June 22, 2024

How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk Land at Universal’s Epic Universe: Ride Details & Art

0

Universal Orlando Resort has shared a deep look into 'How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk' the new land at Epic Universe, their third theme park in Florida that opens in 2025. This




  • Twitter

Universal Orlando Resort has shared a deep look into ‘How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk’ the new land at Epic Universe, their third theme park in Florida that opens in 2025. This sneak peek shares concept art and info about the rides, shows, interactive experiences, restaurants, and everything else in the upcoming area of the park.

An expansion of 750 acres, Epic Universe is Universal Orlando Resort’s third theme park, just down the road from Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, as well as Volcano Bay Water Park. Once fully built out, the new theme park campus would essentially double Universal Orlando Resort’s existing footprint.

Epic Universe will transport guests to expansive worlds featuring more than 50 awe-inspiring attractions, entertainment, dining and shopping experiences that come together to create an unforgettable adventure located at Universal Orlando Resort. For a big picture overview of the entire park, see our Universal’s Epic Universe Preview, which unveiled all of the lands and much more.

Guests of all ages will soar with dragons in a colorful, fully-alive world filled with Viking adventures in How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk – one of the five worlds featured at the all-new Universal Epic Universe theme park opening in 2025.

Here, guests will see what it’s like to live amongst dragons as they explore a larger-than-life world that includes exciting attractions, beloved character meet-and-greets, dining, shopping – and even flying dragons – based on DreamWorks Animation’s multi-award winning and Academy Award-nominated trilogy, “How to Train Your Dragon.”

Developed in partnership between Universal Creative and the filmmakers from DreamWorks Animation and Universal Pictures, How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk captures the heart, humor and scale of the films within an authentic re-creation of the rugged, rocky world where raucous Vikings and rambunctious dragons live together in hilarious harmony.

Guests visiting Berk will encounter one of the most breathtaking environments Universal has ever created – complete with immense architecture featuring hand-carved details, lush landscaping, and extraordinary heights of rolling hills surrounding vibrant dragon houses and local establishments.

Everywhere guests look in the bustling village of Berk, they’ll find endless activity – from active dragons in their natural habitats and sheep attempting to disguise themselves as Terrible Terror dragons to sporadic bouts of fire – making Isle of Berk an attraction unto itself.

Guests’ first sight of Berk will be reminiscent of the iconic sweeping vista straight from the films: featuring a vast sparkling lagoon that boasts two 40-foot-tall Viking statues set against an energetic village perched above churning seas.

Within How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk, guests will find 4 attractions, one live show, and several character and dragon meet-and-greet experiences that offer something for every member of the family. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll discover in Berk:

Hiccup’s Wing Gliders – On this family thrill coaster, Hiccup invites brave new Vikings to take a ride in his latest glider contraption – a winged flying machine that launches aspiring Dragon Riders into the sky for a dragon’s eye view of Berk.

Guests will fly alongside Hiccup and Toothless and reach speeds up to 45 mph as they soar around the perimeter of Berk – and even through the lagoon – while experiencing firsthand what it’s like to fly on a dragon in Hiccup’s Wing Gliders.

The Untrainable Dragon – Inspired by Universal Beijing Resort’s wildly successful “Untrainable” show, this dragon-filled live spectacular takes guests on an unforgettable journey with beloved characters Hiccup, Toothless, Gobber, and Astrid as they work together to solve the mystery of The Untrainable Dragon.

This heartwarming story comes to life with captivating musical numbers, breathtaking sets and life-sized dragons soaring overhead in The Untrainable Dragon.

Fyre Drill – Mischievous Viking twins Ruffnut and Tuffnut invite teams of Vikings to compete to outscore and out-soak each other on this wet-and-wild boat battle.

On Fyre Drill, guests will board a colorful dragon-headed boat and blast water cannons at flame-like targets to practice putting out fires – a crucial skill to master when living with dragons.

Dragon Racer’s Rally – Berk’s new Vikings racers can practice aerobatic maneuvers and high-speed barrel rolls on two Viking-made dragon-riding trainers that reach heights of up to 67 feet in the air.

Guests can control how “wild” or “mild” their experience will be as they perform high-flying, gravity-defying, swooping and soaring skills that are necessary to earn the accolades worthy of a true champion dragon racer.

Viking Training Camp – Junior Vikings will learn everything they need to know about dragons as they climb, slide and explore their way through this sprawling interactive adventure play camp.

Viking Training Camp features an agility course, a Toothless-themed teeter-totter, baby Gronckle dragon climbers and so much more.

Meet Hiccup and Toothless – Guests can visit the Haddock Paddock for an incredible meet-and-greet experience with heroic Dragon Rider, Hiccup, and pose for a photo with his friendly Night Fury, Toothless.

Throughout the day, guests may also encounter other familiar Vikings and dragons while exploring How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk.

Guests can also dine and shop like Vikings in the world’s variety of themed eateries and retail locations, including:

  • Mead Hall – The beating heart of Berk and the village’s main gathering hall, Mead Hall is where guests can feast like a Viking and enjoy a savory menu featuring a variety of meats, fish, sandwiches and more along with a collection of meads and ciders.
  • Spit Fyre Grill – Overlooking the action of the Fyre Drill water attraction, Spit Fyre Grill is a quick-service dining location featuring delicious, hearty meals flame-seared by a helpful (unseen) dragon fry cook.
  • Hooligan’s Grog & Gruel – Guests can grab quick bites at this festive racing-themed food stand located in the Viking Camp.
  • And after a day of dragon training, guests can commemorate their lessons with an array of merchandise available at highly-themed shops like Viking TradersHow to Treat Your DragonHiccup’s Work Shop, and Toothless’ Treasures.

