopa’s Challenge in Japan).

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  1. Entrance walkway
  2. Next area of walkway
  3. Support for lighting
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The tallest point of Super Nintendo World is Mount Beanpole. We can see the steel beginnings of it in the photo above.

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Super Nintendo World is near the entrance to the park.

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A building directly outside of the land is believed to be a Nintendo-themed cafe and store.

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Mushroom Kingdom is at the front of the land, while the Donkey Kong section is at the back. Here is the Donkey Kong roller-coaster. It uses a sideways track running alongside fake tracks, which will be used to make it look like cars are hopping.

A ride envelope, used to test clearance, is already being used. It’s visible at number 2 in this photo. Like much of Epic Universe, water will flow around this coaster.

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Paris

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Florida’s third The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be inspired by the Paris version of Diagon Alley seen in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” — Place Cachée.

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The land has some of the tallest structures, with façades mostly blocked by scaffolding.

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Different types of roofing are visible at the edges of the buildings.

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Fake windows line the buildings. A courtyard is through one building to the right.

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1 is at the opening into the courtyard (2). 3 is at a backdrop street under construction.

The land has thin streets and, like the other Wizarding Worlds, will use perspective to make it seem as if there are even more buildings to behold.

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More confirmation that this land is definitely Paris: at number 1 is a recreation of Porte Saint-Denis, a real-life monument.

Also in this photo:

2. Courtyard

3. Backdrop street

4. A tower that is the beginning of a recreation of the Basilica of Sacré Coeur de Montmartre

5. A section of the show building with a theater attraction

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The show building will contain two attractions. One is a show, while the other will transport guests from Paris to the London Ministry of Magic.

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Dark Universe (Universal Monsters)

The last land rumored for Epic Universe is “Dark Universe,” inspired by Universal Monsters.

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The entrance portal to Dark Universe resembles a giant tree with rocks around it.

Guests will purportedly walk through an old village to a mansion.

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A barn-like structure has dark brown wood walls and a light blue roof. It’s the launch area of a roller coaster, believed to be a spinning coaster.

Dark Universe will also have a restaurant. Stone walls have been installed on the outside of it.

The main attraction, within the mansion, will reportedly be a robotic arm ride like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Pinch rail track is staged in the nearby Team Member parking lot.

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The mansion is covered in scaffolding, but the distinct shape is showing through.

Are you excited for a brand new park? Let us know what you most want to see in the comments, and stay tuned for more construction updates as we get closer to the opening of Epic Universe!

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