First Look at the Epic Universe Preview Center

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The Chip and Co team recently had the incredible opportunity to get an exclusive early look at the Epic Universe Preview Center, which is scheduled to open later this month at Universal Orlando Resort. Located in CityWalk at the location that previously housed the Universal Legacy Store, this Preview Center offers a glimpse into the adventures that await in Universal’s newest theme park, slated to open in 2025.

Related: Universal’s Epic Universe is Expected to Open Before Summer 2025

As you step inside the Preview Center, you’re immediately surrounded by a treasure trove of merchandise from the park’s themed lands: Super Nintendo World, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Ministry of Magic, How to Train Your Dragon Isle of Berk, Dark Universe, and Celestial Park.

Each land is well represented, with an array of themed merchandise that makes it hard to leave empty-handed. Whether you’re a fan of Mario, a wizard in training, a dragon rider, or intrigued by the mysteries of the Dark Universe, there’s something for everyone.


One of the standout features of the Preview Center is the selfie-walls, designed for you to capture a memory from each land. You can snap a photo against the backdrop of the Mushroom Kingdom, pose with the streets of Paris that will call the Ministry of Magic land home, strike a heroic pose in front of Berk’s dragon-filled skies, or immerse yourself in the eerie ambiance of the Dark Universe.

At the heart of the Preview Center lies a detailed scale model of the entire park. The massive size of the park is well represented via this model, demonstrating the wonders and adventures that await in Epic Universe.

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This model is a feast for the eyes, meticulously crafted to showcase all the theming and attractions that will be part of Epic Universe. As you gaze upon it, you can almost hear the sounds of the various lands coming to life.

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Dark Universe
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Super Nintendo World and Celestial Park
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A view of Stardust Racers which will be located in Celestial Park
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Looking down on the streets of Paris in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Ministry of Magic

To enhance the experience even further, the Epic Universe app is a must-have. This app brings the map to life via some impressive augmented reality features.

Elements we noted while testing out the AR app ranged from watching Thestrals soar in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Ministry of Magic to dragons flying above the Isle of Berk to Diddy Kong enjoying a wild ride on the Mine-Cart Madness roller coaster! There are some elements in Dark Universe and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Ministry of Magic that are labeled as ‘coming soon’ in AR. We are assuming these elements will be updated after the land flyovers are released by Universal.

Related: Universal Orlando to Host First-Ever Halloween Horror Nights Premium Scream Night on August 29th

The Epic Universe Preview Center is an absolute must-visit for anyone eagerly awaiting the grand opening of Universal Orlando’s newest theme park. It’s more than just a preview; it’s a gateway to the adventures that lie ahead. Don’t miss the chance to be among the first to experience the magic and start planning your Epic Universe adventure today!

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Chris is a Pennsylvania native who escaped the cold and relocated to the Orlando area. Our resident Universal expert, Chris has been visiting the Universal Orlando Resort since the 1990s. Chris is a Universal and Walt Disney World Passholder, and can often be found exploring the parks taking in the sites (and finding new things to write about!).
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