Universal Studios Hollywood Is Closing Down Two Shows, Which Is Good News For The Rumored Fast And Furious Roller Coaster

Car fleeing attacking helicopters in F9
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Fans love it when theme parks unveil new stuff, but the down side of that is to make room for the new attractions, they often need to close down others. Universal Studios Hollywood is now in that transition phase, as the park has announced that two long running shows, Universal’s Animal Actors and the Special Effects Show will close on January 8, 2023. The closure will make way for a new attraction, and while we don’t know what it is officially, it is almost certainly the rumored Fast & Furious roller coaster.

For several months a rumor has been going around the theme park world that indicated a Fast & Furious roller coaster was in development. We’ve even seen leaked concept art of the new Universal Studios attraction. Based on that art, the show building that would be the loading area for the coaster is located in about the same spot as these two shows currently are, so their closure is additional evidence that this is all happening, and happening soon. 

Universal Studios Hollywood is a theme park that has had to struggle with space more so than most other parks. It’s located directly adjacent to the Universal Studios production lot, which is one of the park’s major draws, thanks to the famous, and still evolving, Studio Tour. But it causes problems when you want to build something big. Sound stages in the lot were actually torn down to make way for Super Nintendo Land, which is set to open next year.

The park itself is divided into two sections, an upper and lower lot, with a massive stairwell/escalator that guests need to traverse to get between the two. Where the new Fast & Furious coaster appears to be truly unique is that it will be built around this area, including having the track loop around the stairwell. It’s a pretty ingenious way of using the existing space of the park, that can’t really be used for anything else. 

In addition to the shows, the Production Central Store will also be shutting down to make room for this new attraction. The good news, at least potentially, is that these are the only things that were announced to be closed. There have been rumors that the Revenge of the Mummy Coaster might also be on the chopping block. It's located on the edge of the lower lot, possibly in the path of this new coaster track. 

Not getting a closure announcement now is no guarantee that the ride is safe, it’s possible that construction is simply starting on the show building, and other closures may happen later. It is, however, possible that the other coaster will survive.

The last time a Universal theme park built a high end roller coaster, the Jurassic World Velocicoaster was mostly built at Universal’s Islands of Adventure before the park ever confirmed there was even a ride coming. As such, while these closures may mean that this new roller coaster is moving forward, it may still be a while before we know for sure just what is being built, and how fast and/or furious it will turn out to be. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.