Seth Kubersky, author of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando, reviews Fast & Furious—Supercharged, which is now open at Universal Studios Orlando.
Universal Studios Hollywood added a new finale to its classic back lot tram tour in 2015, incorporating the cast and plot of the long-running Fast & Furious franchise. That finale is now a stand-alone attraction at Universal Studios Florida.
Guests enter the attraction through the distressed facade of San Francisco’s historic Oriental Warehouse, which was erected on the site of the park’s former Beetlejuice stage show. The Supercharged experience starts in the elaborate queue, an industrial warehouse where you can check out some of the high-performance automobiles seen in the films.
Two preshows featuring live performers interacting with prerecorded clips of Jordana Brewster (Mia) and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges (Tej) establish the backstory for anyone who hasn’t yet seen all—or any—of the eight (and counting) Furious films.
After boarding specially designed tramlike “party buses,” you’re taken to an underground club, where a post-race rave party is in full swing until the feds crash the party, searching for a crucial crime witness hiding among the guests. Series stars Vin Diesel (Dominic “Dom” Toretto), Dwayne Johnson (Luke Hobbs), Michelle Rodriguez (Letty Ortiz), and Tyrese Gibson (Roman Pearce) appear in holographic form to rescue you from Luke Evans (Owen Shaw), the bad guy from Fast Six. In the attraction’s climax, a 360-degree projection tunnel with hydraulic platforms, 400-foot-long screens, and 4K projectors makes it appear as if your ride vehicle is in the midst of a high-stakes car chase, speeding at 100-plus miles per hour through a West Coast urban jungle.
Fast & Furious—Supercharged features detailed high-tech garages in its queue that will delight gearheads; however, unlike the similar Skull Island: Reign of Kong in Islands of Adventure, the ride itself wasn’t upgraded over Hollywood’s original with any significant additions to the storyline or effects. The dialogue and visual effects are shockingly cheesy, even by theme park standards (some consider this part of the appeal), but it all goes by in such a nitro-fueled blur that it won’t matter to fans of the flicks.
Supercharged uses the same Virtual Line system as Jimmy Fallon, and it’s, of course, a big draw during its opening season. Select your return time using the smartphone app as soon as you enter the park, or grab a ticket from the ride’s kiosks immediately after hitting Despicable Me. Standard standby, Universal Express, and single-rider lines are also available.
The best views are from the center seats in the first bus; stay to the left when the queue splits before the loading dock. Though less bumpy than the King Kong ride, Supercharged has a slightly higher height requirement; luckily, the custom slot car racing game in the child swap room may be more fun than the actual attraction.