If you like both whiplash and the Fast & Furious franchise, it sure sounds like Universal Studios Hollywood has got something very special in store for you. The New York Times reports that the studio theme parks are going great guns on a little something called “competing with Disney and then probably crying about it,” with plans that include some massive overhauls at both their Orlando location and their Hollywood outpost. The Orlando location has already had great success with their Harry Potter branded sub-theme park, and although it’s long been rumored that they’re bringing the Wizarding World to SoCal, it’s now been revealed that’s not the only new attraction on the way.
Can you say “vroom”? More specifically, can you say “supercharged tram tour”?
The outlet reports that the Universal Studios team is working on a brand new attraction, set to open in 2015, called “Fast & Furious – Supercharged,” a Fast & Furious-themed ride that will capitalize on the success of the studio’s blockbuster franchise, all while using the kind of rides they’ve done time and time again. The “movie-thrill ride hybrid” will see “occupants of Universal’s famed back-lot trams…encircled by 400-foot-long movie screens.” The tram rides, which now end at sunset, are also set to be expanded to accommodate nighttime-set thrills and chills. Wait, how’s that?
“We’re going to make it feel like those trams are being pulled through the streets at speeds of over 100 miles per hour,” explained Chick Russell, an executive producer for Universal Creative. Fun! Hope they include seatbelts! And insurance!
The trams are a mainstay of the Universal Studios experience, and are often used as part of their back-lot tours to explore various filming locations and wacky thrills around the park (you can see both filming sets and get chased down by a guy playing Norman Bates, it really has something for everyone). Using the trams is a bit of a no-brainer, but it will be interesting to see how the park approximates the speed and fever of a street chase inside of them. Seriously, seatbelts first.
Universal Studios Hollywood will also soon be home to its own Harry Potter section (the SoCal “Wizarding World” will open in 2016) and a Despicable Me attraction (called “Minion Mayhem,” along with a watery spin on the film’s “Super Silly Fun Land”). All of these big time “enhancements” are “designed to keep Universal’s thrill-ride fans coming back but also to begin attracting attract families with young children, a lucrative audience that Universal until recently left almost entirely to nearby Disneyland.” Elsewhere, the park will expand its Simpsons area, including new shops and restaurants.
You know what that means! Open your wallets up nice and big.