In addition to confirming the five lands of Epic Universe, Universal has announced the full details for the main hub: Celestial Park.
Simply put, Celestial Park is a world between worlds, where everything begins and ends. Celestial Park holds the entrance (portals) to the other immersive areas of the theme park (worlds) and it’s also where you’ll find some of the best restaurants on property, must-do attractions, retail options and the most unique hotel in Universal’s portfolio. It was created as a space for people to (re)connect with each other and with nature. “We’ve made a conscious effort to put the park back into theme park, and made sure not to design it with lots of concrete and asphalt streets,” says Adam Rivest, executive producer for Celestial Park.
Celestial Park also has a transformative function between day and night — during the day, it’s this beautiful, lush living garden with spectacular fountains, and at night, the entire area lights up and transforms into a completely different environment. It’s breathtaking.
Within the narrative created around the lore of Epic Universe, Celestial Park is the center of an ever-evolving universe that, throughout centuries, people — artists, musicians, explorers, adventurers, inventors — have visited for inspiration and connection, and maybe left a little piece of them behind.
“And I think that’s what’s really at the emotional core of it: our desire to belong, to connect, to meet new people, to discover new places, to have experiences. That’s what sets off great explorers, why people climb mountains, why they go on adventures. And also why they go through these portals,” says Steve Tatham, the executive creative director for Universal Epic Universe.
This beautiful carousel has a wonderful spin to it — quite literally. It may seem like a traditional carousel, with an array of celestial creatures to choose from, but as it goes round and round, the creatures are also turning 360 degrees, making you feel like you’re caught within the Milky Way, riding on constellations through the galaxy.
“Constellation Carousel is the most enchanting carousel ever made,” says Gabriela. “The design, the colors and tones, the dome that will cover it… well, all the elements used in this experience are the perfect combination to create a unique moment while enjoying Epic. The traditional carousel of our childhood is being redefined by the stars!” The ride is also covered in hundreds of points of starlight, creating a breathtaking cosmic ambiance.
“Celestial Park is all about the heavens, you know? And on Starfall Racers you’re physically riding the embodiment of a comet,” says Adam. This attraction is a racing dual-launch coaster that goes at 62 mph and reaches a max height of 133 feet. “While it’s giant and looks really intimidating at first, it’s designed to feel like an old wooden coaster, but smooth as a button. So, you’ll rise up in your seat and get those zero G feels,” says Adam. “Although there are a couple signature moves in there, most of the 1.8 mile track is a side-by-side race between two comets to see who gets to the end first,” he adds. With no break zones, by the way.
Riding it at night will be an attraction in itself — because the coaster is covered with hundreds of points of light, the vehicles look like shooting comets racing across the sky. Pretty cool.
And although I can’t give this easter egg away just yet, just know that there’s a gift for true Universal fans on the back of each coaster vehicle. Truly outatime!
At the center of Celestial Park lies Astronomica, an interactive wet-play attraction designed as a compass rose that points to the portals and attractions around Epic. A pro tip? Make sure you stop by at night too, as Astronomica comes alive with light, color and music!
Nestled in the middle of Celestial Park, Atlantic is Chef Martinez’s “precious gem.” The restaurant is surrounded by the shimmering waters of Neptune’s pool and has floor-to-ceiling Victorian glass walls. “It gives our guests the illusion of dining in an ‘out of this world’ glass aquarium,” says Chef Martinez. The name probably already gave it away, but you’ll be able to find the freshest seafood and typical — and not so typical — surf and turf options on the menu.
The Blue Dragon Pan-Asian Restaurant
Blue Dragon is a legitimate flavor bomb. Staying true to the electric neon dragons that snake the interior of the dining room, the restaurant has a vibrant and delectable menu. “Our guests will have the chance to enjoy flavors from China, Southeast Asia and Japan, all while dining under the constellations, as lanterns dance overhead in this beautiful indoor courtyard,” says Chef Martinez. If you need a break from the bustling environment, grab a seat at the cozy Tiger Bar for a drink or two.
Nintendo Super Star Store
There will be plenty of retail options for you to stock up on souvenirs through Celestial Park, including the Nintendo Super Star Store. Founded by explorers that have been on multiple excursions into SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, this store is filled with colorful keepsakes themed around Nintendo’s beloved characters.
Helios Grand Hotel
See that gorgeous backdrop encircling Epic Universe? That’s Universal Helios Grand Hotel, a full-service hotel for guests looking to go all-out during their Universal Orlando Resort stay. Named after the God of the Sun, Helios is where the heavens and earth unite: it’s adorned with celestial patterns and constellation details in the decor and has a casual, elegant Mediterranean-inspired feel throughout. Sensing a theme, are we?
The coolest thing about the hotel is that it is walking-distance from Epic and has a dedicated and exclusive entrance into Celestial Park, making it one of the most unique properties in the Universal Orlando hotel portfolio. “From the hotel our guests will be able to enjoy the view of the beautiful gardens and natural wonders, and witness with advantage how they turn from a day event to a starry vision,” says Gabriela.
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