Isle of Berk sheep

Constellation Carousel Deck, Dark Universe Gravestones, & More Epic Universe Construction Updates

Shannen Ace

Crews have installed the deck of Constellation Carousel, are testing Curse of the Werewolf, and have added more theming elements throughout Epic Universe. Aerial photographer bioreconstruct shared photos of all this work and more this week.

Epic Universe Overview

Aerial view of Epic Universe
Source: bioreconstruct

Epic Universe will be the third Universal Orlando Resort theme park, after Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure. A preview center will open at CityWalk soon, but Universal Orlando Resort shared several new details last month, including confirmation of the park’s five themed lands.

In the photo above, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic is at the bottom, Celestial Park is in the center, and Super Nintendo World is at the top. Celestial Park will be the one land not based on an IP.

Aerial view of Epic Universe construction
Source: bioreconstruct

To the right in the above photo is the in-park hotel, Universal Helios Grand Hotel. The main entrance to Epic Universe for day guests will be at the opposite end of Epic Universe. The other two lands are Dark Universe (inspired by Universal Classic Monsters) and How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk.

Aerial view of Epic Universe and surrounding area
Source: bioreconstruct

In the above wide view, the yellow arrow in the top left corner is pointing at the towers of Doctor Doom’s Fearfall in Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal Islands of Adventure. Epic Universe isn’t right next to the pre-existing parks and CityWalk but also isn’t very far.

Empty lot near Epic Universe
Source: bioreconstruct

This cleared plot of land near Epic Universe will reportedly be a service area for electric buses. The yellow arrow near the right center points to an electrical distribution site between the cleared land and Epic Universe.

Staging area
Source: bioreconstruct

This is the Epic Universe staging area, where crews prepare props and test elements. At number 1 in the photo are gray pipes. At number 2, crew members are gathered around a steel framework.


Epic Universe entrance construction
Source: bioreconstruct

At the main entrance, guests will enter Epic Universe through the Emerald Gate under the Chronos device. Within the park’s lore, this machine harnesses the energy of the universe, powering Celestial Park and creating portals to other worlds.

Entrance portal archway
Source: bioreconstruct

So far, crews have constructed the actual arched portal entryway but not the theming around it. Before entering, there are two buildings for ticketing. Two more buildings frame the entryway.

Epic Universe entrance concept art

For comparison, here is concept art of the Epic Universe entrance. The portals to the other lands will be similarly shaped but with different iconography on the towers above them.

Celestial Park

While Universal Orlando Resort is still keeping details about the IP-based lands under wraps, they did release information about Celestial Park. The three attractions will be Constellation Carousel, Starfall Racers, and Astronomica.

Celestial Park water feature construction
Source: bioreconstruct

Landscaping has begun around cascading water features just beyond the main entrance. Here will be Chaos Overlook, where guests can check out the water features and a large statue. Celestial Park will also have Luna Overlook.

Water feature foundations
Source: bioreconstruct

The water features are currently outlined with concrete walls and foundations.

Atlantic and Constellation Carousel construction
Source: bioreconstruct

Near Super Nintendo World is an octagonal building and a dome structure. The octagon is Atlantic, a waterfront restaurant, while the dome is Constellation Carousel.

Atlantic pools
Source: bioreconstruct

There are two flat circles for the pools of water right outside the Atlantic. White tarps currently cover the outside of the building, but the dining room will have open walls for guests to view the water.

In the foreground of the above photo is the Isle of Berk portal, featuring a dragon medallion at the top of the tower.

Epic Universe fountain
Source: bioreconstruct

In the background of the above photo is Dark Universe, and a restaurant located outside the land. The large blue circle in the ground between Constellation Carousel and Universal Grand Helios Hotel will be a fountain.

Construction around fountain
Source: bioreconstruct

Crews have installed a new frame around the edge of the fountain, in front of the concrete benches facing it. The benches will be for guests to view water shows. There’s also a gazebo framework between sets of benches.

Fountain nozzles
Source: bioreconstruct

Since our last update, pumps and nozzles have been installed in the bed of the fountain.

Fountain under construction
Source: bioreconstruct

The bench seating goes almost entirely around the fountain. At the edge of the fountain, directly in front of the hotel, there are two rock walls around a series of steps leading down to the fountain.

Construction in front of hotel
Source: bioreconstruct

Outside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic, another restaurant is under construction.

Restaurant under construction
Source: bioreconstruct

Crew members were working on top of a domed tower when bioreconstruct photographed the area.

