Epic Universe - Isle of Berk: What excites you most?

Edited: March 28, 2024, 8:12 AM

Hello again Everyone! With the reveals today of the Isle of Berk land and its attractions we got confirmation of what has already been rumored or reported. What I enjoyed though was seeing the concept art and how colorful this area will be. As for the attractions themselves, I think I’m most excited for the Hiccups Gliders and the Untrainable Dragon show. The Gliders seem like a cross between Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Hagrids Motorbike. A beautiful, heavily themed terrain coaster with just enough calamity and thrills to keep the whole family pumped up.
I’ve seen footage of the Untrainable show online and it looks breathtaking. I follow the workshop that created the dragons, Creature Technology Co., on Instagram and the work they do with puppetry and animatronics is jaw-dropping. If this is a straight clone then I’ll be happy but I’m hoping it will be plussed on some way (though I can’t imagine it getting much better).
What say you?

Replies (9)

March 28, 2024, 9:05 AM

Everything looks incredible at Epic....

I wonder how Busy this will be, I bet the first year will have a lot of Max capacity hits.

March 28, 2024, 9:49 AM

I, too, worry about capacity issues. Isle of Berk has three rides, a show, the mead hall, and a children's play area. With all of the excitement about this park, I feel like max capacity will be an issue a lot of days. There are many pads available for expansion, and I would anticipate that to be needed relatively quickly.

Edited: March 28, 2024, 10:24 AM

@MLB - I think capacity will ultimately come down to how the park manages individual portal access. It sounds like access to individual portals will be limited and require reservations prior to entry, which will likely mean guests will not be able to visit all 5 portals (and Celestial Park) in a single day unless you purchase a special ticket or are staying at the Helios Grand (or perhaps one of the other current deluxe resorts). I think the number of attractions in this land is just about right to start, and matches what you find in most other themed lands (Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley both opened with 2 rides, 2 alternating small stage shows, an interactive theatrical experience, and retail/dining, and Galaxy's Edge has a similar setup). Based on what I see here and an expectation that The Untamable Dragon show will run every 2-3 hours, guests can expect to spend between 4-5 hours in the Isle of Berk. Since it's unlikely guests will be allowed to reenter the land in the same day, you're not going to want to leave until you've seen and experienced everything (with perhaps multiple runs on certain rides), so even if you don't care about the water ride or the playground, you'd still have a solid 3+ hours of stuff to do here before moving on to another portal.

I do think it's likely that this portal will be the least popular of the 5, which begs the question of how to best tour Epic Universe strategically. Do you go contrarian by hitting this one first assuming everyone else will go to other portals and then go to another portal midday when guests from those portals are leaving, or save this to the end of the day in favor of visiting the more popular IPs first thing?

IMHO, this is a fully fleshed out land that's unlikely to see any major additional attractions, and the expansion pads that have been built into the design are more likely to be used for new portals, not expansions of the existing portals (at least not this one). I think the only thing this land is really missing is an indoor dark ride, but I can see UC not wanting to do that here for fear it would get compared to FoP at DAK. Perhaps UC can come up with something that could eventually work with this IP, but I think investing huge money into what I feel is the weakest IP in Epic Universe would be risky.

Edited: March 28, 2024, 2:35 PM

The Sky Fly is what has me most excited. I went on the one at Mall of America and had a blast. Like someone else said in the main article, this is a truly interactive ride where younger guests can just enjoy flying around in a circle while those seeking a thrill can flip themselves around and around.

The concern I have is that I don’t know how well guests will respond to it. In order to flip, it’s trickier than it looks and you have to know how to maneuver yourself just right. It’s a very physics-heavy attraction just like Luigi’s Flying Tires and we all know how that turned out. The capacity is also a worry even with the two towers.

March 28, 2024, 5:24 PM

@Russell - What we are all expecting, and you described, will require a complete reset of how people expect to experience a theme park. We've been trained, like Pavlov's dogs, to run to the shortest wait times, which has been reinforced by app, Genie+, etc.. I think there will be a level of frustration for people when they first experience this park. I know it will take a lot of restraint to keep from (say) Donkey Kong to Starfall Racer because there is a short wait time. OR, do you foresee Universal throwing everything on it's head and not posting wait times in the traditional manner?

As an aside, I would hate to be working the portal telling a family of five, sorry portal is closed to you, you used your entry and can't come back in. I am very excited about this park, but it really makes me wonder if they will survive an early onslaught of negativity from people who don't understand the park. Social media, influencers, et al.. weren't around when they opened the Studios and none of the rides worked. I can remember getting free tickets as an apology for half the park being down in those early days.

March 28, 2024, 11:54 PM

Brief thoughts on everything announced...

The Untrainable Dragon: This is probably the must see show of Epic Universe, and is something I'll absolutely make a point of doing. While I haven't watched the full show, clips from the Beijing version look amazing, so I expect the same quality when it debuts here.

Hiccup's Wing Gliders: Looks like a pretty fun family coaster, and provided they can keep the height requirement to 42" or less it should be a fun ride for everyone. Probably not quite on the level of Hagrid's, but probably better than something like Slinky Dog Dash.

Fyre Drill: The theming is going to make or break this one. Splash Battles can be an excellent time when you've got plenty to interact with, but they're pretty dull if it's mostly static sets and limited opportunities to soak other riders or passersby.

Dragon Racer's Rally: I've ridden Sky Flys at several different parks (including both domestic installations and a few in Germany), and they're among my favorite flat rides. Probably my lowest ride priority in the land just because of what it is, but an excellent choice given the theme of the area.

Viking Training Camp: I'm not really the target audience for this, but I'll probably take a quick look around the area just to see it.

Haddock Paddock: Not that into meet and greet activities myself, but this does look like a really cool one that I might make an exception for if the line isn't bad.

Mead Hall: Provided they've got a worthwhile menu here, it's definitely somewhere I'd like to try when I get around to visiting.

Edited: March 29, 2024, 9:42 AM

@MLB - I totally get it, but I think it's primarily going to be a very different experience for theme park aficionados like us and not so much for the GP. It's definitely going to be a frustrating experience for "power users" that visit parks like they're playing a video game, always trying to optimize their visit by hitting all the biggest attractions, exploiting loopholes, and chasing short lines after brief downtime or more predictable lulls in crowds. It doesn't sound like you'll be able to do that here unless you're paying for the highest tier admission or staying at the Helios Grand. I certainly will feel weird during my first visit to this park when we are more or less forced to ride lesser attractions in a land before going to a headliner in another land. However, I definitely remember a similar experience the first time we went to WWoHP back in 2014, and essentially being forced to stay in Hogsmeade and experience everything before leaving to avoid having to queue up to get back into the popular land.

Again, I think it's definitely going to take some getting used to, and it will almost certainly frustrate some guests thinking they can experience all of the big rides in one day only to find out they can only get into 2-3 portals each day. However, I think once the initial excitement wears off and operations get a better feel for individual attraction/portal popularity, restriction will slowly be relaxed on slower days.

Edited: April 12, 2024, 9:49 PM

Do you remember the early days of the park when half of the rides were down? I still have this vivid memory of getting free tickets as a way of apologizing for the inconvenience caused. It was such a kind gesture and made me feel valued as a customer.

April 15, 2024, 6:41 AM

@ampva300: That is a GREAT question! Hey, Robert Niles, do you remember the early days of Universal Studios Florida when half of the rides were down and how someone could get free tickets as a way of apologizing for the inconvenience caused?

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