Reservations now open for two Universal Epic Universe hotels

December 5, 2023, 5:18 PM · We have opening dates now for two of the hotels that will be located next to Universal Orlando's new Epic Universe theme park.

Universal Orlando's hotel partner, Loews Hotels, is now listing Universal Stella Nova Resort and Universal Terra Luna Resort on its website. If you follow Theme Park Insider, you might remember that Loews jumped the gun and posted those pages early last month. However, this time, the pages have stayed up and are taking reservations.

So we can tell now from Loews that that, as reported earlier, Universal Stella Nova Resort will open January 21, 2025, while Universal Terra Luna Resort will open February 25, 2025.

These dates do not tell us anything about the opening date of Universal Epic Universe theme park, however. So - fair warning - if you book either of these hotels at their openings, you should not expect the park to open for you at that time. In fact, Loews is saying that Epic will be opening "at a later date in 2025."

However, both hotels will be located not too far from the Orange County Convention Center, and the hotels are promoting that free resort transportation to the other Universal Orlando theme parks will be available, so they might be more attractive for some visitors before the big crowds hit once Epic debuts.

Each hotel will offer 750 guest rooms. I found opening-night rates starting at $212.63, after taxes, for Stella Nova and $236.25 for Terra Luna. For the latest line-up of what will be available at the new park, please visit our Universal Epic Universe page.

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Replies (12)

December 5, 2023 at 5:32 PM

It'll be interesting to see if those hideous tiles actually stay. I go down Universal to SeaWorld, and when the sun hits them at certain angles, the reflected light is on the verge of blinding. Potentially dangerous for drivers.

I think the tiles will end up in the category of "seemed like a good idea at the time"

Pictures do not do justice to the awfulness of those tiles.

A definite blot on the Orlando landscape.

December 5, 2023 at 7:25 PM

Very curious if these new hotels will have an 'express pass' benefit to Epic Universe. I am guessing NO based upon those prices, but maybe the prices will go up once Epic Universe is open.

Also curious if the express pass you get at the big 3 hotels will be valid in Epic Universe. I am also guessing NO.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

December 5, 2023 at 9:05 PM

I think the Helios Grand Hotel inside Epic Universe could have express for the two original parks, but I don't think Epic Universe will have Express in its first year.

December 6, 2023 at 2:19 AM

Do any of the hotels offer night time views of EPCOT's new World Celebration?

December 6, 2023 at 6:24 AM

I would assume the Helios Grand will have all of the amenities of the existing "big three" at Universal, and maybe the Express Pass exclusive in Epic Universe (at least for the first year). I assume Helios Grand will have the highest price point of any Universal hotel, and there will need to be specific perks.

Also, not sure why this post needed a comment about Disney...

December 6, 2023 at 10:03 AM

I was expecting these hotels to be closer in price to Dockside/Surfside, but it looks like Loews is leveraging the proximity to Epic Universe in the pricing of these new resorts. I guess that makes sense if these are being considered "moderate " hotels in line with Cabana Bay Beach, Sapphire Falls, and Aventura Resorts with Dockside and Surfside sitting on the value end of the spectrum even though the number of rooms and overall design would suggest these new resorts would be closer in quality to the Endless Summer Resorts.

My guess is that like other Universal moderate/value resorts, guests in these hotels will get early entry to all of the parks, but it's pretty clear based on pricing that Universal Express will not be included.

I certainly hope that Universal maintains uniformity across all of their Orlando resorts, and does not give guests of the resorts near Epic Universe different perks from those near the original parks. I think it would be a huge mistake if the as-yet unannounced deluxe resort (assumed to be Helios Grand) and the existing deluxe resorts (Hard Rock, Portofino Bay, and Royal Pacific) did not all have the same perks across all of the theme parks.

As far as the exterior of the hotels, architects have had to deal with reflected light from building facades in the past. In fact, the Frank Gehry-designed Disney Concert Hall in LA famously reflected light in such a way that not only was it blinding for drivers, but actually magnified light to the point where at certain times of bright summer days, nearby residents could physically feel the heat reflecting off the building. The solution was to lightly sand the fa├žade to dull the surface, so if these structures encounter a similar problem, I would expect architects to recommend the same here.

December 6, 2023 at 11:24 AM

My personal thought on the hotels is that these 2 will definitely not have express included but they will of course have early entry.

Epic will not have express available the first few years I'm sure so the Helios Grand will get express passes for the 2 original parks. Once Epic gets express lanes I suspect that Helios Grand will get express for all parks.

For the other 3 resorts I think Universal will pick either Portofino, Hard Rock, or Royal Pacific to get express at all parks and charge more to match the Helios Grand. The other two will only get express for IOA and UO but will be less expensive the Helios and whichever one they chose. (Most likely Portofino)

December 6, 2023 at 11:24 AM

My personal thought on the hotels is that these 2 will definitely not have express included but they will of course have early entry.

Epic will not have express available the first few years I'm sure so the Helios Grand will get express passes for the 2 original parks. Once Epic gets express lanes I suspect that Helios Grand will get express for all parks.

For the other 3 resorts I think Universal will pick either Portofino, Hard Rock, or Royal Pacific to get express at all parks and charge more to match the Helios Grand. The other two will only get express for IOA and UO but will be less expensive the Helios and whichever one they chose. (Most likely Portofino)

December 6, 2023 at 11:23 PM

I'd be shocked if the new park doesn't have Express available. It's too enticing for Universal not to offer some sort of paid skip-the-line feature at a brand new park that will probably see many guests.

December 7, 2023 at 11:57 AM

@James - I completely agree, but I do think Epic Universe will have 1 or 2 attractions where Express may not be available at launch, which would be no different than Universal's current M.O. of not allowing Express on brand new attractions until lines die down a bit - Velocicoaster just added Express recently, but Hagrid's, which opened 2 years prior, still doesn't have Express.

December 7, 2023 at 10:41 AM

@ Russell - I think you meant Velocicoaster, right? Because Universal did add it, but not Hagrid's... Hagrid's lower intensity and height requirements have helped maintain it's extreme popularity, (That and the fact that it is a kick a$$ ride.) :)

December 7, 2023 at 12:02 PM

@MLB - You're right, a bit of a type-o on my part. Still, it indicates a clear path to utilize Express on all major attractions at some point. I do think there's some validity to the possibility that Express might not be used when the park first opens, partly because of anticipated excitement and expected crowds, but also because Universal might not know which attractions will be the most popular and be able to utilize Express immediately.

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