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Universal Studios Florida unveiled new information about their Dark Universe land at Epic Universe i...

Universal Studios’ Epic Universe Is Getting A Monster-Themed Land

It’s like Halloween Horror Nights year-round.

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Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Studios has been working on something epic — quite literally — with its third theme park for Universal Orlando. Epic Universe is expected to open in 2025, and will include an all-new Harry Potter Ministry of Magic land and Orlando’s version of Super Nintendo World.

On June 20, Universal Orlando Resort also announced new details about its monster-themed land, Dark Universe, which features Dracula, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster, and the Bride of Frankenstein.

Out of all five of Epic Universe’s lands, Dark Universe has been the most mysterious. Up until now, fans were only told that the area was based on Universal’s movie monsters, but plans have been revealed, showing there will be two rides, a character meet-and-greet, and three foodie spots to experience.

The main attraction is a dark ride named Monsters Unchained: The Frankenstein Experiment, where guests travel into the catacombs of Frankenstein Manor and are confronted with Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and more. It’s like a more thrilling version of a Halloween Horror Nights maze.

Universal Orlando Resort

As scary as some of these monsters can be, the land is meant to be family-friendly. There’s even the Curse of the Werewolf, Darkmoor’s family coaster, similar to Flight of the Hippogriff in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You can also dress the part by visiting the land’s makeup experience.

It sounds like Disney’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, but instead of transforming into a princess, you’ll be made into a monster. Afterwards, stop by Meet the Monsters to encounter Ygor, The Invisible Man, and the Bride of Frankenstein to grab selfies for Insta.

Universal Orlando Resort

For a bite to eat, Darkmoor has a vampire-inspired Das Stakehaus with menu items like kebabs and burgers, as well as Burning Blade Tavern with German cuisine like bratwurst and pretzels. Looking for something sweet? De Lacey’s Cottage near Monsters Unchained has cinnamon bread and ice cream, but also the twisted taters — a go-to snack at Halloween Horror Nights. It’s like an HHN land you can visit every season, and not just the fall.

If you are a fan of Halloween Horror Nights, though, Universal has also recently shared what to expect this year at not only Orlando, but Universal Studios Hollywood and Japan. There’s plenty to look forward to at all the parks around the world. Below, you’ll find even more exciting additions coming to Universal in 2024 and 2025.

Universal Orlando’s DreamWorks Land Is Now Open With Shrek Experiences

The most exciting thing coming to Universal Studios Florida has to be Epic Universe in 2025. This new and massive Universal Studios theme park includes How to Train Your Dragon’s Isle of Berk and Celestial Park — which will be right next to a brand-new Universal Helios Grand Hotel. In each area, there will be attractions, eateries, and shops.

Universal Studios

Universal has been slowly unveiling details on everything coming to Epic Universe, and recently announced details about Super Nintendo World. Florida’s version will be closer to Japan’s Mario-themed land, with attractions like Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge and the U.S. debut of Yoshi’s Adventure. For foodies, there will also be the fan-fave Toadstool Cafe along with Yoshi’s Snack Island and Turbo Boost Treats.

Over at Donkey Kong Country, the main attraction will be the family coaster Mine-Cart Madness with a unique design that will make you feel like you’re in the video game. You can also meet all your fave characters in Super Nintendo World, like Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, and even Donkey Kong.

Universal Studios

While a lot of these rides are ones you can find in other parks, Epic Universe will also have four new attractions in the Isle of Berk. One of these How To Train Your Dragon-themed rides is a family-friendly roller coaster, where you’ll get to fly alongside Hiccup and Toothless. Speaking of Toothless, guests will have the chance to meet the adorable Night Fury dragon in the park and recreate one of the most iconic moments from the first film by petting him.

Along with Hiccup’s Wing Gliders roller coaster at Epic Universe, Universal announced that the Isle of Berk will also have a Fyre Drill boat battle (where you will get wet), a Dragon Racer’s Rally high-flying dragon simulator, and a Viking Training Camp playground. For entertainment, The Untrainable Dragon is a stage show with characters like Hiccup, Toothless, Gobber, and Astrid.

Foodies will have plenty to enjoy as well. The new land features Mead Hall from the film, a quick-service Spit Fyre Grill, and Hooligan’s Grog & Gruel for quick bites. This How To Train Your Dragon area is just the cherry on top of all the new DreamWorks Animation additions coming to Florida.

Universal Studios

While Epic Universe may be a major upgrade to Universal Orlando, the resort isn’t forgetting its other parks. In fact, Universal Studios Florida has an all-new DreamWorks-themed land, featuring characters from the Shrek, Trolls, and Kung Fu Panda franchises.