Construction outside Isle of Berk
Source: bioreconstruct

Crews have recently started excavating this space outside How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk. There are the beginnings of foundation work in the ground but we don’t know what exactly will be in this area.

Super Nintendo Store under construction
Source: bioreconstruct

This large building outside Super Nintendo World will be the Super Nintendo Store and, reportedly, a pizza restaurant. Green squares have been painted on the exterior walls of the Super Nintendo Store, which has a domed tower at the front. Arched windows on the tower are currently covered in tarps.

Nintendo Super Star Store concept art

Concept art indicates that when completed, these arched windows will feature images of Nintendo characters. Since the store is located outside of Super Nintendo World, its architecture fits in with Celestial Park but it has Nintendo touches.

Starfall Racers

Front of Starfall Racers
Source: bioreconstruct

Starfall Racers is a dual-launch coaster in Celestial Park. Crews have been working on the theming at the front of the coaster’s launch building, near the entrance. Scaffolding covers much of the themed elements, but there is a large ring visible.

Starfall Racers concept art

The ring appears in the concept art released a few weeks ago. An orange semi-circle element behind the ring is also visible in construction photos, albeit not yet orange.

Front of Starfall Racers
Source: bioreconstruct

That element is currently green and will be painted later. There is rockwork beneath the themed pieces and in front of the curve of the coaster track. Tarps cover the track in that area to keep it protected during ongoing construction. The concept art indicates there will be fountains incorporated into this area.

Overview of Constellation Carousel
Source: bioreconstruct

The flat concrete around Constellation Carousel will be another water feature. The gray line with squares that runs through the pool foundation is where there will be fountains.

The crane leaning over the attraction was used to install the deck of the carousel. At the time these photos were taken, it was reaching into the underground pump room for all the Celestial Park water features.

Deck of Constellation Carousel
Source: bioreconstruct

The carousel’s deck has three inner circles that will all rotate in addition to the spinning deck. Constellation Carousel will have celestial creatures rather than traditional horses and they will each turn 360 degrees, making guests “feel like you’re caught within the Milky Way, riding on constellations through the galaxy.”

Constellation Carousel concept art

The larger dome is the actual ride, while the smaller dome holds the queue. Concept art shows the domes covered in blue and purple starry panels between gold supports. A pegasus figure is on top of the ride.

Last year, Universal filed a patent potentially for Constellation Carousel. The patent, called “Choreographed Ride Systems and Methods,” described a free-moving carousel ride system with more mobility both vertically and horizontally.

Constellation Carousel and Astronomica construction
Source: bioreconstruct

Astronomica is called an “attraction” but is just a splash pad located along the water next to Constellation Carousel. It’s in the foreground of this photo with fountains laid out in interlocking circles.

Universal Helios Grand Hotel

Grand Helios Hotel construction
Source: bioreconstruct

Since our January construction update, the framework of a dome has been added to the top center of the Helios Grand Hotel. Behind the building is a parking garage for hotel guests.

Transportation station construction
Source: bioreconstruct

The arrow in this photo points at new awning structures added to a transportation area behind the hotel.

Dark Universe

Dark Universe entrance portal
Source: bioreconstruct

The Dark Universe entrance portal is rocky with old tree roots all over it and a Frankenstein-esque piece of tech on top. Concept art (below) shows crackling electric energy running through the piece.

Dark Universe portal concept art

Yet to be installed is the actual portal archway. We’ve seen these installed already at the Isle of Berk and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Gravestone walls
Source: bioreconstruct

Each portal will be the land’s entrance, while they have separate less-themed exits. In the above photo, the exit is at the bottom left. Gravestones create two walls leading away from the entrance and into the rest of the land. The concrete structure by one wall of gravestones is a crypt.

Dark Universe village under construction
Source: bioreconstruct

Beyond the portal is a village. The shapes of the buildings are clearly defined, but only some of the pointed rooftops have black paneling on them. The facades are covered in scaffolding and tarps while detail work continues.

Dark Universe village and broken stone wall
Source: bioreconstruct

At the opposite end of the village street from the portal are “broken” stone walls. Scaffolding was recently removed from these and trees have been planted around them.

Broken stone wall
Source: bioreconstruct

One section of wall is almost in the center of the pathway out of the village. The other sections frame the exit of the village. There’s also a column of stone at the bottom center of this photo.

