Dying for details on Universal Orlando's Epic Universe and its horror-themed Dark Universe? Here's what we know now

Universal Orlando Dark Universe - Courtesy NBCUniversal Orlando
Universal Orlando Dark Universe - Courtesy NBCUniversal Orlando /

 Universal Orlando will be opening its new theme park Universal Epic Universe in 2025. The theme park will feature five immersive “worlds,” including Dark Universe, which should be especially appealing to fans of horror. We all know Universal knows how to do horror right, because their Halloween Horror Nights attractions are just killer.

Dark Universe is a mashup of the classic Universal monsters we know and fear/love, such as Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein and Wolf Man, alongside new characters, like Dr. Victoria Frankenstein. The newest member of the Frankenstein family is the great-great granddaughter of Henry Frankenstein. Victoria is continuing the family tradition of conducting dark experiments, and we will learn more about her as we make our way through the ravaged village of Darkmoor.

Universal describes Dark Universe as “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.”

Guests will enter Dark Universe through a portal holding the “dark energy of Darkmoor.” That dark energy runs through the village and connects at the very top of Frankenstein Manor. The Manor is Dark Universe’s focal point. Want to know about the experiences awaiting you once you enter Dark Universe? Keep reading!

Dark Universe
Universal Orlando Dark Universe - Courtesy NBCUniversal Orlando /

Monsters Unchained: The Frankenstein Experient – Billed as “Universal Orlando’s most terrifying attraction yet”, this dark ride will transport you into the catacombs of Frankenstein Manor. This is where Victoria Frankenstein performs her evil experiments, and she will invite you to watch as she uses her abilities to control monsters. But Dracula outwits her, and frees the other monsters who then terrorize you as you take a ride into the darkness, pursued by The Mummy, The Wolf Man, the Brides of Dracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon and more.

Darkmoor Monster Makeup Experience – Monster makers have converted an old laboratory into a parlor in which Dr. Pretorius’s experiments live on. Skilled makeup artists will transform guests using temporary tattoos and face paint, allowing you to show your love for the Universal Monsters.

Dark Universe 3
Universal Orlando Dark Universe - Courtesy NBCUniversal Orlando /

Curse of the Werewolf – This spinning coaster is a family ride, where the Maleva warns riders that they now have the mark of the werewolf. Once you board the wagon, you are taken into the forest, where you must outrun the werewolves before you yourself transform into one.

Meet the Monsters – Roaming monster characters will greet guests in Dark Universe throughout the village. Here, you can meet the Bride of Frankenstein and Frankenstein’s Monster, along with Victoria’s servant Ygor, a monster hunter, The Invisible Man and musicians who will entertain you with stories and songs and the classic Universal Monsters.

If you start to feel a bit hungry, or feel the urge to shop, Dark Universe has you covered with several retail and dining options:

(7) The Burning Blade Tavern
Epic Universe, Dark Universe The Burning Blade Tavern - credit: Universal Orlando /

Das Stakehaus – Enjoy artifacts and artwork that give the history of the villages strange creatures while dining on burgers, sandwiches, kebabs and more. But be careful, because the restaurant is run by vampire familiars, who will check out the patrons to see which might be a tasty treat for the vampires.

The Burning Blade Tavern – Indulge in bratwurst, wings, burgers, pretzels and tasty beverages as the windmill blades smolder and burn around you. Making your meal even more entertaining, Darkmoor’s hunters will regale guests with tales of the monsters they have captured.

De Lacey’s Cottage – As the story goes, Frankenstein’s original monster was given food and friendship at De Lacey’s Cottage food stand. Guests can snack on ice cream, cinnamon break, twisted taters and much more.

(6) Das Stakehaus
Epic Universe, Dark Universe Das Stakehaus - credit: Universal Orlando /

Pretorius’ Scientific Oddities – If you want to bring home a memento on your trip to Dark Universe, this is the place. Souvenir apparel and other fun items can be purchased here.

Can’t wait until you visit to get your themed merchandise? You can check out some of the new Dark Universe merchandise (and buy it) for a limited time at the Universal Epic Universe Preview Center in Universal CityWalk, or check it out online.

Universal Orlando will be releasing more details about Epic Universe (including Dark Universe) in the months leading to its grand opening. In the meantime, you can check out the info at www.UniversalOrlando.com/epicuniverse.