In our last article, we took a dive into what is most likely going to go down at the Orange County Convention Center on August 1, 2019. Lots of generalities, but very little substance. However, one of the things we know is going to happen? They will reveal the name of that new park and it will indeed be: Universal’s Epic Universe!
Legal Note: Yes, we have to do this. As always any info contained in this article isn’t official until Universal Orlando says it is. This is always the case. Therefore, consider what you read here to be unofficial. Moving on.
Now, you may be wondering, what happened to Fantastic Worlds? Great question. I’ll do my best to put it into perspective. Indeed, Universal’s Fantastic Worlds was the front runner for a new name for the majority of the last year. There have even been leaked documents showing concept art containing the name along with a picture of Mario from Nintendo fame.
We even know that Universal filed an application to trademark the name “Universal’s Fantastic Worlds” back in June of 2018. However, once that name leaked in an internal presentation (mentioned above), theme park blogs (including Theme Park University) started calling Fantastic Worlds the name of the Universal Orlando’s new theme park. However, it wasn’t final and it certainly wasn’t official.
What happened was when the news leaked out, Universal decided to take notice. Two things essentially happened. 1. They weren’t keen on theme park blogs knowing their secret (yet copyrighted) name and 2. the public automatically started associating it with J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts.
As these things go, the telephone game started happening. One theme park blog says that the new park will contain a Fantastic Beasts land. Then another assumes that the land will be the anchor of the entire park (not true) and then another goes on to say the entire park will be Fantastic Beasts (not even close to factual).
Now you’ve got an issue of brand confusion. Could guests also assume that “Fantastic Worlds” be nothing but Fantastic Beasts themed attractions? Or could they assume that every land is “minor” in comparison? Add to that, the fact that there was a bit of a dispute on if the name could be used at all (just because you apply for a trademark doesn’t mean it’ll be granted or not potentially challenged later), things started to shift to the other name Universal trademarked. Indeed this story is… wait for it… “EPIC“!
Now, this is going to seem like a conspiracy theory to some of you, but stick with me while I connect some dots. Last year, Theme Park University started teasing Universal Studios Florida’s new nighttime spectacular as “EPIC” and indeed, Epic was going to be the major part of the name of this new show. Even though it had a few variations, “Epic” was always going to be involved.
How do we know this? Yet again, Universal’s Public Relations Team leaked something themselves before it was ready to be released. On Universal Orlando’s own website, the above appeared in their listings for offerings for the park. Notice the show was titled “Universal’s Cinematic Celebration – Epic Cinema Under The Stars”. Yes, it’s a mouthful, but still kept “epic” in the title.
Now keep in mind, this was the last version of the show’s name, in the 11th hour, days before the release of the actual name. Prior to this, the word “EPIC” was featured more prominently in the title and was what this project was being referred to since it’s inception. Want proof?
Next time you are at Universal Studios Florida, you can see tons of crates with the name “EPIC” stamped on the side. These boxes were being built prior to that name change in the 11th hour and are still in the park today. They cover the equipment and projectors used in the nighttime spectacular. Now it serves as a wink to the name of Universal Orlando’s new park. It also is a nod to the original name for the show. So why did they drop Epic?
Universal Orlando filed to trademark the name “Universal’s Epic Universe” on July 18, 2018. Only a few weeks after the new nighttime spectacular (Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration) debuted. I have a strong feeling that the powers that be were floating around park names and wanted to file for “Universal’s Epic Universe” right around the time this new show debuted. So why not keep “epic” in both names?
If I had to take a guess: brand confusion. “Where can I see the Epic show?” “Why isn’t the Epic show in the Epic park?” Those are fair questions coming from tourists who have a hard enough time understanding that yes, Harry Potter lives in both Universal Orlando theme parks and Jack Sparrow is down the road.
Will they announce the name to be “Universal’s Epic Universe” on August 1 at the Orange County Convention Center? We would be absolutely shocked if they didn’t. Meanwhile, what do you think of the name? Did you prefer Fantastic Worlds?
More importantly, what’s going into the new park? Here’s a question to ponder, what is that symbol behind the logo? And how does it tie into the theme of this new park? Sit tight my friends, we will get there in our next article!
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