When Universal Epic Universe was first rumored, one of the biggest questions that fans had was where Universal's third major new theme park might go. The current Universal Orlando Resort property is essentially full and is bordered by Orange County roads, businesses, residential homes, and apartment buildings. However, in the years building up to its announcement in 2019, parent company Comcast began quietly buying property on a 750-acre site south of Sand Lake Road and east of Universal Boulevard, which would eventually become Universal's Epic Universe.
With this new addition, Universal Orlando Resort will effectively double its current size. However, the location is several miles away from the current Universal Orlando Resort theme park complex, which posed an immediate challenge for park planners and guests: How do you connect theme parks and resorts that are separated by several square miles of developed cityscape?
The answer of course was to build up a robust transportation plan, which is now starting to really take shape. Universal has partnered with local government officials in some major ways to work on creating a way to move guests between these two locations without disrupting local residents or the businesses that operate around the two parts of the growing resort.
It is a tricky situation but luckily some solid plans have come together in recent months that will help bring the two halves of Universal Orlando Resort together in a way that makes sense. Here's what we know so far about how the transportation between Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Epic Universe is taking shape:
1. New roads will connect Universal Orlando Resort to Universal Epic Universe
The centerpiece of the new transportation plan is an extension of Kirkman Road, which will connect it on 1.7 miles of new pavement from Carrier Drive to Universal Boulevard and will facilitate a direct connection between the current resort and the Epic Universe expansion.
Building off this extension will be a completely new road named Epic Boulevard that will be 1.06 miles long. This shorter stretch of road will be the main guest way into the new resort. It will have entrances to the new theme park’s parking lot, drop-off areas, and valet, as well as future expansion plots across from the theme park and on-site resort hotels. A third new road, called Constellation Way is also being built, but this looks to be a much shorter connecting road, and won't be a major artery in or out of the park.
In addition to these guest roads, several backstage roads are also being constructed primarily for Team Members to use, including the all-new Ideation Place, and extensions of Mandarin Road and Ordinance Road, which will be named Opportunity Way and Teamwork Drive on Universal property, respectively.
2. An elevated traffic circle will help manage guest flow
Universal Epic Universe will certainly attract a lot of attention during its initial few years in operation, and many in the area surrounding the future expansion have expressed concerns about how increased traffic in this already heavily-populated area will be managed. Fortunately, Universal recently confirmed that it is working with the local government to build a massive elevated traffic circle.
The hope is that the massive piece of infrastructure will help with some of the anticipated traffic by moving guests on their way to the resort above local roads so that the traffic flowing beneath this huge structure won't be as affected by the presence of the resort. You can see the concept art of the new traffic circle above, which includes bike lanes, and pedestrian crossings, as well as what looks like a dedicated lane for guests traveling to the resort by bus. The latter would be an interesting development all by itself thanks to a long-rumored transportation addition that has yet to be officially confirmed...