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Universal Orlando's new theme park, Epic Universe, back on after pandemic delay

March 03, 2021
4 min read
Universal Orlando's new theme park, Epic Universe, back on after pandemic delay
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Since 2019, we've known that an entirely new theme park is coming to Orlando. But until today, we didn't know with any certainty what the park's future would be in a post-pandemic world.

It was an open secret that Universal Orlando had a massive 750-acre tract of land near, but separate from, the current parks. Universal decided this land would become the home of Epic Universe. When completed, this will be the brand's third traditional Orlando theme park, along with Universal Studios and Universal's Islands of Adventure. There's also a Universal waterpark, Volcano Bay, that opened in 2017.

In July 2020, however, construction on Universal's Epic Universe was halted due to the pandemic as the company "adjusted plans." But as of today, we know this project is still going to happen and that the "restart will begin immediately," according to a statement from Universal Orlando. The company said it does expect it will take several months before reaching full-speed on construction once again.

Down the road a few miles, Disney World is also making construction progress on multiple projects after a pandemic stall. This includes the Star Wars-themed hotel experience, a planned 2021 opening of the Ratatouille attraction in Epcot and Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, also in Epcot. However, Disney has been much quieter about the new timeline for completing Tron, and some projects have likely hit the cutting room floor.

What we know about Universal's Epic Universe

Once completed, in addition to a new theme park, Universal's Epic Universe will also feature an entertainment center, hotels, restaurants and shops. To give you an idea of the scale of this project, announcements from 2019 indicated that the project would bring 14,000 positions to Universal Orlando.

Image courtesy of Universal Orlando

As suspected, we also now know there will be a Super Nintendo World at Epic Universe, according to BlooLoop, which covers the attractions industry.

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Related: Best credit cards for theme parks

This park will join other recent projects at Universal Orlando including the Harry Potter-themed Hagrid rollercoaster that debuted in 2019; and two new Universal hotels -- Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites and Endless Summer – Dockside Inn and Suites, which opened in recent years as the parks' first value resorts.

The addition of Universal's Epic Universe may go a long way toward making Universal Orlando a weeklong destination by itself (instead of functioning as a one- or two-day add-on to other area attractions) and could certainly add additional value for Universal annual passholders.

While it's going to be a while until the new Universal Orlando theme park is constructed, especially given the multimonth pandemic delay, here are some tips for planning a Universal Orlando trip today:

Featured image by Image courtesy of Universal Orlando
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

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2 - 10X points
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75,000 bonus miles
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Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023