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Best Riding Cars – I’m a big fan of the “Fast and Furious” franchise. I made a point to replay the entire series each time before a new movie came out (in the order of the right view) and continued running the best movie ranks in the series.
So when I heard Universal Studio open a lift, I knew I had to check it out. “Fast & Furious: Supercharged” made its debut in late April, taking over the space that once belonged to Disaster. I did not have a chance to visit in the spring, so when I went to Florida to open Toy Story Land I made a pit stop at Universal to try out this park’s latest attraction.
I rode “Supercharged” several times. I went on several occasions only with Universal homework team and Stephanie Green, project director behind the trip. I also checked it myself with a regular crowd and then went through it with a VIP tour guide to be as thorough as possible.
Does it satisfy FastFam fans of this franchise?
The first time I was on the trip, I loved it. But the more I ride it – and especially when I drive it alone – the illusion of travel begins to fade a bit. Although it is not my favorite trip in the park (the title still belongs to the ageless Mommy park attractions) there are many who like about “Fast and Furious: Supercharged.” Many come in the details.
It’s obvious a lot of love goes into making the queue up
You have to give the creative team some praise to make you feel like entering the “Fast” world. Green told us the idea behind the trip at Orlando Studios was to expand the “Supercharged” trip at Universal’s Hollywood Studios which is part of the park studio tram tour. And it definitely does that.
Even before you go up, you should go to Fast Fam headquarters consisting of nine large rooms filled with references to the “Fast” franchise. Some of the rooms included in the giant warehouse include a garage lined with cars, a family room with tributes for Paul Walker Brian’s character, and Tej’s workspace. Family themes are instantly visible from the moment you walk to the journey.
“All the movies are about the families of these friends on high-risk adventures so we really get into that family,” Green told INSIDER. “That’s why you’ll see our logo appropriate for this trip, our Family Forever logo on the front.”
Throughout the entire attraction, you’ll find 15 cars – 12 of which you’ll recognize from the “Fast” movie. The other three are tailor-made for travel. They are not built by anyone. The team at Universal really has a picture car coordinator for the movie, Dennis McCarthy, working on the road and designing unique vehicles such as the Letty turbo truck that you’ll see on attractions and on the go.
Unlike Hollywood Studios attractions, the Orlando version of the trip includes Mia (Jordana Brewster) and Tej (Ludacris). Green says Ludacris is very active, adding some dialogue to be played in the queue last minute on a preview day for the press in April. The creative team works with the actors while designing the trip as well, telling them what their idea is for the trip. Green says actors, from Vin Diesel to Luke Evans, help ensure the script feels authentic in the “Fast and Furious” world.
I was especially impressed by the amount of thought that went into some detail. At one point in the queue there was a projector that did not feed to the screen. It just shines right into the open wall and that’s how Tej and Dom might set it up in a movie. Any fancier will not feel authentic.
There are also many nods and awards to Paul Walker, who played Brian at the franchise, along the way. Walker died in a car crash in 2013. The saddest you may forget is near the start of the journey. A Corona bottle was placed in his honor at the table where the crew were eating together in Dom’s backyard.
Because of the length of the queue, you will never feel waiting too long. I visited the “Hurry and Angry” attractions on Thursday and Friday and I never saw the line more than 45 minutes. If you go through a single-rider queue, which opens when the line starts getting longer throughout the day, you’ll probably wait 5-10 minutes.
If you’re starting to feel like a drag line, and you have a Universal Mobile Mobile app, you can run a “Supercharged Network” that will allow you to answer the trivia “Fast and Angry” as you wait. If you are worried about your mobile data, the park offers free wifi for guests. I found Universal wifi more reliable than Disney wifi when I was in both parks. You can see the leaderboard for the trivia game in the queue.
You are not riding or racing in one of Dom’s cool cars
The supercharged part of the travel title is somewhat misleading. If you plan to take to the streets at Dom’s Dodge Challenger from “Fast Five” or $ 3 million Lykan Hypersport he and Brian fly through two buildings in “Furious 7,” that’s not how this works.
I know a little about this trip. As a fan of this series, my hope is that you can drive in one of the iconic “Fast and Furious” cars during the underground race. I think the settings might be similar to Track Test at Disney World Epcot. (For the record, I was told that there was never any plan for the trip as long as Green was involved with the project.)
In fact, you are a guest at the after-race party Dom being the host. Tej designed some luxurious party buses to pick up the crowds. But the appearance of Owen Shaw – the villain of “Fast & Furious 6” – puts everyone in danger. So Dom and Letty make plans to help everyone out safely. Dom gets everyone on the giant party bus (because, of course, why not?) And he and his crew act as your VIP transport through Los Angeles as they fight Shaw and his men on the highway.
So what exactly is the journey?
As I said, I think I might be racing in some cars with Dom and Letty so that’s not what I expected, but I’m still having fun. If you are already in the park “Skull Island: Reign of Kong”, “Supercharged” is somewhat similar. You take a large party bus through some rooms before you are in an all-out chase scene.
Travel arrangements should not be a big surprise. Universal Studios is a great family rides that move you from room to room frequently in 3D settings. There are no glasses on this trip, but it does not shake a lot of people through attractions at once, channeling up to 96 people per trip.
When you first get inside Tej’s party bus, you walk down the corridor early in the journey. In fact, you did not move that fast, but if you sit in the right chair (we’ll cover it a bit), it feels like you’re driving down a long corridor. Until my third trip has passed, I do not know how they released that illusion.
You turn into a decorated room to look like a back alley where one of the Dom races will be held. The decor in the alley is done very well so it reminds me of the scene in the first movie. But the big action is to the right. Dom (Vin Diesel), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Luke Hobbs (Dwyane Johnson), and Roman (Tyrese) appear in sequence through a highly sophisticated holographic projection that makes me do multiple shots. Apparently, even Vin Diesel’s son, Vincent Sinclair, was confused by seeing twice as much.
From there, you are on the way from Shaw. In the next room, you “race” down the Los Angeles highway to safety. You should feel like you will be about 120 miles per hour. I’ve been driving 100 miles per hour before (sorry Jersey) and it’s not exactly the same effect. But you feel like you are sailing though in reality you are not going anywhere near that speed. (I was told that the buses traveled with “show speed.” When I asked how fast it was, I was told that it was not the information given.)
Like the other rides at Universal Studios, this part of the trip puts you in a room with a 360-degree depth experience where you feel like you’re riding with Dom and Letty. If you are a franchise enthusiast, you will want to travel through once more to actually take each scene. There’s so much going on during the chase scenes on both your left and right sides that I suggest to pay attention to one side every time you go to a tourist attraction. I appreciate the trip a bit more knowing that the actors actually filmed this sequence to be adapted into “Supercharged.”
The attraction will not be completed without a big action and in the “Fast and Furious” mode you leave behind a bridge when Dom shouts “Ride or Die!” (Spoiler: We live.)
I was really good around my first few times on the trip, but there are some tips I have if you want to make sure you have the best experience on the go.