New Universal park likely to boost Orlando theme park scene

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One company’s new park may be a boost for all in Orlando’s theme park landscape; if some experts are correct. 

The announcement Thursday of Universal’s new park Epic Universe had the tourist district and theme park blogs across the internet buzzing about the potential ahead.

"Oh, a whole new theme park is always going to be the biggest news; it's hard to compete with that,” said Alicia Stella from Orlando Park “This isn't a new ride or a new land -- this is a whole new theme park."

Stella’s blog has been posting rumors for months about the new park and what fans could possibly see inside.

Details were scarce during the official reveal Thursday morning, but experts in the industry seem to agree the move is an attempt by Universal to become more of a destination; much like Disney currently gets a lot of tourists coming to spend several days visiting multiple parks.

"That's their goal: make it a destination as opposed to, ‘I'm coming to Disney, but I'll go over to Universal for a day,’" said theme park expert and Rollins College Marketing Professor Dr. Mark Johnston. “Universal just hasn’t had enough stuff to make it a destination for a week.”

Epic Universe will join Universal's current parks Universal Studios, Islands of Adventures, and Volcano Bay. However, Johnston doesn’t think Universal alone will benefit. 

Besides water parks like Volcano Bay, Epic Universe will be the first major theme park opening in Orlando in about 20 years. The attention upon opening, likely to get eyes on the entire scene.
Johnston also believes the new park won’t necessarily cut visitors away from the competition, but instead just draw more visitors; some taking longer trips.

So one new park could bring more visitors to town for Universal, Disney, SeaWorld, and everyone else to attract. 

"Everyone can win on this,” said Johnston.

As for potential boosts to ticket prices, Johnston said expect that either way with prices already currently raising at least once a year on average across the board.

There’s no indicator from Universal yet what their pricing tiers with look like with the new park, or even when the new park is expected to open.

Stella guesses the opening won’t come until at least 2023.