UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

Universal's Epic Universe Back Under Construction After COVID Halted Progress

The new theme park will also be home to the highly-anticipated Super Nintendo World, which is expected to open in 2023

Universal Orlando Resort has officially announced that it is resuming construction on its fourth theme park, Epic Universe.

Construction on the park, which was announced in 2019, was halted in July due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but on Wednesday Universal revealed that work on the park would continue. It may will take several months, however, because it needs to restaff the project and reassemble its vendors and contractors.

The new park, which will also be home to the highly-anticipated Super Nintendo World, will be within a larger 750-acre site just a few miles from the existing resort. Universal said it will provide transportation between all of its properties.

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

The company also said Wednesday that restarting construction on Epic Universe will infuse billions of dollars into Florida's economy and create thousands of jobs during its development.

Although Universal Orlando employs 25,000 people, the company will also hire an additional 14,000 workers, including professional, technical and culinary staff.

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Universal Resorts also operates Volcano Bay, a water park about a mile down the road from the Universal Studios parks, which has now reopened to the public following a nearly four-month-long closure due to COVID-19.

With the land cleared in 2018, this will be the first park Universal has built since 1999 when Islands of Adventures opened its doors. In the last 10 years, the two parks have expanded to include Harry Potter-themed lands Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.

“Our vision for Epic Universe is historic,” said Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO for Universal Parks & Resorts.  “It will build on everything we have done and become the most immersive and innovative theme park we have ever created."

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and WTVJ.

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