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All aboard the party bus for Universal Orlando's Fast & Furious ride

November 2, 2017, 9:38 AM · Universal Orlando is inviting fans to board the hype train for its big 2018 addition — Fast & Furious - Supercharged.

Based on Universal's highest-grossing film franchise (yup — look it up), the new ride brings the grand finale of Universal Studios Hollywood's Studio Tour to Florida as a stand-alone attraction. Whenever Universal brings a scene from the tram tour to Florida, it requires some restaging and plussing in order to make that encounter work as a complete attraction experience, and Universal revealed today more of the detail on how they will do that for this franchise.

First, Universal has to get you onto a ride vehicle. In this case, instead of the tour trams, you will be boarding tram-like party buses, arranged for you by Ludacris' Tej Parker character, who does not appear in the California original. Instead of hiding from Owen Shaw in Roman's garage, as your tram does in Hollywood, Dom has invited you to a post-race party... which you will get to on those buses. But after that point, just as in Hollywood, it all goes terribly wrong, the villainous Shaw has found us, and the chase is on.

Party bus load platform

The Florida installation will include new walk-through pre-show scenes inspired by the films, including Tej's War Room and the Family Room. The heart of the ride will remain the 360-3D chase through city streets, similar to the ride experience on Skull Island: Reign of Kong, which was another plussed-up Hollywood transplant. After the ride, visitors can take photos with show cars from the latest Fast & Furious movie in a post-ride exhibit, located next to the ubiquitous gift shop.

Fast & Furious - Supercharged will join this year's new Universal Studios Florida attraction, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, in using the resort's Virtual Line system. That requires you to reserve a entry time using Universal Orlando's official app or at kiosks next to the ride's entrance. Once inside, you will be pulsed in groups through the pre-show scenes then onto to the buses, much like visitors are through the downstairs "Tonight Show" museum and upstairs green room before reaching the show theater on Fallon.

By my count, Fast & Furious is the fifth Studio Tour encounter from Universal Studios Hollywood to be developed as a stand-alone ride at Universal Orlando, including two iterations of Kong:

Fast & Furious is being built on the site of the former Disaster ride, which was a reboot of the original Earthquake attraction at Universal Studios Florida. The Kongfrontation building became Revenge of the Mummy, and the Jaws ride went away to clear space for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley.

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Replies (27)

November 2, 2017 at 10:00 AM · Not another lazy screen ride!!!!!! Come on Universal imagineers you can do better than the constant need for screen rides. They are diluting the decent screen rides too by the constant overuse.
November 2, 2017 at 10:01 AM · Have to give a HUGE thumbs down to Universal's Virtual Queue system. HATED it at Jimmy Fallon, and doubt the Fast and Furious franchise can give guests anything more interesting to do while waiting for this new attraction, especially if the movie cars are only seen after riding.
November 2, 2017 at 10:10 AM · Ride seems bad, disapointingly bad. The queue seems like it could be nice, at least it looks better than the ride.
November 2, 2017 at 10:22 AM · I don't understand the hate for the virtual line system. I went on Jimmy Fallon and enjoyed the ability to not stand in a single spot for what could be an hour or more. Having a space to walk around and moving from one room to another worked for me. Maybe I'm missing something?
November 2, 2017 at 10:45 AM · I guess my biggest issue with the virtual queue system is not knowing how much longer you're going to wait once inside. Guests are given colored cards, but there's no visible guide to let you know how many groups are ahead of you. When we got upstairs, after spending almost 10 minutes perusing the Tonight Show displays, we figured we'd be on the next call, but ended up waiting through 2 more calls for a total wait of nearly 30 minutes, and that was with Universal Express. The other issue I had was that every seat in the waiting room was occupied for the duration of the @20 minutes we spent upstairs and there were too few touch screens that were all positioned around the couches. People were hovering around the couches like flies on you know what waiting for the next color to be called in the hopes of snagging a seat from a guest queued to ride. Without a single person hanging out downstairs, the upstairs still seemed severely overcrowded on what I felt was a slow day at the park. Finally, those with Universal Express are not given any sort of advantage over the rest of guests, and have to wait in the same virtual line as everyone else, which seems incredibly short sighted. We waited more for one spin on Jimmy Fallon than we did for the over 2 dozen other rides we rode that day combined. If that's what's coming for Fast and Furious (especially if we can't even look at the cars while waiting), it will be a one and done for me.
November 2, 2017 at 10:50 AM · The ride vehicles and track layout are an exact mark-by-mark replica of Kong with different decorating.
November 2, 2017 at 12:14 PM · Look at the bright side. With Nintendo Land coming along with other screen less rides (yes, ithis is the last screen dependent ride), this should help with capacity. That’s like the only good thing about this lucluster ride.
November 2, 2017 at 12:16 PM · Universal does much better when it creates original attractions like Forbidden Journey or Transformers. A direct transfer from the Studio Tour to theme park ride just doesn't work well and is lazy. I think the story comes first then the ride system best to tell that story is chosen. This is backwards.
November 2, 2017 at 12:17 PM · Are we seeing stagnation with Universal Creative? Every new attraction is following a similar design. Attractions and thrills come in many forms not simply ride systems with 3D projection screens.
November 2, 2017 at 12:54 PM · "Are we seeing stagnation with Universal Creative?"

I think what we're seeing is park managers/designers mandated to install a new attraction every single year, and the intense amount of design and engineering required for original attractions is not conducive to that model. Let's wait for the details for the Forbidden Forest coaster as well as plans for T2, KidZone, Fear Factor and what they have in store for Nintendo in Japan before declaring that UC is out of ideas. Not every attraction is going to be an e-ticket (not even Disney can design/build at that pace - Flight of Passage was WDW's first fully original attraction since 7DMT, which opened in 2014). Forbidden Journey set an incredibly high bar that in my opinion is still the pinnacle of theme part attraction design 7 years later. Nothing built in the past 7 years has come close to what UC achieved with FJ (Flight of Passage is the closest so far), and with talents spread across multiple projects around the world, hitting another grand slam like that might never happen again.

November 2, 2017 at 12:37 PM · @Russell I understand your points. To the issue of how much time is spent "in line," I would argue that the point of the queue-less system is that the line is as much an experience as the main attraction. In the case of Fallon, I would say that the line was a better experience than the attraction. I didn't think about the time spent waiting because it was in and of itself an experience for me. However, there are certainly not enough interactive elements or seating in the waiting areas.
November 2, 2017 at 12:50 PM · Gotcha Nick:

Perhaps my view would have been different had we been able to sit at a screen. I really enjoyed the displays on the lower level, but didn't know how long we were going to wait upstairs before our color was called. That for me was the biggest problem. I would have spent another 5-10 minutes downstairs had I known that it was going to be 20 more minutes of waiting upstairs and we weren't going to be able to sit at a touch screen. I also enjoyed the 10 minute set from the quartet and the few minutes from Hashtag before our color was finally called, but I would have gladly traded that for a pre-show movie, time downstairs (with a signal down there that our color was being called), or some more seats to explore the content on the touch screens.

Certainly, there's something to be said to not being stuffed in a line, but there's typically a progression to a standard queue that builds anticipation and indicates when you're getting close to the end (assuming it's buried so deep in a building you can't see where it ends). Universal's virtual queue does not give guests that anticipation and slow build. Instead, they give you a room ill-equipped to handle the number of guests stuffed inside and a system that doesn't even let you know the order in which you will be queued to ride. It also doesn't give Universal Express guests any advantage to get on the ride any faster (except when the online virtual queue is triggered on exceptionally busy days), which to me is a HUGE disservice. I understand that queues are important to attraction design and execution, but if I can ride Mummy or Men In Black without having to sit through extended pre-show videos and increasingly detailed queue spaces, then why do I have to sit through all that schlock to see Jimmy Fallon pull a gimble box through NYC? We paid extra to not have to stand in line, and got stuck for 30 minutes to ride a mediocre attraction, not cool IMHO.

November 2, 2017 at 12:52 PM · I think Nick's response is pretty much how Universal Creative was hoping that fans would react to its next-gen, Virtual Line attraction design - that we would see what might formerly be considered the "preshow" or "indoor queue" as part of the attraction itself, just as good if not even better than the "ride" portion. The new model is to include multiple experiences within a VL attraction, of which the ride itself is just one.
November 2, 2017 at 1:08 PM · I also hated the Virtual Queue. It was overcrowded, a cast member was yelling at everyone to stay out of the Isle and pushing everyone into the stage area, which was so crowded, like a concert, you couldn't move. Then after 20 or 30 minutes of waiting your card is up and you wait another 10-20 minutes depending on how fast you can get into the line. I come to Universal because of Express pass and how easy it makes it, if the move is to virtual lines i'm done with expensive Theme Parks. Don't get me started on FP+
November 2, 2017 at 1:52 PM · Russell, I agree that there is a mandate which restricts creativity because of time and budget but we are seeing a linear thought process. I have been to USF and IoA the last two days as pre-cursors for HHN and can honestly say that the Jimmy Fallon ride is a complete waste of time and of Universal’s money. I am unlikely to even consider doing again....ever! Give me the outdated Twister anytime. Bar Potter, which is a stunning immersive and creative winner, I am not a fan of the new approach. How about ditching the projectors, 3D glasses and big franchises and adding a good old fashioned water ride for some variety.
November 2, 2017 at 2:45 PM · Russell doesn't like to me say this, but ANOTHER TRAM CONVERSION!!! When it shows up first at Hollywood in the tram ride, expect tram conversion rides when it goes to Orlando. That's the sad fact. Anyways, I hopes it opens in June 2018 when I'll be there.
November 2, 2017 at 3:53 PM · The Universal Creative Team has clearly heard from disappointed guests regarding the immense let down on the ride portions of Kong and Fallon. And, the continued poor feedback on UH’s F&F.

As such, they are stealing a page from Team Disney Anaheim and are seeking funds to plus the ride portions of screen based rides. UC’s internal discussions have also focused on how to replicate Team WDW’s success on Pandora’s screen based ride.

