Stars and Cars Gather for Grand Opening of ‘Fast & Furious – Supercharged’
Universal Studios Hollywood celebrated the launch of their all-new Studio Tour grand finale, Fast & Furious – Supercharged, with a star-studded and action-packed world premiere event.
Taking place on the legendary Universal Studios backlot, the grand opening celebration treated guests to a bevy of cars used in the films Fast & Furious 6 and Furious 7.
Also joining the red carpet premiere were the stars of the movies as well as the studio executives and filmmakers responsible for one of the world’s most successful film franchises.
After a high-octane dance number and a few words from Larry Kurzweil (President & COO Universal Studios Hollywood), Ron Meyer (Vice Chairman NBCUniversal), Mayor Eric Garcetti and actor Vin Diesel, it was time to cut the chain and officially open Fast & Furious – Supercharged.
But just like in the films, trouble seems to follow “the family” as the stage was suddenly swarmed by FBI agents, placing a halt on the opening ceremonies. Turns out, all of the cars on display were stolen, and the federal agents were there to repossess them.
One particular car of interest, a heavily modified 1970 Dodge Charger, was still missing and the person responsible had been tracked to our event. The agent in charge promised us that we weren’t getting on any rides today until this issue was resolved.
Then out of nowhere, tire squeals and a hearty exhaust note filled the air. I couldn’t see the commotion, but I knew something big was happening. Were we witnesses to a real-life police chase?
Only in Hollywood, right? Nothing beats watching one of your favorite movies come to life, and that’s exactly the type of experience Fast & Furious – Supercharged aims to bring to Studio Tour guests.
Still amped from the festivities, we made our way to the trams to preview this state-of-the-art attraction featuring live special effects and 3D-HD imagery.
The story begins with a suspicious sighting of Dominic Toretto’s iconic 1970 Dodge Charger parked along the tour route. We’re then briefed via tram monitors by Special Agent Luke Hobbs, played by Dwayne Johnson, that a high-value witness is riding with us, and Owen Shaw, the main villain from Fast & Furious 6, is coming to retrieve said witness at all costs.
It’s a compelling reason for the tram to “hide” inside a safe location, which turns out to be a newly constructed 65,000 sq.-ft. structure equipped with 34 high-definition projectors and an almost 400 feet long, 360 degree screen.
For the initial part of the ride, the characters are brought to life via a clever blend of holographic projections and practical elements. It’s an impressive display especially since we haven’t put on our 3D glasses yet.
The incredible attention to detail and ingenious use of technology makes it easy for us to suspend our disbelief as we continue on our over-the-top action adventure.
When the story shifts into high gear, the hydraulic-powered movement coupled with 3D imagery provides a convincing sensation of speed. There’s so much going on all around as we nitro-boost our way to safety that a second or even third time through the ride is required to see everything that’s happening.
It’s a fitting finale to one of the coolest and longest running attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Fast & Furious – Supercharged opens to the public on June 24, 2015.