During the Q3 2019 Comcast Corporation Earnings Conference Call, it was revealed that Comcast is planning to open Universal’s Epic Universe in 2023! During the Q2 2018 Earnings Conference Call, a question came up about trademark names hinting at Universal’s next gate and Comcast confirmed they did file trademarks and were looking at a new gate in Florida and then the official announcement of Universal’s Epic Universe finally came on August 1, 2019 with very little details given about the project besides its location.
In regards to the theme parks, a representative of Comcast stated as part of the question and answer section of the call, “6 years ago we made about a billion dollars in the theme park business and now we’re at about 2 and a half billion, so the theme parks have been historically one of the fastest growing parts of our portfolio with a lot to look forward to.” That includes Super Nintendo World in Japan in 2020 and then Universal Beijing Resort in 2021, which they said it would be a spectacular park.” The representative continued by saying “We recently announced we’re doing a fourth gate in Orlando in 2023, so we think the theme park business is a great business for us and we’re going to be making the investments to try to grow cash flow aggressively in the future.”
In terms of Q3 2019 Theme Parks results, revenue was up 6.8% to 1.6 billion dollars with EBITDA increased 0.9% to 731 million dollars. The results reflect higher attendance and an increase in operating costs. The higher attendance is being attributed to severe weather and natural disasters that impacted Japan in Q3 2018. However, Comcast is pleased with the summer launches of the Jurassic World attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort.
As for Universal’s Epic Universe, we can now say that we officially know the location, the size, the planned opening year, the amount of jobs it will add to Central Florida, the pay rate, and plans for the future. Universal’s Epic Universe will sit on a 750-acre site south of Universal Orlando’s main campus and will feature a theme park, entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants, and more. Rumored intellectual properties for Universal’s Epic Universe include Nintendo in the form of Super Nintendo World, Universal Classic Monsters, DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon, and another expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Mark your calendars for 2023, because if everything stays on track with Universal’s Epic Universe then it’s going to be an exciting year to visit Orlando!