Construction on Orlando’s new Universal theme park has restarted following delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally slated to open in 2023, Epic Universe — which will include Orlando’s own Super Nintendo World — is now scheduled to open in early 2025, according to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel.
Universal released a statement following Demings’ remarks, noting that construction has begun “immediately, but is expected to take several months before reaching full-speed as Universal re-staff for the project and reassembles it vendor and contractor teams.” The company’s statement did not give a new time frame for the park’s opening; we’ve reached out for comment, and we’ll update this article with any information we receive.
Epic Universe will eventually be Universal’s third theme park in Orlando, reportedly with shopping, restaurants, and hotels. The site is expected to fill a 750-acre facility. Universal has not laid out explicit plans for the Orlando site.
Universal Studios Japan’s Super Nintendo World theme park in Osaka was originally set to open on Feb. 4, but that grand opening was delayed due to the pandemic. However, Universal “soft-opened” the theme park in February, and images from the park have begun circulating on social media. It’s expected to officially open once the state of emergency in Osaka is lifted.
Nintendo released an in-depth Nintendo Direct in 2020, too, showing off Super Nintendo World’s two main attractions: Mario Kart Koopa’s Challenge and Yoshi’s Adventure. The park also includes Nintendo-themed food stands and restaurants, as well as plenty of playable elements throughout the park.