What a ride: Universal Studios gets Fast and Furious

Universal Studios Hollywood opened their new “Fast & Furious – Supercharged” ride in late June. 

Universal Studios Hollywood has spent quite a bit of money on an aggressive advertising campaign to promote their latest thrill ride, “Fast & Furious – Supercharged.”

Media were invited to experience the ride prior to its public opening on June 24. The experience itself is now the finale of the popular Studio Tour, which takes guests on trams to the backlot of the studio. And what a finale it is!

Forget the commercials you’ve seen on television, the ride is totally different than you’re expecting. The tram drives into a car garage similar to what you would see in any of the films. The startling part takes place when actors Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriquez (in the roles of Dominic Toretto and Letty Ortiz) literally appear before you.

They’re not on a screen, not wax figures, but it actually looks exactly like they are standing in front of you. Then, the rest of the cast walks in. It’s at this moment that you realize this will really be a unique experience.

“It’s done with new technology which was developed by Universal Studios to deliver a real dimensional experience and the ability to look like realistic actors walking around,” said Executive Show Producer Chick Reynolds.

Then, as you’re appreciating the technology that placed these actors in front of you, you begin to race through the streets of Los Angeles going 100 miles per hour, being chased and dodging debris being flung at you.

Vin Diesel is in the car next to you, just a few feet away. Your heart is pounding and you are convinced you're going to crash any minute.

All of this happens while the tram you're sitting in hasn't moved at all. According to Reynolds, it is a combination of flight simulation, synched with motion and adding wind queues to trick the brain into believing it's real.

To make the Studio Tour even more interesting, Universal Studio's has just added the Nighttime Studio Tour, where guests can witness lighting and special effects that can be done when the sun sets. Of course, Fast & Furious -- Supercharged is included on the Nighttime Studio Tour as well.

After the Studio Tour, be sure to check out the all-new Springfield, where you'll find the entire town of the popular cartoon show The Simpson's. Push the red button at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and see what happens, have a Duff's Beer at Moe's Tavern (answer the phone when it rings for a famous Bart Simpson prank) and then head over for a Krusty Burger.

The new Despicable Me ride is also fun, proving that if you haven't been to Universal Studios within the last year, there are plenty of reasons to go now.

Next spring, they will unveil the all new Harry Potter experience. From the glimpses you can see through the fence, it too will be an amazing addition to the Park.

If you go, I highly recommend splurging for the Front of Line pass. Otherwise you're waiting at least 40 minutes for each ride in the park, instead of just a few minutes.

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