Though it has only been a few days since Disney made their huge Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land announcements at this year's D23 Expo, Universal Orlando Resort surprised us all yesterday with a big announcement of its own, confirming that The Fast and the Furious: Supercharged is indeed on its way to Universal Studios Florida. And best of all, we won't have to wait too long to experience this new attraction, as construction is slated to begin in just a few weeks, in preparation for a 2017 grand opening.
However, the date isn't the only confirmed element of this new ride. Here's everything we know so far about Universal Orlando Resort's latest project:
1. It won’t be a clone of the Universal Studios: Hollywood studio tour finale
Though this new attraction shares a name with the studio tour finale at Universal Studios Hollywood, Orlando's version of The Fast and the Furious: Supercharged will feature a brand new storyline set in San Francisco, and will have a different ride system that will allow guests to “board specially-designed vehicles for an adrenaline-pumping ride with your favorite stars from the films.” When this rumor first popped up, we initially hypothesized that an Orlando version of The Fast and the Furious: Supercharged would re-use the original Earthquake trams (which had already been reused once for Disaster) in an effort to re-create the tram experience in the Hollywood version of this attraction, it looks like we’re in for a whole new ride experience in Orlando, which is definitely a welcome development that will ensure the experience is fresh for Universal fans who frequent both coasts.
While we’re sure that some elements from the Hollywood attraction will remain (we’d bet much of the already-filmed footage will be repurposed at Universal Studios Florida), the ride should have enough unique elements to keep it from being a Transformers-style carbon copy of its west coast counterpart. Although details are scarce about what exactly will make this version of the ride different, we expect we'll learn much more in the coming months as work ramps up on this forthcoming attraction.
2. Disaster is closing VERY soon, with Beetlejuice to follow..eventually
In order to make room for this new attraction, Universal has confirmed that Disaster will be closing forever in just a few days, on September 8th, 2015. Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue will also be closing, but Universal has not revealed exactly when the curtain will drop for the last time on this show, fueling speculation that Beetlejuice may not actually be leaving the park, instead just relocating over to the theater that currently houses Fear Factor Live (which is also rumored to be on its way out). Though some changes would have to be made if this show is indeed on the move to this super-sized venue, Beetlejuice fans will definitely appreciate this show being saved, even if it comes back in a different form.
Of course, nothing is for certain at this point, and Universal could decide to close Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue for good later this year, and either keep Fear Factor or find something completely new to replace it. No matter what happens, we expect to know by the end of August what the fate of the Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue is, and we'll keep you posted as to the fate of this attraction.