Fast & Furious – Supercharged has arrived at Universal Orlando Resort in a very big way. While the ride first originated at Universal Studios Hollywood, the Supercharged attraction marks Universal Orlando Resort’s major new ride addition for 2018, bringing the Fast & Furious franchise to Universal Studios Florida in a location that was previously home to the attractions Disaster! and Earthquake: The Big One, in the park’s San Francisco area right next to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.
With Fast & Furious – Supercharged now open to the public at Universal Orlando Resort, I was able to attend the world premiere of the new attraction along with a group of other journalists and get some inside information from the Universal creatives responsible for putting it together. This is a somewhat unique case for Universal Orlando, as this particular park usually originates attractions that are then replicated at the Hollywood park. But while Supercharged has an existing location in California, there are still a few upgrades that make Universal Orlando’s version unique.
The ride vehicle for this attraction is a “party bus,” which utilizes the same technology and vehicle setup found at the Islands of Adventure attraction Skull Island: Reign of Kong. Once onboard and en route to a secret party, guests are treated to video screens in which Ludacris’s Tej and Dwayne Johnson’s The Rock warn of franchise baddie Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) stirring up trouble. Unsurprisingly, this party bus is besieged by Owen Shaw’s explosive shenanigans, and guests are caught in the middle of a high-speed chase featuring the major Fast & Furious characters that involves car jumps, rockets, and Vin Diesel hanging off a helicopter.
If this all sounds a little silly well, in keeping with the cartoonish tone of the Fast & Furious film franchise, it kind of is. The attraction itself isn’t as dynamic as Skull Island or as thrilling as Escape from Gringotts, but Fast & Furious enthusiasts will no doubt enjoy stepping into the world of their favorite franchise, and even if you’re not a Fast & Furious superfan, the “party” sensibility and levity throughout makes the attraction experience a lot of fun.
There are a few ways in which this ride differs from the Hollywood version. For one, this attraction is presented in 2D instead of 3D. Unlike Skull Island: Reign of Kong where your peripheral vision is somewhat impacted by the glasses, on Supercharged you can catch more of the action happening on both sides of the party bus. If you look straight ahead, you can catch Vin Diesel hanging off a helicopter on your right and Dwayne Johnson firing a giant gun on your left at the same time.
Another new addition to Universal Orlando’s iteration: this one has a queue. At Universal Studios Hollywood, the Supercharged attraction is part of the tram tour, so for the Universal Orlando iteration they went all-out to build a queue that looks like an old warehouse—the headquarters for Dom and his crew. Along the way you’ll spot more than a dozen supercharged cars from the film, various props, and even a family picnic table where Dom, Letty, and the rest of the gang chill out with a Corona.
Honestly, the queue is reason enough to check out the ride. The production design is pristine and lived-in, and unlike some of the other queues at Universal Orlando that twist and turn around corners, here you’re mostly out in the open, taking in the massive warehouse setting in one giant view. This attraction does utilize Universal Orlando’s new Virtual Line system, which is already in place for Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon and throughout the Volcano Bay theme park, but there’s plenty to look at as you make your way to the party bus.
Moreover, just as with the Fallon attraction, the queue involves a couple of separate pre-show rooms in which Universal Orlando cast members interact with the park guests to begin introducing the story. One that’s particularly engaging takes place inside Tej’s war room, which is packed to the gills with tech and features the cast member “in conversation” with a pre-taped video of Ludacris in character as Tej. It helps set up the storyline of the ride, but also—to put it bluntly—helps you feel like you’re not in a line when you’re still kinda sorta in line. Universal has gotten really good at this over the years, and it’s certainly one of their best assets. As much attention goes into the queues themselves as it does the rides, and the attention to detail shows.
So yeah, if you’re planning on heading to Universal Orlando Resort anytime soon, the operative word for Fast & Furious – Supercharged is “fun.” Check out some more interesting trivia bits below, followed by even more images of the attraction.