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Universal Orlando Resort announced details of Dark Universe, the Epic Universe land inspired by Universal Classic Monsters.

Dark Universe

The land’s name comes from a canceled series of Universal Monsters movies. Guests will enter Dark Universe through a portal in a giant dead tree. A tower on top conducts purple energy.

Universal previously stated that in Dark Universe, guests “will encounter everything from the experiments of Dr. Victoria Frankenstein to a shadowy landscape where monsters roam in this world of myth and mystery.” The land’s music is composed by Danny Elfman.

Guests will enter Dark Universe from Celestial Park via an (appropriately) foreboding portal. On top of the portal, a coil will crackle with electricity, representing the eternal struggle of science against death. Those who are brave enough to enter will find themselves in a decaying, foggy cemetery on the edges of the village of Darkmoor. If that tingling down your spine isn’t hint enough, the upended tombstones and twisted roots confirm what you already might suspect: things don’t stay buried for long here.

Once guests make their way through the cemetery, they will find themselves in the village proper, where misbegotten scientific experiments scar the land and unnatural creations lurk in the shadows. This is Darkmoor, home to monsters, monster makers, monster hunters and the welcoming villagers who are just trying to survive. (Survive the monsters, in case that wasn’t clear.)

“We created a village and a world beyond it where not only can these stories come together, but new stories can come in as well,” explains Pete Carsillo, senior creative director for Dark Universe. “Now you’re in the same place where all those stories come together, but it’s the current day.”

Dark Universe is home to two attractions, alongside meet and greets with some of Darkmoor’s most (in)famous inhabitants. Since the world of Darkmoor exists in the present day, that means there’s a new Dr. Frankenstein in town — and you’re about to meet her.


Monsters Unchained: The Frankenstein Experiment

Looming in the distance over the village of Darkmoor is Frankenstein Manor. Deep below this decrepit estate, guests will experience Dark Universe’s thrilling dark ride: Monsters Unchained: The Frankenstein Experiment.

Dr. Victoria Frankenstein, Henry’s great-great-great granddaughter, resides in the manor, and she’s inviting you to witness her latest experiment. Victoria has already brought her own creature back from the dead, and now she’s seeking to rehabilitate all the monsters that are plaguing the village — and restore her family name to glory. (Don’t let Victoria hear you referring to her creation as Frankenstein’s Monster! She doesn’t see him as a monster. Not to mention it’s just impolite.)

As Victoria’s guests, you’ll witness her attempt to tame the most dangerous monster of all, Dracula, backfire spectacularly. Chaos erupts as you’re pursued deeper and deeper into the catacombs by a rogue’s gallery of Universal Monsters.

“We see a maniacal side of her even though she’s our hero,” says Greg Hall, Dark Universe’s creative director. “The monsters are released and it’s up to her, Frankenstein and Ygor to help save the day while we’re stuck in the middle of this chaos.”

Racing through the darkness, you’ll come across all the monsters who have been subjected to Victoria’s experiments, including the Brides of Dracula, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Wolf Man, the Mummy and the Phantom of the Opera. As you witness the results of Victoria’s unnatural experiments, you’ll have to confront a question: who’s really the monster here?

“What I want guests to say is, ‘That was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life — and you have to try it’,” says Greg. “It’s hard to scare people these days. We want to make sure they have fun, and they see something they’ll never forget.”

Curse of the Werewolf

Deep in the woods that border the village of Darkmoor, you’ll find Dark Universe’s other attraction: Curse of the Werewolf. This family spinning coaster can be found in the colorful encampment of The Guild of Mystics. Maleva, the guild’s all-knowing seer and leader, will warn visitors that they bear the mark of the werewolf.

While Maleva does make an appearance in the 1941 film “The Wolf Man,” her Dark Universe version is updated to reflect the fictional culture of the Guild of Mystics, which is rich with beauty, violence and, of course, werewolves.

“It feels really updated, but you could literally trace this Maleva back to another Maleva back to the movie,” says Pete. “So now you experience Maleva and her Mystics, but it’s with a lot of richness and a lot of color — stuff you couldn’t get in the old black and white.”

With Maleva’s warning in mind, you’ll embark on your adventure under the light of full moon. As you speed through the forest, you’ll be pursued at every turn by the werewolves who lurk in the shadows. Eventually, you’ll come face to face with the beasts, spinning as you dodge gnashing teeth and razor-sharp claws in the old Darkmoor armory. When you make it back to the camp, you’ll be forever changed — and you’ll have to beware the full moon from now on.

We’ve previously seen this coaster testing.

Meet and Greets

If you’re like me and you’re more likely to run screaming (happily) toward a monster than run screaming (terrified) away from one, you’re in luck. There are plenty of close encounters to be had in Dark Universe! Some of the iconic Universal Monsters characters you can meet in Darkmoor include Frankenstein’s Monster, the Bride of Frankenstein, Ygor and the Invisible Man.

In addition, you might encounter one of The Hounds: monster hunters who have set up shop in The Burning Blade Tavern and (attempt to) defend the village of Darkmoor. A roaming musician will also wander the village, serenading guests with eerie tunes of old.

“There’s so much for guests to do and see and discover,” says Chris Frisella, executive producer of Dark Universe. “I really hope that the strokes that we’ve taken here feed the monster kids that are out there — the people who really love the legacy. And I hope that it starts a fire of passion for these characters in new audiences!”


Das Stakehaus

Deep under Darkmoor, swarms of vampires make their homes in the ancient catacombs. Located atop these catacombs is Das Stakehaus, a fast-casual restaurant lorded over by the servants of said vampires. Classical artwork and relics hint at the dark opulence of vampiric culture.

At Das Stakehaus, you can enjoy kebabs, burgers, sandwiches and ribs, along with other offerings. And as for what the vampires are dining on? Well, you may want to wear a turtleneck to this meal.

Burning Blade Tavern

Many years ago, an angry mob of villagers torched the old mill during the infamous “Frankenstein incident.” Now, the mill has become the favorite hangout of Darkmoor’s monster hunters. In addition to grabbing some tavern fare, guests can peruse the hunters’ trophies and hear tales from some of the village’s most esteemed and darkly quirky residents.

But why is it called The Burning Blade Tavern? I’m so glad you asked. The mill that stands atop this restaurant erupts into flames every 20 minutes. So, if you prefer your bratwurst extra crispy, it won’t be an issue.

This restaurant is inspired by a scene in the 1931 “Frankenstein” film.


There’s no shortage of story in Dark Universe, and visitors to Darkmoor can continue to unravel that dark tapestry as they peruse the world’s merchandise.

Darkmoor Monster Makeup Experience

If you’re a fan of Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show in Universal Studios Florida, Darkmoor Monster Makeup Experience should be your first stop when you get to Dark Universe. Here, monster makers have converted Dr. Septimus Pretorius’ old lab into a parlor where visitors can let their inner monster shine.

“If you want to be a monster, you can actually be made up like a monster,” says Pete. “Or if you want to be a little more meta, you can come in and get your whole family covered up in temporary tattoos. In Dark Universe, you can walk around with [temporary] tattoos on when you’re five!”

Also read about How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk, Super Nintendo World, and Celestial Park. Universal Orlando Resort has yet to reveal details of the park’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic. Merchandise inspired by each land is available at the Epic Universe Preview Center in CityWalk.

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The post BREAKING: Details of Dark Universe Classic Monsters Land Revealed for Epic Universe appeared first on WDW News Today.