Fast & Furious Hollywood Drift Roller Coaster at Universal Opening Date Details


Universal Studios Hollywood announced the long-rumored Fast & Furious roller coaster, and construction is officially underway. This post shares details & opening timeframe revealed by USH, along with other expectations for the new thrill ride based on past leaks, our commentary, and more. (Updated May 3, 2024.)

According to the press release, Universal Studios Hollywood’s first-ever, high-speed outdoor roller coaster “Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift” will join the theme park family in 2026. The dynamic new thrill ride will elevate the guest experience with innovative and technological achievements never previously employed in a roller coaster.

The Fast & Furious saga will serve as the vehicle for this groundbreaking roller coaster at Universal Studios Hollywood. For more than twenty years, the franchise has stoked passion in an ever-expanding audience and has earned more than $7 billion at the worldwide box office, Universal Pictures’ record-smashing Fast & Furious films have become the studio’s biggest and longest-running franchise. It’s a fan favorite, and Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift is expected to continue that legacy.

The state-of-the-art ride system of Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift will immerse guests in the high-speed universe of the film franchise. Highlights include groundbreaking 360-degree rotation of the individual ride vehicles as they rocket along an elaborate track meticulously constructed with sound reduction technology for a breathtaking, superior experience. These attributes will create a seamless sensation of drifting cars as guests spin in motion at furiously fast speeds.

“As a premier entertainment theme park destination with a rich history in immersing guests in incredible rides based on today’s most inspiring movie, television and gaming properties, we are excited to introduce our very first, high-speed outdoor roller coaster,” said Scott Strobl, Executive VP of Universal Studios Hollywood.

“As Universal Studios Hollywood continues to evolve, the arrival of ‘Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift’ will be a powerful game changer that will infuse a new level of thrill into our already dynamic theme park, and we look forward to welcoming guests when it races onto the scene in 2026.”

Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift will be located on the Upper Lot of Universal Studios Hollywood. Guests will queue up within a large, red brick, garage-style structure before settling into the ride vehicles, modeled after several authentic cars featured in the films, and catapulting along an aerial track that winds over parts of the theme park.

The groundbreaking Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift will benefit from Universal Creative’s decades-long expertise in revolutionizing the development of the contemporary roller coaster across its global theme park destinations.

The new Fast & Furious ride will join Universal Studios Hollywood’s slate of attractions, including the new Super Nintendo World, featuring the critically-acclaimed Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge ride. There’s also the Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash, which is on par with the best Disney dark rides from the last decade.

Other relatively-recent additions include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, featuring Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff rides; Jurassic World—The Ride; Despicable Me Minion Mayhem; Springfield U.S.A. and The Simpsons Ride. As we’ve mentioned elsewhere, Universal Studios Hollywood has radically transformed and expanded since we first got our APs a decade ago.

That’s all in addition to Universal Studios Hollywood’s signature, behind-the-scenes Studio Tour, which celebrates its 60th Anniversary of moviemaking magic this year. Since 1964, the Studio Tour has offered guests a front row seat to filmmaking magic on an authentic movie and television production studio backlot for an exclusive peek at original film sets that include Jupiter’s Claim from Jordan Peele’s NOPE, and Courthouse Square from the Back to the Future films, as well as such experiential attractions as King Kong 360 3D and the eerily realistic “Earthquake—The Big One” simulated natural disaster attraction.

A lot has slowly trickled out for the year-plus that a Fast & Furious roller coaster has been rumored for USH. Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift is expected to be an Intamin spinning model, with the ride vehicles being able to “drift” with motion and rotation fitting the Fast & Furious theme and exaggerating the motion of the ride. It’s also likely that the drift effect will also utilize controlled movement that is necessary to minimize noise.

Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift will be the first outdoor roller coaster at Universal Studios Hollywood, which is both a theme park and an active studio where film production occurs. It’s also perched on a hillside and has neighbors. All of this means that aggressive noise dampening and mitigation measures will be needed, and strategic rotation to direct screams into walls (or whatever) might be necessary. Already, Universal Studios Hollywood has been conducting noise tests, so clearly this issue is top of mind.

Concept art and the track layout have all leaked online for Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift. While the plans have evolved since the rumor first leaked, it seems likely that most of the coaster will be located on partially on the Upper Lot and partially on the hillside above the Lower Lot, even looping around the top escalator to the Lower Lot.

The Fast & Furious roller coaster is likely to include several launches and banked turns, corkscrews, and dive drops and loops. I’m pretty far from a roller coaster expert, but this looks to me a lot like USH’s “answer” to Jurassic World VelociCoaster. (I’m sure some coaster geeks will cringe at that assessment as the two ride profiles are very different, but they will fill the same roles.)

Here’s a fan-made pre-visualization video by Amusement Insider that demonstrates what this Fast & Furious roller coaster could end up looking like:

It’s interesting that Universal Studios Hollywood has already announced that Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift will open in 2026. When the roller coaster was first announced and construction had just begun, we predicted it could be done as early as the first half of 2025. Anything earlier, in our view, was too quick of a turnaround time given where the track will be built on the hillside between the Upper and Lower Lots.