Here’s a video from Universal Orlando introducing How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk:

To celebrate the dragon-sized adventures that await in How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk, guests can now purchase a variety of items themed to the vibrant world coming to Epic Universe – including apparel, mugs and pennants. The collection is available for a limited-time and can be purchased at shop.universalorlando.com.

And in the ultimate synergy play, Universal is producing the first-ever live-action remake of a DreamWorks animated movie in How to Train Your Dragon. Dean DeBlois, who directed the original 2010 animated movie, will also helm the new live-action How to Train Your Dragon, currently set to release on June 13, 2025. Epic Universe also is currently scheduled to open in Summer 2025.

Turning to commentary, I’ll start by (shamefully) admitting that I still haven’t seen any of the How to Train Your Dragon movies. I know, I know. They’re supposed to be fantastic, and I really should correct that. I was just turned off by other DreamWorks Animation of that era that, in my view, is cheesy and juvenile and has not aged well. But by all accounts, How to Train Your Dragon is different.

Ironically enough, How To Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk is right up my alley. I love dragons and vikings and Norse culture. The concept art for the land looks fantastic. The level of world-building in Berk looks impressive, with lots of detail and–perhaps most importantly–engaging interactive ‘things’ scattered throughout the land. Isle of Berk looks like it’ll ooze kinetic energy, which is perfect for a land where dragons take flight.

For the most part, the ride roster in Isle of Berk looks strong. I know everyone will be focused on the roller coaster and stage show, as those are the big things–and both look fantastic. But Fyre Drill is what has my attention; an interactive shooter sprayer ride that’s outdoors looks like a fun evolution of that concept.

Although not as “sexy” for adult theme park fans, a play area for kids is also an excellent and underrated component of the land. The only thing about which I’m not sure is Dragon Racer’s Rally; but even that looks like it’ll be fun, at least.

I suspect some Walt Disney World fans looking to nitpick might take issue with the lack of truly immersive attractions. And perhaps it is a missed opportunity to have nothing indoors that attempts to put guests on the back of “real” (air quotes, obviously) dragons.

There’s definitely something to be said for an experience that suspends disbelief and convinces riders their flying with dragons. The only problem is that’s basically Avatar Flight of Passage, and I can understand Universal not wanting to create that. At least, not with phase one of Epic Universe.

Honestly, what I appreciate about How To Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk is the opposite of that–a willingness to have a variety of outdoor rides of different caliber. These are all appropriately themed, but they don’t overdo it. And yes, it is possible to overdo it, especially in a world where budgets are finite–I would rather have a land with 4 attractions than just 1.

While I would love for Universal Creative to take as many big swings as possible, I also wouldn’t want to visit Epic Universe on opening day to find a park with 5 rides all of which command 3-hour waits as a result. There is a balance, and there are countless examples of new parks and lands being underbuilt because they blew their budgets on a couple blockbuster rides.

Perhaps it’s a weird thing to focus on, but what sticks out to me with How To Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk is that it effectively “splits the difference” between Universal and Disney themed design. (I swear this is not meant as a backhanded compliment.)

As Universal has overhauled parts of its existing parks over the past decade-plus, the results have been very scattershot outside of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This is a major step up from that, which undoubtedly is a result of having both the budget and blank slate of a brand-new theme park being built from the ground up.

Meanwhile, Disney has dumped tons of money into indoor Guardians of the Galaxy and TRON roller coasters to make them more immersive and, I guess, conceal coaster supports and track from guest view? (Nevermind the big gravity buildings.) A lot of money has been spent on other lands that only net 2 new rides.

Don’t get me wrong–I absolutely love highly-detailed lands and next-level attractions, but if the budget is X and the park needs a half-dozen additional rides to meet demand, that money is probably better spread over 4 rides, rather than 2. Especially in the case of something like Toy Story Land, which isn’t the pinnacle of themed design in the first place. (Isle of Berk certainly looks better than that.)

Point being, I really like the needle Universal Creative appears to be threading at Epic Universe by balancing themed design with budget constraints and a need for fully-fledged lands. I also really like the idea of a ‘Dragons & Vikings’ land in the first place, and think the end result should be some beautiful and highly-engaging themed design.

Like their cousins the dinosaurs and the pirates, dragons and vikings are two of those evergreen concepts that kids of all ages absolutely adore. Putting them together is brilliant, and really, the only way Disney can top this is to create its own ‘Pirates of the Dinosaurland’ expansion in Magic Kingdom. (I would also accept Whalers, Ninjas, Samurai, Knights, or Cowboys of the Dinosaurland.) Now if that happens, getting rid of Dinoland in Animal Kingdom suddenly makes perfect sense!

Need trip planning tips and comprehensive advice? Make sure to read Disney Parks Vacation Planning Guides, where you can find comprehensive guides to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and beyond! For updates, discount information, a free download of our Money-Saving Tips for Walt Disney World eBook, and much more, sign up for our free monthly newsletter!

YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you think of How To Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk? Impressed by the rides, shows, restaurants, etc. in this Epic Universe land reveal? Or are you underwhelmed and wishing there were a blockbuster ride? Thoughts on the look and atmosphere on the Isle of Berk? Excited for Super Nintendo World, Harry Potter’s Ministry of Magic, Dark Universe/Classic Monsters, or the How to Train Your Dragon lands and/or attractions? Think Epic Universe will be a third gate that’s a worthy addition to Universal Orlando Resort…and potentially on par with Disney’s best lands? Expect Disney to “respond” with a big announcement of its own at the 2024 D23 Expo? Any questions? We love hearing from readers, so please share any other thoughts or questions you have in the comments below!




  • Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *