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SYFY WIRE Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg Compliments Universal Parks' Epic Universe: "An Amazing Concept"

Universal's Epic Universe got a shout out from film legend Steven Spielberg.

By Tara Bennett

The recent first-look at Universal's Epic Universe theme park, which is scheduled to open in 2025 at Orlando Resort in Florida, is not only a window into the overall Celestial Park and Portal concept, it's also a confirmation of Universal Theme Park's continued long legacy of providing guests the opportunity to "ride the movies" which has been an ethos for the parks going back to when one of the world's greatest visionaries coined the term three decades ago.

Universal Theme Parks started in 1964 with the Hollywood Studio Tram Tour that is still operational to this day. With the success of Universal Studios Hollywood forming around the Tram Tour, Universal Studios built its first standalone park in Orlando, Florida in 1990. It was created around the concept of "riding the movies" which was an invention of long-time Universal Pictures creative, Steven Spielberg.

How Steven Spielberg Influenced All Universal Theme Parks

Epic Universe Celestial Park Aerial

For the creation of Universal's Epic Universe, Mark Woodbury, Chairman and CEO of Universal Destinations and Experiences, said they went directly to their visitors and asked what they would want in a new theme park. The response was: "More storytelling and more immersive environments presented in the most visceral way possible." The result is the five Portals of Epic Universe which leans into some of the most beloved film franchises around the globe, including Universal classics from How to Train Your Dragon to all the Universal Monsters

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As an ongoing creator with Universal, Spielberg remains a huge inspiration for the creations at Universal Theme Parks, and he said of the new destination, "Epic is built on an amazing concept. The idea you can go into a world through a portal and come out in a world you could never dream of and experience it. Will feed the imagination of all ages."

How to Train Your Dragon: The Isle of Berk

Epic Universe Celestial Park How To Train Your Dragon Isle Of Berk Portal

For two decades, DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon franchise has continued to thrill audiences with the animated adventures of Hiccup, Astrid, Toothless the dragon and the many others of his kind. For the first time, the Epic Universe Portal of The Isle of Berk will allow everyone to visit the incredibly detailed, utopian world of Berk with its mix of Vikings and dragons. The world will draw from characters, settings and adventures featured in director Dean DeBlois' trio of films (streaming on Peacock). And the opening of Epic Universe will also come in the year when DeBlois releases his live-action adaptation of How to Train Your Dragon.

Universal Monsters Come To Life In Dark Universe

Epic Universe Celestial Park Dark Universe Portal

For those who like their classic horror, Dark Universe will showcase the 90-year legacy of Universal Picture's Monsters. The inaugural film was Bela Lugosi's Dracula in 1931, and that opened the door for the introduction of Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon in their own films and sequels. To this day, the roster of characters remain a source of constant inspiration, from the recent remakes like The Last Voyage of the Demeter and director Leigh Whannell's upcoming Wolf Man. The Dark Universe Portal will collect these icons in one place for new adventures, with classic and remixed presentations that will bring the frights even when Halloween Horror Nights isn't happening. 

Super Nintendo World Coming to Orlando

Super Mario Bros Movie Poster

As the third Super Nintendo World to open at Universal Studios Theme Parks around the globe, Super Nintendo World in Epic Universe will be one of the largest areas for fans to immerse themselves into the actual world of the beloved video games. With the smashing success of Illumination's The Super Mario Bros. Movie in 2023, the franchise will continue to grow and add new fans to the legion that already exist. And with movie sequels coming, the theme park connection possibilities are endless. 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic

Harry Potter and his owl in Harry Potter And The Sorcerers Stone

Mark Woodbury says the Ministry of Magic Portal creates the trifecta of Harry Potter theme park experiences, expanding on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Diagon Alley experiences at Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure. For this Portal, the immersive experiences will draw from 1920s wizarding Paris from Warner Bros. Pictures’ Fantastic Beasts films and the iconic British Ministry of Magic from the original Harry Potter film series. So grab your robes and wands to deepen the magic. 

For more information about tickets and booking for your future trip to Universal Epic Universe, check out Universal Orlando Resorts.