Epic Universe theme park is back on, Universal says

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A rendering of Epic Universe when the park was announced in 2019.
A rendering of Epic Universe when the park was announced in 2019.

Universal Parks & Resorts confirmed on Wednesday that construction of its fourth Orlando theme park, Epic Universe, is resuming after a months-long pause due to the pandemic.

Universal announced the upcoming park, which it has promised will be its most immersive yet, in August 2019. It will join Universal's existing parks in Orlando  Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and water theme park Volcano Bay  as well as entertaining and dining complex Universal CityWalk.

Epic Universe, sitting on a 750-acre site, will come with its own entertainment center, hotels, shops and restaurants, Universal said.

The park will be located south of Universal's main campus in Orlando. But experts believe this could present unique opportunities to transport guests to the area, perhaps via themed transportation, like the Hogwarts Express attraction that ferries guests from Universal Studios Florida to Islands of Adventure.

"The restart of construction of Epic Universe is a terrific moment for our employees and for our theme park business in Florida," Brian Roberts, the chairman and CEO of parent company Comcast Corp., said in a statement. "It is our single largest investment in the state and represents our enthusiasm for the spectacular park and the economic opportunities it will generate."

Construction on Epic Universe will begin "immediately," Universal said, after pausing in July 2020, but is expected to take several months to ramp to full speed as Universal brings on staff and reassembles vendor and contractor teams.

It will result in "hundreds of jobs within Universal and thousands of jobs across Central Florida," Universal said, infusing "billions" into Florida's economy. Epic Universe will ultimately create more than 14,000 permanent jobs, Universal has said.

Correction: A previous version of this report gave an incorrect name for the new theme park in the caption of the photo accompanying the report. The correct name of the park is Epic Universe.

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