ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Harry Potter and Hulk: Welcome your new neighbors, Mario and Pokemon. A fourth park at Universal Orlando is being created based on characters from Nintendo, the park’s owners announced Thursday.
After months of being tight-lipped, executives of Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, made the announcement during a question-and-answer part of their earnings call.
They initially refused to offer details about the new park when it was first announced last August, citing the competitive nature of the Orlando theme park industry.But on Thursday, they let Mario out of the bag.
The new theme park , slated for a 2023 opening ,is part of a larger expansion at Universal Orlando that will double the size of the resort.
The new park will be located on a 750-acre (304-hectare) site a few miles from the current Universal Orlando property, which is home to the Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure parks, as well as the Volcano Bay water park.
More than 14,000 workers will be hired on top of Universal’s existing 25,000-person labor force in Orlando. They will be paid a starting minimum wage of $15 an hour, officials said.
The company also has theme parks in California, China, Japan and Singapore. A Nintendo park opens this year in Osaka, Japan, and one will be built in California.
The new attraction should draw millions of additional visitors to the Universal parks, just as the first Harry Potter attractions did when they debuted a decade ago, the executives said.