Universal Studios Hollywood announced Wednesday that it is closing two long-running stage shows “to make way for a new attraction.”

The “Special Effects Show” and “Universal’s Animal Actors” will permanently close on Jan. 8, 2023. The Production Central shop between the two theaters will also close. 

The Twitter account Universal Core had previously reported in October that there were unconfirmed rumors that the two shows would be closing on that date. 

The closures are expected to make room for a new “Fast & Furious”-themed roller coaster. Check out the video below from Ethan Becker of Theme Park Wizard for possible clues of preparations that could be related to the rumored coaster. 

Hurricane Ian mars SeaWorld’s record quarter

Attendance at SeaWorld theme parks still hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels, but in the quarter ending on Sept. 30, some blame for that fact can be pinned on Hurricane Ian. 

The Orlando-based SeaWorld Entertainment estimated that the storm led to 90,000 fewer guests coming to its Florida and Virginia parks, resulting in a 10 percent drop from 2019 attendance levels. 

Yet it was still a record quarter for the company, as net income rose nearly 32 percent compared to the same time period in 2019, to $134 million. 

“Our business model is strong and resilient,” SeaWorld CEO Marc Swanson said on the quarterly earnings call. 

Skyline Attractions offering family single-rail coasters

Single-rail coasters aren’t just for extreme thrills anymore. 

Skyline Attractions, an Orlando-based amusement rides company, announced a new coaster model called the TrailRunner Family Coaster. The single-rail model, according to Skyline, can consist of 12 two-person cars with only one row per cars, “allowing for substantially greater articulation in all directions,” including “zippier transitions.” 

TrailRunner concept art (Skyline Attractions)

The U.S. has five single-rail coasters, all built by Rocky Mountain Construction and designed for thrillseekers, each featuring three inversions and near-vertical first drops. Skyline is going for a family demographic, with the new coaster mode able to accommodate riders as short as 40 inches. 

No installations of the TrailRunner coaster have been confirmed yet, but Skyline will be showing off the new model at the IAAPA Expo in Orlando later this month.