To date, Universal has had one of its biggest years ever at the box office. Mega hits like Furious 7 and Jurassic World have propelled the movie studio to near-domination at the multiplex, proving that Universal is more than capable of launching a few successful franchises.
But Universal isn't just involved in the business of making movies. With over four locations worldwide and others on the way, Universal's theme parks have become successful in their own right. It's original location, Universal Studios Hollywood, is currently undergoing a massive expansion, or "transformation” as they call it, with many new lands and rides, like the upcoming Harry Potter-themed section, set to open next year.
Universal Studios Hollywood's latest ride, Fast & Furious - Supercharged, based off of the series of films starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, received its red-carpet premiere earlier today, taking place a day before the ride opens to the public. Fast & Furious stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Jason Statham were all on-hand to celebrate the newest addition to the Studio Tour, which promises to take passengers into the high-stakes underground world of street racing at perceived speeds of 120 miles per hour.
Fast & Furious - Supercharged is described as a hydraulic motion-based ride, which fuses sophisticated 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. The structure the ride itself takes places in is 400 feet in length meant to encircle Studio Tour guests within a newly constructed 65,000-square-foot soundstage built on the park's backlot. The ride employs 34 screens, all with 4K projectors and a specially configured projection system to envelop guests in unprecedented realism. Fast & Furious - Supercharged features a number of stars from the franchise, both past and present, including Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Luke Evans.
Diesel himself got a chance to experience Fast & Furious - Supercharged, and based off his reaction, it's safe to say he enjoyed the ride:
Wow…wow was that cool. It’s incredible, it’s really remarkable. It’s not like anything I’ve ever seen. Everyone on the tram said, ‘Can we do it again?’ It’s super cool!
President of Universal Creative Mark Woodbury was also in attendance at the ride's premiere, and offered his thoughts on what sets the ride apart from similar motion simulator rides:
We’ve perfected an exciting new form of immersive entertainment that combines over-the-top hyper-realistic action adventure with exhilarating custom-made special effects that will transport guests into the thrilling world of 'Fast & Furious.' Our collaboration with Universal Pictures to create an authentic experience through epic storytelling and technological breakthroughs continues to be a hallmark of Universal Studios Hollywood.
Diesel's enthusiastic reaction and Woodbury's glowing comments aside, Fast & Furious - Supercharged could really be a great addition to Universal. The recent success of the franchise should be enough to help drive up attendance, and having the experience take place at the end of the Studio Tour will have guests leaving on a high-note.
It also sounds like the ride will have a lot to offer in terms of dazzling visuals and a new ride system that aims to truly immerse guests into the world of Fast & Furious. All in all, it's looking like Fast & Furious - Supercharged is not only a great addition to the park, but an enjoyable ride in its own right.
Fast & Furious - Supercharged opens tomorrow at Universal Studios Hollywood.