Comcast executives revealed the opening year for Universal Orlando’s next theme park, Epic Universe, in the company’s latest quarterly earnings call.
“We recently announced we are doing a fourth gate in Orlando in 2023,” said NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke. “We think the theme park business is a great business for us.”
Universal markets Volcano Bay as a “water theme park” on par with Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, making Epic Universe the fourth park at the Universal Orlando Resort. By the traditional definition, it would be Universal’s third gate, just like Disney World’s two water parks are not considered the same as Magic Kingdom or Epcot.
That was the only detail about the new park on the call. Overall, Comcast reported positive results for its theme park division in the third quarter of 2019. Revenue was up 7 percent compared to the same quarter in 2018, when natural disasters affected attendance at Universal Studios Japan.
“While the parks business is subject to some ebbs and flows, we are pleased with our summer launches of Jurassic World in Hollywood and our Hagrid-themed Harry Potter coaster in Orlando,” said Comcast chief financial officer Michael Cavanagh.
When Universal confirmed rumors about a third theme park in August, the presentation was also light on details and accompanied by deliberately vague concept art. The expansion near the Orange County Convention Center will include “an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more,” but there has been no official word about what intellectual properties will be featured in the park.
Since the initial announcement, Universal has purchased more property around the Epic Universe site. In September, it completed the acquisition of 56 acres in two parcels along Universal Boulevard.
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