Rachel Chapman

While visiting Shrek’s swamp, grab a viral Shrekzel with green cheese or snap a pic with Donkey and Princess Fiona. You can also hop on the Trolls-themed Trollercoaster or cool off in the Kung Fu Panda splash area.

This summer, Orlando also has three new entertainment offerings. The first is a nighttime lagoon show, CineSational: A Symphonic Spectacular, featuring scores and scenes from movies like Jurassic World, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and Harry Potter.

Speaking of Harry Potter, Hogwarts Always is the new castle projection show in Hogsmeade with iconic moments from the Wizarding World. It has four different endings based on the houses — Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff — so you’ll want to see it multiple times.

Universal Orlando Resort

Then, starting July 3, guests can enjoy Universal’s Mega Movie Parade. This will be the park’s largest daytime parade, and include characters from E.T., Jurassic World, and Ghostbusters. Throughout the year, guests and Universal annual pass members can also experience special events, like Halloween Horror Nights.

The fan-favorite experience is returning in August, followed by Holidays At Universal Orlando Resort in the winter. Typically, Halloween Horror Nights begins in September leading up to the spookiest time of the year in October. However, Universal Studios Florida in Orlando has tickets on sale for HHN 2024 now, and the event starts on Aug. 30.

Running through Nov. 3 on select nights, you’ll have plenty of time to visit (and revisit) the best Halloween theme park event. Orlando’s 2024 Halloween Horror Nights will have 10 brand-new haunted houses with five different scare zones throughout the park, including a Quiet Place maze.

When you’re not dodging the monsters, enjoy themed food and drinks, watch a live show, or shop for exclusive merch at the beloved Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store. Tickets for a single night at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights start at $83 per person, but you can also purchase Express Passes that let you skip the regular line and those start at $130 a person.

Universal Destinations & Experiences

Along with Epic Universe opening in 2025, Universal Studios Orlando will also be unveiling two new resorts. Universal Stella Nova Resort will arrive Jan. 21, 2025, and be a galaxy-themed hotel near Epic Universe. It will have a pool, standard rooms for families, and restaurants to enjoy, along with transportation to the other Universal Studios theme parks — Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.

Adjacent to Universal Stella Nova Resort will be Universal Terra Luna Resort, opening Feb. 25, 2025. Similar to Stella Nova, this space exploration-themed resort will be close to Epic Universe and have a pool, standard rooms, and dining options.

Hollywood Is Celebrating The Studio Tour’s 60th Anniversary

Universal Studios Hollywood

The famed Studio Tour in California is celebrating it’s 60th anniversary and offering guests unique experiences. Firstly, Universal has brought back its vintage red and white candy-striped Glamor Trams for guests to ride in, and for the occasion, you’re able to step off the tram to take pictures on the lot. This new area has a giant King Kong backdrop and Hollywood sign for Insta pics.

The Earthquake attraction has returned as well, and the tram drives through Courthouse Square — aka where Back to the Future was filmed. Foodies can celebrate the diamond anniversary with exclusive menu items, like a 60th Donut, Kong’s Ice Cream Sundae, and a Cosmic Pop festive drink.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Another addition to the upper lot will be the new Fast & Furious roller coaster. It was reported last summer that Universal Studios Hollywood was constructing a new attraction themed to the Fast & Furious franchise where the Animal Actors and Special Effects Stage shows used to be, and it was announced the outdoor coaster is expected open in 2026. In the meantime, guests can still experience the Fast & Furious - Supercharged as part of the backlot tour.

Universal Destinations & Experiences

Halloween Horror Nights will also return this fall to Universal Studios Hollywood, starting Sept. 5 through Nov. 3. Other than The Quiet Place, Hollywood’s houses have yet to be unveiled, but tickets are on sale now.

Universal Studios Japan Is Getting Donkey Kong Country

While Hollywood has had Super Nintendo World for a year, the Mario-themed land actually opened at Universal Studios Japan first in 2021. Guests who have been to both parks would also argue Japan’s version is better. Not only does it have an additional Yoshi-themed ride, but Universal Studios Japan is expanding Super Nintendo World to include their Donkey Kong Country in 2024.

Universal Studios Japan/YouTube

The Donkey Kong-themed area will have Mine Cart Madness and interactive areas where you can use your Power-Up Band. Universal hasn’t announced an opening date, but their website says it will open sometime this year. Since the highly anticipated Fantasy Spring at Tokyo DisneySea is now open, you might want to wait till later in the year to plan your Japan trip if going to theme parks is on your to-do list. You could even go in the fall when Japan has their version of Halloween Horror Nights, starting in September.

Another option is to wait for Universal to announce dates for its Singapore theme park, and make it a big international trip. According to Klook, Universal Studios Singapore is working on a Minion Land to open in 2024, and its own version of Super Nintendo World will arrive sometime in 2025.

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