Universal Orlando Resort announces ambitious new theme park
Universal's Epic Universe will take visitors on a journey where beloved stories will expand into vibrant lands - and where travel is as important in your adventure as the ultimate destination
The Universal Orlando Resort is building a new, fourth, theme park called Universal's Epic Universe. The vision: To create an absolutely unprecedented level of experience that forever changes theme park entertainment.
Universal's Epic Universe will take visitors on a journey where beloved stories will expand into vibrant lands - and where travel is as important in your adventure as the ultimate destination.
"Our new park represents the largest single investment Comcast NBCUniversal has made in its theme park business and in Florida in general," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation. "It reflects the tremendous excitement we have about the future of our theme park business and the future of our company in Florida."
The new theme park will also feature an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more. It will be located in an area of about 3000 km2, which roughly doubles the total available area of Universal in Central Florida. Universal's Epic Universe is just a few miles from the current Southwest Orange County Resort. Specifically, it will be south of Sand Lake Road and east of Universal Boulevard.
"Our vision for Epic Universe is historic," says Tom Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Parks & Resorts. "It will be built on everything we have done and will become the most immersive and innovative theme park we have ever created. It is an investment in our business, our industry, our team members and our community."
The new park was announced on Thursday at an event attended by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis; Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings; Tom Williams and Brian Roberts.
"We look forward to the new level of entertainment and innovation that Universal's Epic Universe will bring to one of the most important industries in our state," said Governor DeSantis. "We look forward to Universal's continued contribution to the development and economic growth of our state. And we are especially grateful for Universal's partnership in enhancing Shingle Creek, which plays a key role in serving the Everglades."
"The investment Universal is making in our community and the benefit we will all see is substantial," said Mayor Demings. "This will benefit almost every segment of our economy - from tourism to technology."
Mayor Demings also highlighted Universal's role in extending Kirkman Road. It is a 50/50 public-private partnership in which Universal is investing $ 160 million to extend Kirkman to the area where the new park will be located.
"The Kirkman extension will improve transportation in a busy and growing part of our county and open the entire area for further development - including a major expansion of our Convention Center," he said.
During the announcement, Governor DeSantis, Mayor Demings and Tom Williams released information on Universal's economic contribution to the local and state economy.
Universal Orlando currently employs 25,000 people and will hire an additional 14,000 members for the Epic Universe team for professional, technical, culinary and other specialist positions. The company currently contributes more than $ 302 million in annual state and local taxes - a figure that will nearly double when the new park opens.
Most of the businesses Universal counts on are regional or national companies with a large regional presence. A study of Universal's economic impact, conducted by UCF Professor of Economics, Sean Snaith, found that Universal Orlando's combined direct and indirect economic benefits to the Florida economy since the opening of Universal Studios in 1990 are $ 73 billion. He also found that the construction of the new park will contribute a total of $ 11.5 billion in direct and indirect economic benefits to Florida's economy.