UC is also focusing on Comcast’s mandate to replace thrill rides with Disney type family friendly ‘e-ticket’ rides moving forward.

November 2, 2017 at 5:15 PM · No one is saying there is nothing creative about the attractions - it's just they base their creativity around SCREENS !!!! How about making an original physical attraction !!!
November 2, 2017 at 9:05 PM · Looks like Universal is pulling the same thing they did when they installed Transformers with Spider-Man right next door. While Kong was better than I thought it would be, that was largely due to the queue and not the ride itself. Hopefully this one has the most impressive non-Harry Potter queue at the resort, because otherwise it's likely to be a bigger disappointment than Jimmy Fallon.
November 3, 2017 at 7:16 AM · Universal is perfecting queue lines. I will say that I'm not overly excited for this one like I was Kong. I feel as though this will be a great mid-day attraction. It will be fun, but I don't think it will be the showstopper of anyone's day like say Spider-Man, Kong, or either of the Potter attractions have been for people.
November 3, 2017 at 7:56 AM · "Russell doesn't like to me say this, but ANOTHER TRAM CONVERSION!!!"

Why would I have a problem with you saying that? I actually think Skull Island (just rode it for the first time last week) is a pretty good plussing of the original Kong 360 segment from the Hollywood tram experience. I understand people's criticism of Universal pseudo-cloning tram segments from Hollywood to Orlando, but I think as long as it's an improved and complete experience as a stand-alone attraction, there's nothing wrong with it. I'm more concerned about the virtual queue on F&F than the ride itself. I haven't experienced the newer F&F segment in Hollywood (last time we were there in 2013 the F&F segment of the tram tour was mostly practical effects with robotic arms), so I don't have a basis of what may be coming to Orlando, though it can't be much more depressing than what had become of Earthquake/Disaster.

I don't have as big of an issue with screens as some people, but I do criticize when parks let screen-based attractions go stale even though they present designers the easiest opportunity to keep attractions new and fresh. I did criticize Universal for essentially installing the same ride system in adjacent parks when they installed Transformers at USF, but whenever I talk to average guests in line about the 2 rides, very few understand that the two are virtually identical, and even fewer realize that you take 2 real elevator rides on Transformers, which is what allows the attraction to occupy such a small footprint compared to Spiderman. So while us theme park nerds will take Universal out to the woodshed for an apparent lack of creativity in attraction design, the average guest is completely clueless when similar or identical ride systems are installed practically next to each other with different skin/theming, and sees the virtually cloned rides as two completely different and unique experiences. Skull Island presents a very happy medium between screens and practical effects IMHO, and perhaps F&F will do the same with some aspects borrowed from the original F&F tram experience I remember from 2013. I just hope they learn from the deficiencies of the Jimmy Fallon queue when developing the virtual queue for F&F, because for me, the 30 minutes of waiting, even with Universal Express, left me cold and unenthusiastic for the ride itself.

November 3, 2017 at 7:20 AM · Why cant they just create a nice family friendly eticket attraction? And without screens.
November 3, 2017 at 11:40 AM · I think this ride is going to disappoint a lot of people, especially casual theme park fans who don’t follow new rides and construction like we do and who will be going on the ride with no idea what kind of ride it is. I don’t know about you, but when I hear a ride based off of Fast & Furious is being made, I’m immediately thinking I’m going to be in a car going fast, something akin to Test Track. At minimum, I’m expecting to be in a car like Test Track with a realistic simulation of going very fast. So the fact that you’re going to be sitting in a tram style vechicle just like Kong is extremely disappointing, and I think a lot of casual fans are going to be let down. I feel like the Kong ride, despite its shortcomings, matches expectations of what a Kong ride would be. By contrast, this F&F ride seems to be below expectations. This is F&F in a theme park.....how can you not be in a car going really fast? Big missed opportunity.
November 3, 2017 at 1:12 PM · I live in Orlando have yearly tickets so have ridden all of these many times. Kong is a let down. On Spiderman and Transformers which I both love you have a better feeling of falling and movement. Kong with the roof truck concept just does not give you that feel. It's ok but I get no feeling of being in the action you are just watching out the window. This makes me depressed for fast in the furious which if it was a s piderman clone would have been fantastic.
Nick
November 3, 2017 at 1:56 PM · F&F is only going to be a partial clone of Hollywood. I would expect to see a pleasantly expanded version in Orlando, and based on what I have seen so far, this is true.

We will see plenty of other top-tier rides and shows coming down the pipeline.

Let's not judge this before we get a chance to experience it!

November 3, 2017 at 4:07 PM · Guests loved the cars from the Movie being on display this year ,so no matter what we think of the ride being a clone , Fast and the Furious fans will be happy to even have pics with all the cars at the end of the ride .
November 4, 2017 at 6:09 AM · I think this would have been a perfect opportunity for an indoor coaster. F&F and speed go hand in hand. It wouldn't need to be a clone of the mummy. It could be somewhat of a hybrid experience to show off some new technology.

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