Universal Orlando’s new Fast and Furious Supercharged ride officially opened this past week (May 2, 2018) with an exciting celebration. As part of the Universal Orlando Blogsquad (info), I was excited to be invited to be a part of this momentous occasion.
The Grand Opening
The Grand Opening celebration of Universal Orlando’s new Fast and Furious Supercharged ride started with a family BBQ just like in the films. Fancy blue drinks called NOS were served along with Corona’s, a drink often featured in the films. There was definitely a nice attention to detail in what we were served but I wasn’t prepared for what would happen next.
First there was an awesome dance crew performance and then stars from the film were brought on stage. Jordana Brewster who plays Mia Toretto, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges who plays Taj Parker and Tyrese Gibson who plays Roman Pearce. We were then informed that Vin Diesel who plays Dominic Toretto was late because he was currently “involved in a high speed chase”. Moments later he came screeching around the corner in his black F8 Plymouth GTX being chased by “bad guy” Owen Shaw in his F7 Fast Attack vehicle. Shaw then flies off a ramp and crashes into a garage with lots of explosions, flames and effects. It was quite the show.
Once all of the cast had “safely” arrived, they hyped the crowed and then with a count down, more explosions and fireworks they officially opened the ride. It was a great grand opening and really well done by Universal.
image credit Universal Orlando Resort
Fast and Furious Supercharged Ride Review
The Universal Orlando Resort’s new Fast and Furious Supercharged ride is based off of the ride of the same name at Universal Studios Hollywood. In Hollywood the ride is featured as part of the studio backlot tour as you ride on one of their trams. In Orlando they have stepped up the experience by a notch or five. They have added a large queue/pre-show which they have also incorporated Tej and Mia into and a lot more.
The ride experience starts at the entrance as you enter into the secret hideout / garage of Dom and the family. Universal is known for making waiting in line for rides fun and entertaining. Known as the pre-show the line for this ride is pretty great. The first room is a well lit proper mechanic’s shop with four cars from the films.
Brian O’Conner’s 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STi GH from Furious 7
Han Seoul-Oh’s 1997 Mazda RX-7 F3DS from films Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious 6
Brian O’Conner’s 1970 Ford Escort MK I RS 1600 from Fast & Furious 6
Dominic Toretto’s 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona from Fast & Furious 6
The next room is a bit more dimly lit and appears to be more like a hideout. There is a large visionbeats truck with speakers and TV screens and Tej comes on the screen to talk about what is happening. The gist of the ride is that the crew has just finished and won a big race. They are now headed to an after race party and you are all invited. You walk further through the room and see a whole bunch of gear and cool looking car stuff.
Letty’s Turbo Truck
The second vehicle featured in this room is Letty’s Turbo truck which was designed unique for this ride by Dennis McCarthy, Picture Car Coordinator for the Fast & Furious films. Further on in the ride you will see Letty riding on the truck.
The third room you enter as part of the queue/pre-show is the break room for the crew. Here you meet Pat who tells you more about the party plans and Mia and Tej video call in. Mia talks about family and Tej gives updates on the party. Lastly before you hop on the ride itself you are brought into the war room where Tej has all of his computers and controls. Here you meet Jesse an assistant and again Tej video calls in and Hobbs calls as well, the guests now learn that Owen Shaw is stirring up trouble.
Guests on board the party bus for the ride
The last room is where you board the party bus, two buses at a time that probably hold 60+ people each. The ride is a full on 4D experience with water, smoke and lots of shaking effects.
Tej and Mia video call into the break room
The story line goes that the crew has arrived for the after race party but the FBI shows up and shuts it down. Then there are reports that criminal mastermind Owen Shaw is on the loose and is coming for the party bus. One of your fellow passengers is a witness against him who has been hiding in the witness protection program. He comes after the bus with guns and a flame thrower and the FF crew arrives to save the day. Everyone then races through the streets in a high speed chase with lots of car crashes, explosions, Dom hanging off of a helicopter and more. With the effects and screens on either sides of the bus it feels like you are really there and a part of the action. You definitely have to experience it for yourself.
Inside Tej’s War Room
Whether you are a regular rider or Express you basically get the same experience in the ride line/pre-show. Often this isn’t the case in some Universal rides. If you chose the single rider line you bypass the ENTIRE pre-show. I recommend you go in the regular line at least once just to experience it.
There are a couple bonuses to the single rider line though. 1) You get to ride faster which means you can ride more often. 2) You get to see Dom’s Trophy Case filled with car keys and pink slips from all of the races and cars he has won. It’s cool to see and all of the different key rings are amusing. 3) Single riders are basically there to fill in empty spots on the rides, and if you ask nicely quite often the Universal staff will help you get your preferred seat.
The best seat on the bus is probably in the back row on the right side. It seems a bit more action happens on the right. Even sitting in the middle of the row would be ok, so then you don’t see the edges of the screen. Being on the first bus is slightly better, but not that much different from the second.
For the best experience be sure to download the Universal Orlando Resort app. The app shows you wait times for the ride and lets you join the virtual line so you can pick when you want to ride. Additional features of the app include a Fast & Furious trivia game that you can play against your fellow riders. You can also find character bios, quizzes, you get text messages from Mia and the crew and more.
To learn more about the app and virtual line click here.
Brian O’Conner’s locker in the break room
Fast and Furious Supercharged ride Easter Eggs
Most fans of the films will know that during the filming of Furious 7 a key actor, Paul Walker, who played Brian O’Conner passed away in a car accident in real life. Gone but never forgotten you can find several nods and mentions of him throughout the pre-show line. Various boxes and containers have Brian labeled on them and there is a locker with his name on it too. In the break room behind the red fridge there is a photo of him and in the left corner a work shirt with Brian on it hangs on a locker. On the side of the locker you will see another photo of him and on the floor is a kids car play-mat, a reference to Brian and Mia’s son in the film. There are a few Walker references throughout the queue as well.
There are Easter Eggs hiding in Dom’s Trophy case on the key rings in the single rider line. One says Earthquake on it and as a nod to the previous Disaster ride that had been in that spot at Universal years before. A Disaster shirt can be found elsewhere as well. There are also at least two Beetle Juice references throughout the queue as a nod to a Beetle Juice musical show that had previously taken place there too.
Car keys and pink slips in Dominic Toretto’s Trophy Case
One of the keychains in the trophy case also has a DeLorean on it and the famous “OUTATIME” license plate can be found in the queue, both coming from the Back to the Future films. If you look close enough you might even find a pink slip with Arthur Weasley’s name on it. Possibly a hint to what the new ride going in in Hogsmeade might be? All of these and more are references to other attractions in the park.
In the child swap room for the ride there is a small model of a few city blocks with buildings and cars from the films. One of the buildings also happens to be a VooDoo Doughnuts as a nod to the VooDoo that had its grand opening the same week as the ride.
Exit Through the Gift Shop
The ride ends with you being dropped into the gift shop. This is the ultimate store for fans of the films. They have everything you can imagine from t-shirts and tank tops to miniatures of all of the popular cars in the films, shot glasses, jewellery, mugs, notebooks and more.
Dominic Toretto selfie!
An important highlight that is easily missed when you exit is to the far left of the gift shop. It is Vin Diesel himself. From the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum there is a life size Vin Diesel / Dominic Toretto. You can get a picture with him or grab an epic selfie in front of his famous car from the films.
To see more highlights from the grand opening and the ride itself watch my video.
I was a guest of the Universal Orlando Resort for this experience. As always all opinions and views expressed are my own.