Universal Studios Florida may be planning on adding their very own version of the Hollywood Dream coaster added to Universal Studios Japan earlier this year. In that case, it was a family sized junior hyper-coaster style design made to swoop, turn and dive over the entrance and Hollywood themed area of Universal Studios Japan, all with an on-board soundtrack system allowing riders to choose one of five different soundtrack options. Now I’m hearing that a similar concept is in the works for Universal Studios Florida in 2009 since in all likelihood we wont see the Harry Potter area completed until late that year or in 2010. Universal’s previous track record says that they would buy a B&M most likely for this project, but right now if all the rumors hold true (SeaWorld & Busch Gardens), that means we could be seeing three new B&M coasters added to central Florida in 2009 along with a rumored spinning Ratatouille coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios followed by the rebirth of an all new version of Space Mountain as well. Like I said… a coaster enthusiasts dream come true. Do we dare to dream?
Screamscape has heard that Hollywood Dream project has been bid out to several major coaster manufactures right now: B&M, Premier Rides and Vekoma. All three of which have provided coaster hardware for Universal Orlando before… B&M with Hulk and the Dragons, Premier did Mummy and Vekoma did Flying Unicorn and Woody’s Nuthouse. The only problem is that of the three… only B&M have experience with Hypercoasters, though Premier Rides has done it’s share of large outdoor coasters, but I believe they have all been LIM launched creations. Vekoma… ummm… no. I don’t even want to think about what a Vekoma hyper would be like.
If you look carefully around the old boneyard area between the Jimmy Neutron and Twister soundstages you can see survey markers. This was one of the possible locations we had heard mentioned for the rumored Hollywood Dream coaster. From what we’ve been told the survey work was done as part of the planning for a new attraction that could start construction sometime in 2008, which would most likely mean a 2009 opening. Again, this matches the rumored Hollywood Dream timeline. Even stranger however, is that our source tells us that not only will the new attraction take up this space, but also take over one of the nearby attractions as well who’s contract is apparently just about over. Since Jimmy Neutron is only a few years old, I’m going to guess that the clock is ticking on Twister, though the film itself was co-financed by both WB and Universal. Twister opened in 1998…so the timing is certainly right for what could have been a 10 year contract. Time to get your last rides on Twister in I suppose, just in case they do shut it down later this year.
So with Simpons coming later next year. Looks like Florida will be having a amazing 2009. Seaworlds new flyer, Bush Gardens having a project involved with B&M, Universals Hollywood Dream, Space mountain 2 at Disney and Harry Potter area in IOA in late 2009. Looks like 2009 is going be a big year, And its about time universal got another coaster.