After a brief construction halt due to the COVID pandemic, Universal will resume construction on their third theme park (fourth park in Orlando) Epic Universe. The project was officially announced in August 2019 and it was revealed in October 2019 during an earnings call that Universal was set to open the park in 2023.
Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast, dropped the news during a Morgan Stanley Investor Conference early in the morning on March 3, 2021. Universal says that the restart will begin immediately, but it will take several months before reaching full-speed as they re-staff the project and reassemble its vendor and contractor teams.
“The restart of construction of Epic Universe is a terrific moment for our employees and for our theme park business in Florida,” said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation. “It is our single-largest investment in the state and represents our enthusiasm for the spectacular park and the economic opportunities it will generate.”
Epic Universal construction will have an extremely positive impact on the Florida economy. The park resuming construction will infuse billions of dollars into the Florida economy and result in hundreds of jobs with Universal and thousands of jobs across Central Florida. Overall, the project will create more than 14,000 permanent jobs in addition to those created during the development period.
“The resumption of the Epic Universe project couldn’t come at a better time,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “Our community has so many talented workers who will benefit from this massive project. I am confident it will deliver a huge economic boost to Orange County.”
Right now, there is no opening timeframe for Epic Universe, but clearly Comcast means business. Epic Universe will consist of a theme park, entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more on the 750-acre site south of the current Universal Orlando Resort Campus. Rumored intellectual properties for the new park before construction halted included Super Nintendo World, DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon, Universal Classic Monsters, and an addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It is possible plans may have changed during the construction halt, but all rumors could change until more details are officially announced.
“We are excited to begin work on Epic Universe again and for what this moment means for our industry, our community, our business and our team members,” said Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO for Universal Parks & Resorts. “Our confidence in our collective future is as strong as ever.”