Small building and sidewalk
Source: bioreconstruct

Crew members have begun to cast concrete for a sidewalk in front of a small building thought to be a shop or quick-service restaurant. The building itself has new stone and wood detailing but has not been painted.

Burning Blade Tavern

Burning Blade Tavern construction
Source: bioreconstruct

Atop what will eventually resemble a hill — but for now, looks mostly like a building — is a windmill (currently lacking blades). It’s inspired by the 1931 “Frankenstein” film, in which such a windmill is burned down. Rumor is that there will be fire effects on the Burning Blade Tavern when it opens.

The actual tavern that guests will dine in will be inside the fake hill. There is a seating area on the side of the hill, with the beginnings of a sidewalk leading away from it. There are trees around the sidewalk and behind stone walls on the other side of the tavern.

Watch the windmill scene from “Frankenstein” below.

The tavern and its official name have not been confirmed.

Curse of the Werewolf

curse of the Werewolf
Source: bioreconstruct

Also not confirmed is the name of this roller-coaster, but it’s thought to be called the Curse of the Werewolf. More landscaping around the coaster’s queue has been completed. It winds around trees between the coaster’s track.

Train cars on Curse of the Werewolf

Bioreconstruct captured photos of vehicles on the track testing.

Curse of the Werewolf testing
Source: bioreconstruct

Themed decking has also been completed on the roof of the coaster’s second launch location.

Monsters Unchained: The Frankenstein Experiment

Monsters Unchained manor
Source: bioreconstruct

The land’s E-ticket attraction will be inside this manor house. A potential name trademarked by Universal is Monsters Unchained: The Frankenstein Experiment.

Stone walls and bridge
Source: bioreconstruct

More stonework has been added to the bridge leading to the manor and the walls in front of it. There will reportedly be a “moat” around the manor and guests will enter over the ramped bridge. There is scaffolding around a structure at the end of the bridge, possibly the main entrance of the attraction.

Monsters Unchained extended queue
Source: bioreconstruct

There has also been significant progress on the extended outdoor queue partially behind the manor. Stones have been added atop concrete walls. There’s a crypt with trees framing its entrance. More trees have been planted in front of a long building at the back of the courtyard.

Trees around extended queue
Source: bioreconstruct

Crews are planting even more trees outside the extended queue, creating a small forest.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic

Wizarding World portal
Source: bioreconstruct

Above the portal entrance to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic is a tall white column with a golden hand holding a wand on top. The wand appears to be the Elder Wand, wielded by Dumbledore throughout most of the “Harry Potter” films.

Pavement outside Wizarding World portal
Source: bioreconstruct

Crews have started casting concrete in front of the Wizarding World portal. There’s a crescent moon shape inside a nearly whole circle next to another circle. The concrete will likely resemble celestial bodies, like other elements of Epic Universe.

Porte Saint-Denis replica
Source: bioreconstruct

After the portal entrance will be a courtyard, then guests will enter Place Cachée — the Paris equivalent of Diagon Alley that appeared in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” — through this replica of Porte Saint-Denis. Scaffolding has been removed from the archway but some detail work remains to be done.

Paris streets
Source: bioreconstruct

Beyond Porte Saint-Denis is a series of thin streets. Cres have begun removing scaffolding from some of these facades, too.

The land is named “Ministry of Magic” because it will feature a ride inspired by the British Ministry of Magic, as seen in the “Harry Potter” films, although the rest of the land is set in 1920s Paris. There may also be a recreation of the French Ministry of Magic seen in “Fantastic Beasts.”

Aerial photo of scaffolding being removed from a block in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic.

Paris facade with painted graphics
Source: bioreconstruct

Painted graphics are now visible on a white stone facade where crew members were removing scaffolding. The designs look like green vines and red magic energy.

Words across the top of the building appear to read “Rénovation Dentaire” — a themed sign for a dentist’s office.

Scaffolding on Paris facades
Source: bioreconstruct

The yellow arrow in this photo points to one of three alleyways that leads into a courtyard. At the top of the photo, crew members are guiding a window down from a crane.

Wizarding World construction
Source: bioreconstruct

Here’s an overhead view of the courtyard (on the left). This will be the façade of the land’s main restaurant, possibly Café L’air de la Sirène, one of several trademarked names likely for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic.

Wizarding World Paris facades
Source: bioreconstruct

Scaffolding has also been removed from these façades, revealing more graphics. One appears to be an advertisement for a school “école.” Other graphics look like green letters.

