Universal Studios Hollywood has officially announced that they are about to begin construction on a Fast & Furious themed roller coaster. This is the first time the company has publicly acknowledged the project since we broke the news over one year ago.
Let’s dig into the officially released details from today’s announcement, as well as recap some of the rumors and news for the Fast & Furious drifting coaster at Universal Hollywood. See the video version of this story for additional visuals.
Universal Studios Hollywood officially announced the new project on all of their social media channels today, saying “Buckle up… our new Fast & Furious-themed roller coaster is officially under construction!”
In an official press release, the company said “construction will soon begin on its new roller coaster, themed to Universal Pictures’ blockbuster saga Fast & Furious as the world-class entertainment destination continues to elevate the guest experience.”
While the announcement was light on details, and did not include any images, theme park fans have been aware of the project, known internally as project 409, for over a year now.
We first broke the news of a rumored Fast & Furious drifting roller coaster back on May 1, 2022. Since then we’ve seen permits confirm the concept of a roller coaster that would start on the upper lot, make its way to the lower lot, and launch back up.
The press release does not explicitly confirm that the attraction will feature a drifting feature, but it does say it will be “Equipped with a state-of-the-art ride system uniquely created to engulf guests within the dynamic Fast & Furious universe,” and that this new coaster will benefit from the company’s “decades-long expertise in revolutionizing the development of contemporary” roller coasters.
While not yet confirmed, the attraction has always been rumored to be manufactured by Intamin.
The website Screamscape posted unreleased concept art for this project back in October of last year, which showed the coaster as being called “Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift.” The art may have already been outdated at the time, and as we would later find out, the layout of the attraction would change before being finalized this year.
As we entered 2023, two shows on the upper lot closed to make way for the new attraction. Animal Actors and the Special Effects Show had their last shows on January 8th. The company starting demolishing the structures in recent weeks after getting permit approvals for the work.
— Inside Universal (@insideuniversal) June 29, 2023
We also saw the theme park testing sound this year, projecting roller coaster sounds and even recorded screams of riders, over the hillside from the upper lot.
These tests will likely help them design the best methods for muffling sound and limiting its reach in neighboring areas, as well as for movie and television production on the lot.
BREAKING: Universal Studios Hollywood is testing roller coaster sounds & screams where the RUMORED Fast & Furious is going 👀 (audio up all the way) pic.twitter.com/P9ef5HDfr9
— Exploring Attractions 🎢 (@ExpAttractions) March 28, 2023
The most recent, and probably the most exciting development this year, ParkFans.net released the proposed track layout for Project 409.
Working from a permitted site plan, ParkFans was able to create a possible list of coaster segments, including where the launches may be located, braking areas, and direction of travel.
Within days we began to see multiple coaster fans posting their prediction videos, including an incredible No Limits 2 visualization from Amusement Insider.
The 3D representation of the layout in the video below gives us a good idea of what this roller coaster may actually be like, and it seems to really focus on speed, something one would expect from a Fast & Furious themed ride (finally).
The official press release does not confirm any actual details for the upcoming coaster, including where it is being built within the park, when it will open, or even an attraction name.
The company does say “the ride will join Universal Studios Hollywood’s slate of unprecedented, groundbreaking attractions” and that the “Fast & Furious films have become the studio’s most-profitable and longest-running franchise.”
Many believe the new roller coaster attraction will open in 2025. The next installment of the franchise is currently planned to hit theaters that summer.
Universal did not say what this new attraction will mean for the future of Supercharged on the tram tour, but it’s possible that that segment will be replaced after the new ACTUALLY fast ride opens.
And, there’s no word yet if Orlando could be getting its own version of a coaster based on the ‘Fast’ franchise. Universal Studios Beijing was originally set to receive a copy of the Supercharged ride as well, but it was canceled at the last minute, so that park may be a good candidate to get a coaster next if anyone is.
Universal Hollywood only recently opened their Super Nintendo World area, but this new roller coaster doesn’t appear to be the only project they’re cooking up.
whoa does this mean a hotel is coming to USH!? P515?? pic.twitter.com/zLPjLWRCla
— Theme Park Wizard (@ParkWizar1) May 3, 2023
Permits for Project 515 appear to be for a new hotel coming to the property, expected to be built right in front of the park’s iconic arch, and conveniently located between the theme park and CityWalk.
That’s all for now, but check out the video version of this story for additional visuals. And be sure to check out ParkFans.net for more details on this now officially announced attraction or the Amusement Insider visualization video to see what it may feel like to ride. Stay tuned for more news on this attraction as Universal Studios Hollywood reveals more details in the coming months, including official renderings!
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