The new Fast & Furious – Supercharged ride at Universal Studios Hollywood can be summed up in two words: Fast and Furious. There are many other adjectives to describe this thrilling new 3D experience, but I think the ride creators picked the best two.
Officially opening to the public on June 24, this technologically-advanced attraction reunites stars from the popular film series of the same name in a groundbreaking, 3-D explosion of fast cars, helicopters, drones, big guns, and good guys vs. bad guys. During my preview of the ride I was literally ducking and dodging in my seat as Vin Diesel (Dominic “Dom” Toretto), Dwayne Johnson (Luke Hobbs), and they rest of their team raced through the city at speeds in excess of 120 mph to help protect a witness – all while being relentlessly chased by an evil gang.
“I get a chance to become Luke Hobbs and kick-ass…all in 3D,” said Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, after shooting the making of the ride.
Fast & Furious – Supercharged, which is part of the theme park’s legendary back lot Studio Tour, is described as a dynamic hydraulic motion-based ride that fuses sophisticated hyper-realistic special effects with a state-of-the-art 3D audio system and 3D-HD imagery, projected onto the world’s longest and most expansive 360-degree screen. Spanning nearly 400 ft in length, the sprawling custom-built screen completely encircles guest, while employing 34, 4K projectors and a sophisticated projection configuration system to envelop guests in unprecedented realism.
Adding to the fun of the ride are “Fast & Furious” cast members who are broadcast “live” on tram monitors to provide updates of the action ahead. Along the tram route guests will also get a few glimpses numerous prop cars from the movies, including Dom’s iconic Dodge Charger.
Fast & Furious – Supercharged is the new grand finale to Studio Tour. As far as thrills and 3D action, it equals or possibly even surpasses the tram ride’s other highlight, King Kong 360 3-D. Created by film producer Peter Jackson, this adventure begins when the tram enters a darkened soundstage on Skull Island and guests are caught on a bridge, in the middle of a mega-fight between a menacing 35-ft-tall T-Rex and massive King Kong. I got so close to the action on this attraction, that I could feel the breath of the monsters and water as it flew from their bodies. To create King Kong 360 3-D, the studio surrounds the tram with two 187-ft-wide by 40-ft-high curved screens, representing the equivalent of 16 movie theatre screens.
The narrated Studio Tour also includes a behind-the-scene drive past the neighborhood of the eerie plane crash from the movie War of the Worlds, the Bates Motel from the classic movie Psycho and the set of Jaws for an up-close look at the mechanical monster from the 1975 thriller.
Besides the Studio Tour, Universal Studios is also full of world-class theme park attractions. One of my favorites is Transformers: The Ride-3D, an immersive expedition, blurring the line between fiction and reality. Fusing HD 3D media and flight simulation technology, Transformers takes guests into a futuristic world where alien robots from the planet Cybertron fight it out on earth. Based on the popular movies, this mind-blowing attraction allows visitors to fight alongside Optimus as he tries to protect the AllSpark from Decepticons over four stories tall.
Another classic attraction is Jurassic Park The Ride, that takes guests back to the era of dinosaurs. Beginning with a peaceful boat trip through the park to get look at gentle herbivore giants such as the brontosaurus, the ride quickly gets out of control when the raft plunges 84 ft and crashes into a building full of vicious meat-eating monsters like a 50-ft-tall T-Rex.
Universal Studios Hollywood is located at 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608. The Studio Tour is included with park admission. For more information, visit: www.universalstudioshollywood.com