Universal has only opened two new attractions in the last two years, with Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon at Universal Studios Florida and Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Islands of Adventure. Though these attractions garnered some attention when they opened, they haven't really had much of an impact long term. However, Universal Orlando has quietly unveiled a pretty big expansion plan that involves the addition of 7 new attractions to the resort in the next 5 years.
1. The Fast and the Furious: Supercharged
Opening in: 2018
Announced in 2015, The Fast and the Furious: Supercharged shares a name with the studio tour finale at Universal Studios Hollywood, but Orlando's version of The Fast and the Furious: Supercharged, which is opening sometime next year 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.”
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 we're only a year away from the opening of this new attraction, details are still scarce about what exactly will make this version of the ride different. Hopefully we'll learn much more in the coming months as Universal readies this attraction for opening next year
2. New Wizarding World dark ride in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade
Opening in: TBA
Several weeks ago the Dragon Challenge roller coaster closed forever, and Universal confirmed that replacing this attraction would be an unnamed Wizarding World dark ride that “will take [guests] deeper into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, where you will encounter some of your favorite characters and creatures”. And while that sounds pretty generic, we can’t help but notice that it doesn’t specifically mention Harry Potter.
Rumors about a ride based on the Fantastic Beasts film series were swirling even before the first film came out in 2016, and considering filming for a sequel just got underway, the timing of this announcement seems to hint that this could indeed be the plan. And even though the Fantastic Beasts films are set half a century before the Harry Potter films, we’re sure that there could be some magical time travelling explanation that could keep the immersion of the larger Wizarding World of Harry Potter in tact.
Though Universal has not set an opening date for this new attraction, its worth remembering that the first Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020 which would, perhaps not coincidentally, be a perfect time to open a new attraction!