It was a sunny day in Hill Valley, or at least the set of Back to the Future’s Hill Valley in Universal Studios’ backlot. The prolific stars of the “Fast and the Furious” franchise took to the red carpet and partook in an explosive ceremony celebrating the opening of Universal Hollywood’s ambitious new attraction: Fast & the Furious Supercharged.
The ceremony included a speech from President & COO of Universal Studios Hollywood Larry Kurzweil, who praised the film series’ impact and expressed the company’s excitement to include a state of the art ride in the finale their seminal Tram tour, which has been a mainstay of Universal in all of it’s 50 years. NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer also spoke and recognize the series’ achievement for the company, after him came a great, bilingual oration from Los Angeles’ Mayor, Eric Garcetti.
Garcetti expressed gratitude to Universal Studios for continually being the city’s entertainment capital and highlight of LA tourism, in addition he expressed how excited he is to take his daughter on the ride. Garcetti has been working with Universal since the debut of the Despicable Me attraction at the Hollywood park, with his presence it shows that Universal has the city’s ardent support in all of the parks’ ventures.
“Fast” series actors Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham and Tyrese Gibson joined the three onstage to usher in the park, a very charismatic Diesel gave words of excitement before the ceremony’s high octane finale, which featured a stunt driver operated Dodge Charger driving through the main sign of the attraction giving way to an explosion of confetti to declare “Supercharged” to be open for business.
The VIP, including the present cast members, all boarded the tram cars to embark on the inaugural ride of the attraction. The experience, for myself, was pure adrenaline ridden fun, this has to be the greatest thing to happen to the tram tour since the reinvention of the King Kong Portion.
The ride features Vin Diesel (Dominic “Dom” Toretto), Dwayne Johnson (who played Hobbs in the seventh installment), Michelle Rodriguez (Letty Ortiz), Tyrese Gibson (Roman Pearce) and Luke Evans (Owen Shaw), and is designed to catapult guests into the high-stakes underground world of fast cars in a harrowing escapade at perceived speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour, to save one of their own from an international crime cartel.
At the conclusion of the park’s tram tour the passengers will be catapaulted into an exciting motion based ride that commingles state of the art special effects, including the world’s largest 360 3D screen, with an exciting, pedal to the metal experience that immerses you into the 500 horse powered world of “Fast & the Furious”. This makes the already legendary Tram tour a ride to never forget. The attraction will debut to the public on June 24th (Wednesday).
Kieran J. MacIntyre is a voracious music nerd of all genres, bass player and managing editor of M&C Music. You can find him on Twitter