Ministry of Magic ride entrance
Source: bioreconstruct

In this photo, an arrow points at what may be the main entrance to the land’s ride, likely called Harry Potter and the Battle at the Ministry. The gray facade is decorated with white filigree.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Ministry of Magic construction
Source: bioreconstruct

From high above, the show buildings are visible behind all of the Parisian facades. In this picture, bioreconstruct has added a yellow line (by the crane) showing the separation of the attraction building and a stage show theater.

The stage show will likely be Le Cirque Arcanus, inspired by a circus also seen in the second “Fantastic Beasts” film.

Super Nintendo World

Super Nintendo World was the first land confirmed for Epic Universe. It will be similar to Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Hollywood. The Mushroom Kingdom area and the Donkey Kong Country expansion are being constructed at the same time, with the latter currently in the works for Japan.

Construction at the portal for Super Nintendo World.
Source: bioreconstruct

One minor difference in this version of Super Nintendo World so far is the entrance. While it still resembles a green pipe like the entrances in Hollywood and Japan, it will have special decorations and a portal archway like the rest of the Epic Universe lands.

Super Nintendo World portal concept art

Concept art shows a Mario medallion and the words “Here we go!” at the top of the portal archway.

There will also be an escalator inside the pipe. At Universal Studios Hollywood, guests walk straight into the lower level of the land. At Universal Studios Japan, guests walk straight into the upper level. In Florida, guests will take the escalator to the upper level and enter Super Nintendo World there.

Mushroom Kingdom

Mushroom Kingdom in Super Nintendo World
Source: bioreconstruct

Guests enter through Peach’s Castle, visible on the upper left in the above photo. The Mushroom Kingdom is enclosed with giant green walls resembling hills. Donkey Kong Country will be located behind the Mushroom Kingdom.

Mount Beanpole
Source: bioreconstruct

Mount Beanpole is now covered with themed panels and other elements. There are flat clouds, a Thwomp, and gold coins. All of these elements will be moving once the land is finished.

Mount Beanpole
Source: bioreconstruct

A Mario flag is atop the mountain.

Yoshi's Adventure cars
Source: bioreconstruct

Around Mount Beanpole is the track for Yoshi’s Adventure, an omnimover attraction that exists at Universal Studios Japan but not at Universal Studios Hollywood (there was no space). Yoshi-shaped vehicles are already being tested on the tracks.

Yoshi's Adventure cars and pyramid
Source: bioreconstruct

At number 1 in this photo is a frame sticking out of a wall for a moving element — something like the clouds on Mount Beanpole. At number 2 is a gate for the ride’s service area. At number 3 are metal frames for more themed elements.

Peach's castle construction
Source: bioreconstruct

Peach’s Castle is covered in black paneling and sheathing. There are stairs in front of it leading down to the lower level of the land. Some unpainted cartoon rockwork is visible on zig-zagging walls to the left of the castle.

Bowser's castle construction
Source: bioreconstruct

Scaffolding covers Bowser’s Castle, which will serve as the entrance to the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge attraction. The giant figurehead of Bowser has not yet been installed, but the castle’s towers are taking shape.

Donkey Kong Country

Donkey Kong construction
Source: bioreconstruct

Donkey Kong Country’s main attraction will be a roller-coaster. The Japan version is confirmed to be named Mine-Cart Madness. In the last few weeks, crews have installed many more themed stones and other elements on one wall by the coaster. It’s beginning to look more like a run-down temple.

Donkey Kong themed wall
Source: bioreconstruct

The stones are blue with green vines and plants growing over them. Between two broken walls is the steel frame of a wall and the framework of future themed elements.

Donkey Kong Mine Cart Madness track
Source: bioreconstruct

Near a curve of the coaster, new themed trestles have been installed.

The coaster track appears to have gaps but this is an illusion that will make it look like guests in the mine cart vehicles are jumping from one track to the next. The real track is sideways.

Mine Cart Madness track
Source: bioreconstruct

This photo shows the trestles and the real track below the themed track.

Donkey Kong track
Source: bioreconstruct

More colorful flowers are staged for installation on the blue stone wall.

Mine Cart Madness rockwork
Source: bioreconstruct

Blue tarp covers a stretch of fake and real track to keep it protected as crews sculpt nearby rockwork. A structure in the top left corner has been closed in. The nearby concrete walls will hold water that the ride appears to splash through.

