The announcement yesterday wasn't really much of a surprise to anybody. Much of the information had leaked already and even when pressed, no details about specific lands or attractions was revealed.
Of course, that doesn't mean that a lot can't be seen from the image below (click for larger versions of each picture).
So from looking at this, the general consensus is the park will contain the following lands:
There is also a dual racing coaster that is unclear where it would go as well as some other smaller attractions. So let's move around the park.
This is widely believed to be the entry to the park, not a whole lot of details to be seen here, but definitely looks like it will be fantastic.
Looks like some pretty good sized stores, restaurants and maybe some kind of attraction here.
How To Train Your Dragon
Moving to the right, this is believed to be for How To Train Your Dragon. Can see at least one coaster here (the dual launched coaster doesn't seem to be a part of that land).
Would imagine some other family friendly rides in this area as well. Looks like maybe some water play area's and some kind of "training " facility on the bottom left.
About that that dual racing coaster. This looks a LOT like West Coast Racers. Like a LOT a lot. Rumors are that WCR was originally being designed for something with Universal that was a few years out, so read into that what you will. We have no idea if that is accurate or not.
While no theme is readily apparent for this it looks like it will be amazing.
Below are some pics from our West Coast Racers tour a couple of weeks ago for reference.
Wizarding World/Fantastic Beasts
Next over is the Wizarding World. I have to admit, this is the land that has me scratching my head the most. Yes, the Potter Universe is amazing, all of the theme park additions have been amazing. But the Fantastic Beasts films have been failures both financially and creatively (especially the last one).
While, granted, you don't have to have a good IP to have a good attraction **cough** Transformers **cough** it kind of helps. It's also kind of interesting how the fireworks cover a lot of this area of the artwork. Will have to see how this plays out.
Around the corner is what is widely believed to be a Universal Monsters area. Now there have been rumors of a Universal Monsters Dark Ride coming to Universal Hollywood for YEARS. The location where Secret Life of Pets is going was rumored to be the location. This has been a huge dream of John Murdy's for years, and it seems that maybe now his dream is becoming reality, bigger than he thought.
If this is a Universal Monsters area I'd imagine that John, Chris Williams and Michael Aiello are at the very least consulting, but I'd imagine much more. If you are going to Midsummer Scream this weekend, don't ask them about it. They aren't gonna answer.
Of course, as soon as the announcement was made thoughts of Halloween Horror Nights coming to this park were eventually shared by lots of people, including us. I think the idea has merit. Just because there are no "soundstages" shown in this art doesn't mean they don't exist. I think it's definitely in the realm of possibility of having two HHN events in the next decade. But we'll see.
Just a warp pipe away is Nintendo Land. No surprise here AT ALL.
No need to get into this too much, but Mario Kart, Donkey Kong ... going to be epic.
Heart of the Park
There's a large area in the middle with lots of water (a theme in this park). Looks like some restaurants, a gorgeous looking theater or attraction building, fountain shows and different levels of walkways underneath waterfalls.
There's also some kind of amphitheater (near Universal Monsters) and other show area's which is good for those who enjoy that type of thing. Perhaps major concerts coming to Universals new park?
And last and certainly not least, the hotel. All those bloggers gotta have somewhere to stay right?
This looks fantastic.
Overall we didn't really get a whole lot in the way of "surprises" with yesterdays announcement. Lots to examine over the next few years for sure.
As to why they didn't announce it all at once? Why make one announcement vs dragging them out a bit and having 5 or 6 separate announcements.
Or could it also be that not everything in the park is 100% set in stone. Again, referring to the Wizarding World section here.
Going to be very interested to see if that happens or if they go in a different direction. Would imagine any ride systems they have created for that area would remain, but perhaps with another IP. Will definitely be an interesting few years.
What are your thoughts on Epic Universe? Be sure to share them below.