Since Comcast's (CMCSA) - Get Free Report Universal Studios added "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" in 2007, it's become an actual competitor for Walt Disney's (DIS) - Get Free Report Disney World. Before the boy wizard and his friends were brought to Islands of Adventure in 2010 and Universal Studios in 2014, it could be argued that the Comcast park was secondary to what Disney offered.
Basically, pre-Potter Universal Studios was a one-day park that people visited while on a Disney World vacation. "Wizarding World" changed that perception by literally raising the standard for what a theme park land could be. Instead of simply offerings rides, shows, food, and shops, "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" created a truly immersive experience.
Once you step into either of the two Harry Potter worlds, you leave the real world behind. Universal has made it so you can't see the outside world while visiting "Wizarding World" and it has planned every detail to deliver an authentic-feeling experience (literally down to the bottled beverages served).
Universal's move forced Disney to follow and that was a huge boon for Disney World (and Disneyland) visitors. Harry Potter essentially forced Disney to develop "Pandora: The World of Avatar" at Animal Kingdom as well as "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge" at both Hollywood Studios in Florida and at California's Disneyland.
Now, Universal is taking the fight to Disney once again as construction has begun on "Epic Universe," a third theme park at its Florida property. The company has not shared a lot of details about the new park, but some more information has emerged as to what rides and attractions it will contain.
Universal's Epic Universe: Here's What We Know
Universal has said very little about what will actually be part of Epic Universe. The company has tried to build hype, but its official statements have been incredibly vague.
Universal’s Epic Universe will offer an entirely new level of experiences that will forever redefine theme park entertainment. Guests will venture beyond their wildest imagination, traveling into beloved stories and through vibrant lands on adventures where the journey is as astounding as the destination. The new location will feature a theme park, an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants, and more.
What we do know is that that the park will include a version of the company's "Super Nintendo World " that has opened already at the company's park in Osaka, Japan. That land will include one ride based on the “Mario Kart Koopa’s Challenge,” and another one based on the game “Yoshi’s Adventure,” which highlights Mario’s pet dinosaur.
It is also expected that the entire "world" will be interactive using special wristbands for an additional fee, much like Disney's MagicBand+. Universal's bands are used in Japan, but have not been confirmed for the Florida edition of "Super Nintendo World."
More Universal Epic Universe Details Revealed
It has long been assumed that Harry Potter would be part of Epic Universe. That appears to be true, but the third "Wizarding World" may be scaled down, according to a report from Theme Park Tourist.
"While this land originally was rumored to have two rides, plans may have changed slightly, as insiders suggest that there may now only be one ride in this new area, as a second ride that tied into the Fantastic Beasts series of films may have been scrapped. The singular ride remaining will reportedly be themed to the British Ministry of Magic, and will allow guests to enter this iconic part of the Wizarding World using the Floo Network, as seen in the films," the website shared.
In addition, Theme Park Tourist reported that "Super Nintendo World" will also have a unique ride, not available in the current version of the land in Japan. The ride, a "boom" roller coaster, will be themed on Nintendo's (NTDOF) Donkey Kong character.
"This new roller coaster concept is completely unique and uses a hidden roller coaster track that connects to ride vehicles via a boom arm," the site reported. "Because the actual ride track can't be seen and the track that guests see under their ride vehicle is just for show, the ride vehicle can be made to look like it is 'jumping' from track to track, imitating the mine cart stages of the 'Donkey Kong Country' games."