Mine Cart Madness
Source: bioreconstruct

A cement truck is parked on site as crews pour more concrete.

Building Foundation
Source: bioreconstruct

A new foundation has been added nearby for another Donkey Kong Country structure.

How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk

The Isle of Berk will be straight out of the “How to Train Your Dragon” films, with dragon figures set to be throughout the land. The three rides are rumored to be named Dragon Racer’s Rally, Fyre Drill, and Hiccup’s Wing Gliders. There will also be The Untrainable Dragon stage show, likely inspired by a show at Universal Studios Beijing.

Isle of Berk overview
Source: bioreconstruct

The large structure in the center of the “How to Train Your Dragon” land is the Great Hall or Meade Hall. To the right is Dragon Racer’s Rally, a coaster, and to the left is Fyre Drill, a boat ride.

Between the Great Hall’s hill and the land’s portal entrance will be a lagoon with a deck around the front of it.

Isle of Berk entrance
Source: bioreconstruct

Two painted statues sit in the lagoon, one inspired by a Viking and the other inspired by a dragon. The deck around the lagoon looks mostly completed.

Dragon and viking statues
Source: bioreconstruct

There are painted rocks and an unfinished Viking ship in the empty lagoon.

Coaster and spinner rides
Source: bioreconstruct

The coaster is expansive, with the track even going into the lagoon. It surrounds Hiccup’s Wing Gliders, a pair of spinners we’ve previously seen testing.

Isle of Berk lagoon

Two Viking ships at the back of the lagoon have been painted. Sails are even on them, rolled up at the tops of the masts, and there are shields around the hulls.

Spitfyre Grill
Source: bioreconstruct

This building will house a restaurant rumored to be named Spitfyre Grill. The tower on the left was recently painted, although we can’t see all the details because of scaffolding.

Two lone archways sit on concrete supports in front of the building.

Spitfyre Grill tower
Source: bioreconstruct

The building beneath the tower is covered in rockwork. A model in the above photo acts as a guide for crew members painting the rocks.

Isle of Berk shop with scaffolding
Source: bioreconstruct

Scaffolding covers another building in the Isle of Berk rumored to be a gift shop. The frameworks of platforms are on supports sticking out of the top of the building — possibly for dragons to eventually perch on.

Great Hall spire
Source: bioreconstruct

The Great Hall has a long spire of rock sticking out of its roof.

The show building in the background is the Untrainable Dragon theater. There are new frames around the entrance and against one wall.

Back of Great Hall
Source: bioreconstruct

Some rockwork has been completed on the back of the Great Hall. Yellow arrows in this photo point to two mossy rock walls surrounding an otherwise normal-looking building.

Great Hall rockwork
Source: bioreconstruct

The rockwork on the rest of the building has been sculpted but not painted.

Fyre Drill

Fyre Drill lagoon
Source: bioreconstruct

The floor of the Fyre Drill attraction is now black; it was previously a light color. There are several concrete forms around walls for a boat track. An island within the pool is covered in fake flat trees with fake fire on them. The dock is covered in ramshackle wood paneling.

Fyre Drill bridge
Source: bioreconstruct

Past a bridge, steel frames mark the entrance of the ride’s service area, which will eventually be covered in themed elements.

Dragon Racer’s Rally

Dragon Racer's Rally landscaping
Source: bioreconstruct

There is fresh landscaping around the roller coaster. This square of land is now covered in grass and surrounded by trees, with more trees around the structure of the first launch.

Dragon Racer's Rally launch shed
Source: bioreconstruct

The structure resembles a shed, with several panels of wood planks on rickety-looking supports. Of course, they aren’t actually rickety, but are firm steel painted to look like wood.

Dragon Racer's Rally and Hiccup's Wing Gliders
Source: bioreconstruct

Scaffolding surrounds a section of coaster track near the spinner ride. Grandstands will be installed on both sides of the track in this area.

Second launch with rockwork and play area
Source: bioreconstruct

The coaster’s second launch will be next to this moss-covered rock wall. Two rock archways go over the track.

The rockwork to the left will be for a play area.

Isle of Berk sheep
Source: bioreconstruct

On rock platforms within a loop of the coaster are two sheep and a sheep dressed like a dragon.

Isle of Berk Dragon Racer's Rally construction
Source: bioreconstruct

The loop with the sheep is on the right in the above photo, just before the coaster dives under a bridge and through the lagoon.

What are you most excited to see at Epic Universe when it opens next year? Let us know in the comments.

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