The best kind of theme park rides are the ones that truly take you into environments of the story. At Universal Studios Hollywood, Fast and Furious: Supercharged does just that! It’s crazy to think that the backlot tram can transform into a high-speed chase vehicle, but they totally did it. You start off on the regular theme park tour which then finds itself under threat when Dom Torretto and Owen Shaw go head-to-head in a chase you come along for through the streets and highways of Los Angeles.
The immersive 360 experience pushes the envelope for theme park rides. It uses similar hydraulic tech like on Disney World’s Star Tours, but on a longer scale that isn’t as encapsulated. The combination of it with 3D on both sides plays tricks on your mind and you really feel like you’re zooming through traffic with Dom, Letty, and the gang.
What’s also really cool is that the actors reprise their roles for this. Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Luke Evans, and of course Vin Diesel all participated in the ride’s film. Their characters are definitely toned down as kids will be in the ride vehicles. It’s awesome to see how Johnson’s insults become child friendly.
With the Tram celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, it’s nice to see it spruced up a bit. Sections like Fast and Furious and King Kong tie in recent film titles, but even some of the classic sections of the tour pale in comparison. While the practical set aspects of the classic Jaws and the Bates Motel are fun and interactive, there are parts that need removal or re-purposing for more timeless titles. War of the Worlds never hit relevancy and while Whoville fits the holidays (their show during Grinchmas was perfectly festive), it seems out of place to drive by during all the other parts of the year.
Fast and Furious shows that they can take their beloved franchises and put audiences in that world in cool and inventive ways. Wouldn’t it be awesome if they took the old bridge section and added the gates to Jurassic World to them before you embark through a 360 experience of that movie? Then you’d go through the disasters that happen in the film as you simulate being evacuated from the park and deal with the flying dinos, the raptors, the I-Rex, and the T-Rex with Chris Pratt riding alongside on his motorcycle to get you to safety. Now, that would be more thrilling than the Mummy tunnel.