Universal Studios Hollywood announced today that Universal’s “Animal Actors” and “Special Effects” shows – as well as the Production Central Store – will close on Jan. 8, 2023, to make way for “a future attraction.”
No details have been revealed about plans for the large section of the park’s Upper Lot; however, the news may suggest that a long-standing rumor about a new Fast & Furious roller coaster may be true after all.
In May 2022, Orlando Park Stop reported that the California park might be getting “a large, steel roller coaster […] based on the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise.” The street racing-themed drifting coaster would be housed inside a big warehouse-style building (similar to the Fast & Furious Supercharged segment of Universal’s Studio Tour), but with parts of the track extending out of (and potentially even over) the structure. According to their reporting at the time, the new coaster could potentially take over the area occupied by the “Animal Actors” and “Special Effects” shows. However, they added, a more recent rumor suggested that a coaster-for-coaster exchange could see Fast & Furious replacing Revenge of the Mummy in the park’s Lower Lot.
In October 2022, Screamscape corroborated the “Fast & Furious” coaster theory (and its potential location on the Upper Lot) by reporting building permits had been filed for the project. They even shared leaked early concept artwork for a Fast & Furious Hollywood Drift attraction located near the top of the Starway escalators.
Today’s announcement from Universal Studios Hollywood states, “more to come in the months ahead,” which is certainly understandable since the park’s primary focus is on the grand opening of the first U.S. Super Nintendo World in early 2023.