Universal Studios Florida has opened Fast & Furious: Supercharged for technical rehearsals, also known as a soft opening.
For those unfamiliar, a “Soft Opening” is essentially a technical rehearsal of a new attraction or a final release candidate test for the ride. All the major components are installed and operational but some tweaks, changes, and updates will occur prior to the grand opening.
Though not officially announced, the ride is scheduled to open May 2nd based on Media invites that were sent out last week. Until then, the ride is expected to remain under a soft opening.
“Soft Openings” are never promised. There is no guarantee the ride will be opening. The ride might only open for a period of time, all day, or not at all depending on any issues or changes. There is no set schedule or guarantee it will be open until it’s officially Grand Opened.
During our visit, we were able to ride Supercharged 3 times – but our 2nd visit was hampered by technical issues, adding 20-30 min to our wait.
The storyline, in the simplest of terms, finds guests trying to attend an after-race celebration, with the FBI and Owen Shaw hot on Dom and the crew’s tail.
Inside the queue, you’ll enter the headquarters of Dom and his “family” – featuring Dom’s garage and car collection, located inside massive rooms. Guests will be able to find many easter eggs and nods to the Fast franchise and former Universal attractions.
The ride starts with guests boarding party buses. At the start, there is this really simple, but fantastic effect of simulating high-speed down a street. The transition showed that sometimes less is more, and can have absolutely wonderful results. After the initial scene, you enter this massive alley-way full of the crew’s cars as you enter the warehouse for the party.
After that, the ride isn’t much different from the Universal Studios Hollywood version, with the majority of the action taking place inside a 360° screen room. The front screen, giving the effect of a true 360 experience, is really well done – but you can only experience that on the first bus.
As for our thoughts, it does pack a lot of over-the-top action, in what can be described plain ol’ dumb fun. There are some pretty glaring negatives; as it’s another screen ride, the story makes no sense, the 360° scene feels short, and the CGI isn’t very good.
Yet in spite of the attraction’s problems, we had fun – and that really is all that matters in a theme park ride.