Universal can construct stuff way faster than Disney (minus timeshares), but Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift probably can’t be quite as aggressive due to the unique construction and need to properly sound dampen. Well, as it turns out, even 2025 was overly optimistic and Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift will actually open in 2026.

As for when that year, we’ll go earlier rather than later. Super Nintendo World began its soft openings and previews at the very beginning of last year, and that worked well in helping spread out crowds into the off-season (while still having a blockbuster summer with tourists). We could see a very similar scenario playing out with Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift being ready to roll at the beginning of 2026.

Regardless, it’s likely that even more is on the way as part of USH’s ambitious plans ahead of the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Olympics.

It’s also unknown whether the Fast & Furious – Supercharged will remain a part of the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood with the opening of the new coaster. But we sure hope that it goes extinct. As we’ve been saying for years, this is one of the worst theme park experiences anywhere, ever. We were absolutely shocked when it was cloned to Orlando, and remain convinced that the Comcast executives that greenlit that terrible decision never saw the Studio Tour version.

It does have a slight campy quality and has developed a minor cult following in the last few years, but those fans are misguided. Fast & Furious – Supercharged is not so bad it’s good. It’s just plain bad. The Fast & Furious film franchise is much better suited with a thrill ride than anything with any semblance of story or narrative. Just exhilaration, excitement, and crazy car vibes.

Literally anything would be better than the Fast & Furious – Supercharged segment in the Studio Tour. That includes absolutely nothing at all, just a tunnel of darkness and sorrow. One interesting thing is that in the first press release for Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift, Universal mentioned Supercharged. In the latest release, there’s no reference to it–the same line is still there, but it swaps out Supercharged for the (much older) Earthquake – The Big One scene. As that paragraph was otherwise copied and pasted from the original release, that was a purposeful change.

In terms of commentary, the Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift roller coaster sounds fantastic to us. This will likely be a great thrill ride, and Universal has proven in recent years with VelociCoaster and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure that they can do unique coasters like this really well.

Between its location and layout, this Fast & Furious roller coaster looks like it could be even better than those recent additions to Universal Orlando. It should be absolutely awesome, and offer some insane valley views–including the surrounding studios. It’ll be the best coaster addition to Southern California in a long time, at least until Knott’s Berry Farm finally gets its act together and confirms the long-rumored (but repeatedly debunked) Giga Coaster rumors.

The bottom line is that it’s tough to be disappointed by a new roller coaster coming to Universal Studios Hollywood. The park has been on a roll lately, and it appears that trend will continue with the Fast & Furious roller coaster. I’m personally really looking forward to riding it.

With that said, Universal Creative has also proven that they can do family-friendly attractions really well. Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash is an underrated masterpiece, and proof-positive that elaborate Audio Animatronics-driven rides still can resonate with today’s audiences.

Not just that, but that dark rides can be built in tight spaces, on efficient turnaround times and with relatively limited budgets (just not by Disney). Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is hardly low-budget or underrated, but it’s another example of Universal pushing the envelope and delivering something ambitious for the whole family.

Honestly, I want to see more of that from Universal. For one thing, I think it’s what Universal Studios Hollywood truly needs. The park just added a big draw for families, but otherwise doesn’t have a ton for kids to do. It also doesn’t have much for older guests or those with motion sickness; as we’ve mentioned, Sarah can only do a handful of rides at USH, and even fewer now that she’s pregnant. While I don’t think every new addition needs to cater to my preferences, I am a bit surprised that Universal isn’t adding more for all-ages.

For another thing, great roller coasters can be done by just about any regional amusement park in the United States, but there are only a handful of theme park operators that can do dark rides well. Other than Imagineering, it’s pretty much just Universal Creative able to execute on that level and with the same polish and attention to detail. With very little on the horizon in the U.S. parks for Imagineering, I’ve been hoping that Universal Creative would fill the void, innovating and pushing the industry forward. I still think that’ll be the case to some degree, but wish they’d bet bigger on elaborate family-friendly attractions.

If you’re preparing for a Southern California vacation, check out our other planning posts, including our exhaustive Guide to Universal Studios HollywoodNeed advice for LA? Read our Ultimate Los Angeles, California Planning GuideVisiting other SoCal theme parks? Consult our comprehensive Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide and Knott’s Berry Farm Planning Guide.


What do you think about the Fast & Furious: Hollywood Drift roller coaster coming to Universal Studios Hollywood? Expecting it’ll be the West Coast’s “answer” to VelociCoaster? Excited for a thrill ride, or wish it were something more family-friendly or accessible for all ages? Do you agree or disagree with our commentary? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

15 Responses to “Fast & Furious Hollywood Drift Roller Coaster at Universal Opening Date Details”
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