Dark Universe Coming to Epic Universe

Dark Universe Coming to Epic Universe

Universal’s Epic Universe is going to have immersive lands for all tastes. We’ve already learned about Celestial Park, Super Nintendo World, and How to Train Your Dragon: Isle of Berk. Today, Universal revealed a land that skews in a slightly different direction. Dark Universe will appeal to fans of old-school movie monsters. That’s right, Dracula, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster, and the Bride of Frankenstein finally have a theme park home. And it’s not just OG monsters. Universal Creative came up with an all-new character for the park. Dr. Victoria Frankenstein, Henry Frankenstein’s great-great-granddaughter, carries on her family’s legacy.

Dark Universe concept art. Copyright Universal.

Universal promises families will enjoy Dark Universe:

As guests venture through Darkmoor – the ravaged village within Dark Universe – they’ll encounter the characters and subjects of those experiments within a first-of-its-kind theme park environment that offers family-friendly fun while also pushing the boundaries on intensity in a way that only Universal could achieve.

Creative Team members commented on the scare factor in this land. Jen Wilson said, “there are layers of intenseness, of scariness in Dark Universe.” Frances Franceschi quantified it a little more: “We kind of toe that line of being family-friendly, but we can also be PG-13.”

Your kids’ mileage may vary. Our then 5-year-old was terrified of Snow White’s Scary Adventures and It’s Tough to Be a Bug. I think he’d have bolted from Dark Universe back then.

Darkmoor Village

Dark Universe portal concept art. Copyright Universal.

Like the other Epic Universe lands, guests will enter Dark Universe through a themed portal. This electrified entrance will pulsate with energy, the same energy you’ll see throughout the land and at the top of Frankenstein Manor.

Aerial view of Dark Universe concept art. Copyright Universal.
Darkmoor Village entrance concept art. Copyright Universal.

This land will be at its best from dusk until the park closes. Bright Florida days aren’t the right vibe. Darkmoor will come alive at night.

Dark Universe Experiences

Monsters Unchained: The Frankenstein Experiment

Monsters Unchained - The Frankenstein Experiment concept art. Copyright Universal.
Monsters Unchained - The Frankenstein Experiment concept art. Copyright Universal.

Universal calls Monsters Unchained “Universal Orlando’s most terrifying attraction yet.” This dark ride will take guests into the depths of Frankenstein Manor where they’ll witness Dr. Victoria Frankenstein conduct her experiments. As you can imagine, things don’t go to plan. Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and many other monsters are not pleased. Hilarity does not ensue.

Universal Creative’s Patrick Braillard said of this attraction, “Inside Monsters Unchained: The Frankenstein Experiment, you’re going to see things that defy what you know of as a theme park attraction.” If that’s not enough, Peter Carsillo said that the characters on the ride are next level: “Monsters Unchained has the most technologically advanced characters that have ever been built.”

I. Can’t. Wait.

Curse of the Werewolf

Curse of the Werewolf concept art. Copyright Universal.

Found on the outskirts of town, Curse of the Werewolf is a family-friendly coaster. It follows the storyline of the classic film, The Wolf Man. Maleva will greet guests as they enter an encampment for The Guild of Mystics. Warnings will be issued (everyone has the mark of the werewolf) before guests board a wagon to escape the werewolves. Like EPCOT’s Cosmic Rewind, this is a spinning coaster. I’m not a huge fan of the Cosmic’s spinning/screens combo, but I think I’ll do better on an outdoor spinner. It looks incredible in testing.

Darkmoor Monster Makeup Experience

Darkmoor Monster Makeup Experience concept art. Copyright Universal.

Want to look like a monster yourself? Dark Universe has you covered. Artists in the Darkmoor Monster Makeup Experience will transform guests with monster face paint and temporary tattoos inside Dr. Pretorius’ old lab.

Meet the Monsters

Dark Universe Meet the Monsters concept art. Copyright Universal.

The park’s monsters are eager to take pictures with anyone who wants one. Dr. Victoria Frankenstein’s Monster and the Bride of Frankenstein will be on hand to help you create the perfect holiday card for your family. Guests will also find Dr. Victoria Frankenstein’s servant, Ygor, The Invisible Man, an eccentric monster hunter, and a talented musician throughout the land.

Dark Universe Food

Das Stakehaus

Das Stakehouse concept art. Copyright Universal.

Want to be sized up as a vampire’s next meal? Then head to Das Stakehous where vampire familiars will serve you kebabs, burgers, and sandwiches. Darkmoor artwork and artifacts fill the space.

The Burning Blade Tavern

Monsters Unchained - The Burning Blade Tavern concept art. Copyright Universal.

The Burning Blade Tavern is Darkmoor’s favorite monster hunters hangout. Guests will be regaled with stories of the Hounds – Darkmoor’s boastful hunters – while they chow down on burgers, wings, bratwurst, pretzels, and specialty beverages. Monster head trophies adorn the walls. I can’t wait to see how they set fire to the windmill blades.

De Lacey’s Cottage

Frankenstein’s Monster used to frequent this food stand. Now, guests can enjoy snacks like cinnamon bread, ice cream, and twisted taters.

Dark Universe Merchandise

Universal didn’t share many details about shopping inside Darkmoor, but they did share one store’s name: Pretorius’ Scientific Oddities. You can already purchase some Dark Universe merch at the Universal Epic Universe Preview Center in Universal CityWalk and on shop.universalorlando.com.

Dark Universe wasn’t high on my list of Epic Universe’s new lands. I never watched those old movies, so the concept didn’t appeal to me at first. But after seeing the artwork and the following videos, I’m all in.

Watch the Universal Creative Team discussing everything that’s coming to Dark Universe:

And here’s a beautiful fly-through video of the land:

Dark Universe and the rest of Epic Universe open in 2025.