• Documents reveal new details about Epic Universe, Universal's new park

    By: Len Kiese


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - 9 Investigates uncovered documents that provide new details on Universal's new theme park, Epic Universe.

    Records between Universal and Orange County reveal things such as the location of intricate fountains and how large each of the park's sections will be.

    Experts predict the new park will be a multibillion dollar project.

    John Goodman, of the Wyndham Orlando Resort, said another Universal theme park means great things for the I-Drive corridor.

    "This area -- International Drive, Sand Lake Road and Universal Boulevard has really become the intersection of main street and main street," he said.


    The project will also draw more traffic to the areas, so Universal is pitching in along with Orange County and the Florida Department of Transportation to relieve congestion on Kirkman Road with this major $300 million expansion.

    "We are going to make the largest investment we've ever made in a park," said Brian Roberts, Comcast's CEO.

    Despite that big investment, Universal still has not said when the new theme park will open on a 750-acre piece of land.

    If history is any indication, it could take at least four years.

    Read: Universal Orlando announces 'epic' new theme park

    Universal's Islands of Adventure was announced in November 1995 and completed in May 1999.

    Orange County permits show some land work has already started on Epic Universe.

    In the last three days, at least a dozen permits have been filed with the South Florida Water Management District, records show.

    "A lot of thought has been put into this well before this announcement," Goodman said.

    When it comes to construction time, permits will be able to be filed faster as the county opens up an office in the nearby Orange County Convention Center.

    Officials said the new office will benefit all of the development and growth happening in the I-Drive area.

    The company's CEO said the park will add 14,000 jobs to Orange County, and the base pay will be $15 an hour once the park opens.

    A University of Central Florida hospitality professor told 9 Investigates the wage will create competition among Central Florida's theme parks, which will vie for workers.

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