The battle of theme parks between the Walt Disney Co. (DIS) – Get Walt Disney Company Report and Comcast’s (CMCSA) – Get Comcast Corporation Class A Report Universal parks is heating up again. Rumors say Universal is planning more attractions to lure business away from Disneyland just as its sister park in Orlando is taking on Disney World.
In Florida, Universal added a Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction to its Islands of Adventure park in 2010 and followed up with a Wizarding World-themed attraction at Universal Studios Orlando in 2014. In Hollywood, Universal added a Wizarding World attraction to the Universal Studios Hollywood in 2016.
Disney answered the Harry Potter additions to Universal parks by adding Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attractions to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando in 2019 and at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., in 2020.
The Mouse House hasn’t stopped its expansion in Florida after Galaxy’s Edge. In late May, Disney plans to open its new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind rollercoaster at Disney World’s Epcot and it is testing its Tron Lightcycle Run coaster at its Magic Kingdom park with no opening date set.
Universal Studios Hollywood has already announced an answer to Disneyland’s popular Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction with plans to open its Super Nintendo World at the California park in 2023.
To keep the pressure on Disney, Universal has been adding new rollercoasters to its parks. In June 2021, it added the Jurassic World VelociCoaster to its Islands of Adventure park. And the company’s biggest plans center on the development of a third theme park in Orlando, Epic Universe, which is expected to include rollercoasters with an opening date sometime in 2025, Comcast’s CFO Michael Cavanagh said in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call.
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When Might a New Ride Open at Universal Hollywood?
Universal Hollywood might already be preparing to follow up the addition of Super Nintendo World with a thrill ride based on one of Universal Studios’ action films. Rumors are swirling that the California theme park is planning a new Fast & Furious Drifting Coaster, according to a report from Orlando Park Stop.
Plans for the new steel rollercoaster originated before the Covid-19 pandemic, the report said, and are being revisited. The ride is described to be designed around a Fast & Furious warehouse, similar to one on the Universal Hollywood tram tour.
The ride’s queue, station, and some of the track would take place inside the warehouse building, but the coaster’s track could travel out of the building and over the structure, according to the rumor. The ride’s cars would be designed similar to the movie franchise’s street racing vehicles and would feature a drifting effect.
Will the New Ride Be a Thrill?
The ride, said to be designed by Intamin, would feature coaster cars individually rotating along each curve of the track, accentuating the motion while recreating the feeling of a drifting car. The report said it was not certain whether the rollercoaster would be a single track or a dual track that might depict a street racing experience.
Universal would not begin work on the Fast & Furious Drifting Coaster until after the Super Nintendo World attraction opens next year, the report said. The Fast & Furious ride is expected to be built in Universal Hollywood’s lower lot.