Fast and Furious: Supercharged has begun Technical Rehearsals (called Soft Openings) at Universal Orlando Resort.
We were able to check out the new attraction today, which will eventually have the Virtual Line setup that the newer Universal Orlando attractions have. Today, however, it was not available.
So what did we think of the attraction? Well I can tell you this - it’s neither fast or furious. However, I want to go over some of the positives and negatives from the attraction, laid out by Queue, Pre-Shows, and the Ride Experience.
Let’s start with the Queue. This is the attraction’s strong point- one of the very few strong points. The queue begins outside, where you walk past a patio type area with beer bottles and a grill. In the background, you can hear the sound of cars racing.
From there, you enter the warehouse.
Inside the Warehouse, as you can guess, we find cars from the movies are on display, and a “mixtape” of Fast & Furious clips are shown throughout. Party type music is also blaring on the speakers. It creates a really fun environment.
The queue is incredibly well themed and has a ton of props and photo opportunities. The queue looks and feels like a real factory and hideout for the Fast & Furious family. It also has a ton of Easter Eggs from past attractions, include this homage to Earthquake and Disaster.
Once you meander through the queue, you then venture into the first of two Pre-Shows.
The Pre-Shows themselves are a return to the days of spieled entertainment at Universal Orlando and it’s nice to have that aspect back. However, there is little value or entertainment value to the horrible script and dialogue in the next two rooms.
In room one, the “Break Room” (or Family Room as they call it), a spieler attempts to entertain the crowd by making them show their best dance move. The overhead monitors then come on, and the story starts, featuring characters from the films. The video in this room is flat out corny and awful, it tries to be too serious and ends up falling flat.
From there, you head into the “War Room.” This area is well themed, but again, the script and dialogue is awful. The actor on the stage acts as if it is their first day on the job. This comes off as horrible, fake and stupid. Why would a rookie be working in a “War Room”? I’d much rather have some “well trained bad ass” tell me what’s up instead of a terribly awkward “rookie”. We dive a bit more into the “story” as stars from The Fast & Furious talk to the crowd via the monitors.
So now it’s time to board the Party Bus. Almost a clone of the Kong vehicle, it operates exactly the same with load. There are two buses per cycle. Like Kong, depending on where you sit, you may get a blocked view.
This brings us to the Ride Experience. If you have experienced the Universal Studios Hollywood version of this, you will, for the most part, experience the same thing. Besides the first minute or so of the ride, it is a clone of Hollywood. In addition - that first minute or so of the ride is the only good thing about the entire ride experience. It quickly goes downhill after that.
The first part of the ride almost brings you back to Earthquake/Disaster. The Party Bus goes through a dark tunnel, with projections of a dark street on the walls, simulating that you are driving down a road. This was another strong point to the attraction - very well done.
The next room leads you into an awesome looking show scene with more Fast & Furious cars on display. This scene is massive and very detailed, it reminds me of Kongfrontation or The Great Movie Ride. Unfortunately from there you make a right turn and this is where it begins the Hollywood version of the attraction. The same scenes (such as scenes at the party and FBI break in) are projected digitally just like the west coast version.
The party scene is awful. Just flat out terrible. You pull in and see dancers, then some cheesy acting. The FBI Agent’s voice is dubbed over what he was originally recorded saying so his mouth movement doesn’t line up with what we hear.
Finally, you begin the action in the last show room with the 360 video. This room is not in 3D, unlike the west coast version. This scene is fun, has lots of fog and excitement. It’s stupid fun. Vin Diesel is bigger than the helicopter that he’s holding on to, the animation is awful, but it’s fun.
The chase scene begins, and you are suddenly outside in the daylight? This contradicts the night party you were supposed to originally be attending on the Party Bus? In the chase scene, various parts of the video are hard to see, because the clunky ride vehicle and side moldings of the 360 room get in the way. One thing that is cool is that you can see the action in front of the bus through the glass - an interesting viewpoint depending on where you are sitting.
Before you know it, the film abruptly ends, and you find your way back at the unload station. There really isn’t any wrap-up of the story, but rather a very awkward movement out of the 360 room.
So where does this rank amongst the newer rides at Universal Orlando? I would say it’s a step up from Fallon and a step down from Kong. I really have no desire to rush out and experience it again. The entire experience is lackluster compared to other theme parks rides. Even though the queue is great, the ride doesn’t pay off. Between the cheesy dialogue, and the poor ride experience overall, it just doesn’t cut it as a “good theme park attraction”. It’s a fun ride, but by no means is it a masterpiece of themed design and storytelling.
I will venture out to see if again after Technical Rehearsals to see if anything has changed. If not, this won’t be on my list of must rides when visiting the park in the future.
Check out the video below for a walk-through of the queue and pre-shows, along with a POV of the ride.
Fast and Furious: Supercharged Universal Orlando