This past Friday we were invited out to Universal Studios Hollywood for a preview of the all new Fast and Furious: Supercharged.
We got to go through the entire tour and all of the pre-show attractions as well as how they are blending the new ending of the tram tour into the overall tram experience.
Pictures and Words by Gregg Condon
The first change we saw was one of the Fast and Furious Cars outside of Wisteria Lane and then a report to park security and eventually featuring The Rock.
As we got closer to the show building the pre-show continued, basically the plot line is that Vin Diesels character is loose on the lot, and then because apparently in the last movie he was a good guy The Rock comes in to explain things.
The outside of the show building.
Once inside, the first pre-show building is in a garage setting.
This pre-show features some stars from the movie series and more explanation of the events going on and how we're now involved.
Unfortunately we were unable to take any additional pictures or videos in the attraction but below we'll give you a run-down of the attraction as well as my review: (Does contain some minor spoilers)
Once past the garage pre-show you enter another pre-show that is at a post street race after-party. I've gotta be honest, this is the first part that made me scratch my head a bit, as the scene is filled with scantily clad women that you'd see at a street race after-party.
While I personally have no problem with this, being that Universal Studios is a family theme park I can see quite a few comments coming into guest relations regarding this particular scene.
Beyond that, this scene is basically the rest of the cast explaining to the FBI that Vin Diesel's character is on their side and The Rock in a "my gun is bigger than your gun" scene.
Once that is done we go into the actual attraction:
Ok, so let's cut right to the chase on this one. Despite advertisements telling you this is a Ride, it's not. While sure, it's technically considered a ride and they are more than able to advertise it as such, this is a tram experience like King Kong. Although I will say that Kong has a bit more motion than the overall experience here.
That said, I do think they've managed to pull off the sensation of driving fast through the effects on the ride, so that's a good thing.
Unfortunately the people who decided to call this a "ride" aren't going to be the ones who are hearing the complaints about this being a ride. Had the experience been advertised properly as a "Tram Experience" I don't think there'd be any issue.
I'll be honest, I've only seen the first two Fast and Furious movies, so I'm guessing as far as the "Story" is concerned being familiar with recent developments in the franchise would help. And yes, I put story in quotations for a reason, as there's not really one that makes a whole lot of sense and it's kind of shoehorned into the tram experience.
But the experience is fun. Lots of fast cars, explosions, the 3D effects aren't over the top and I personally didn't notice anything being "in your face" like many 3D attractions do, which is fine. Kong doesn't have that either and it works.
Apparently they've toned down the water effects which are absolutely not needed on this experience but instead use a mist to simulate tires creating smoke.
This experience is definitely "360" as there is a screen at the front of the tram as well, which does help the effect of driving.
The animation if I'm being honest looked a bit blurry to me, it was hard to see details in the characters faces, but the actors are secondary to the cars and the action they are doing. And that animation aspect is well done.
Overall I think this is a fun addition to the tram, it's certainly better than The Mummy or the nothing that's been there awhile. While personally I think this particular location would have been better served for Theme Park expansion (Diagon Alley anybody) it is still fun and if people go in with the right expectations they will have a good time.
They are still tweaking the experience so it will be interesting to see what changes are made prior to the official opening on the 25th. Technical Rehearsals have already begun and Season Passholder previews begin today so it will be interesting to start hearing reviews from the General Public and if they see it differently than I do.
Thanks for reading, we'll be back a little later this week with a full park update and we'll be back at the park next week for the red carpet event.
Happy Monday and welcome to a new week of fun with us.
We'll start off the week with a look at Wizarding World Hollywood. We'd been using "Wizarding World West" but the official park hashtag is #WizardingWorldHollywood so we'll just start using that for our updates. =)
Pictures and Words by Gregg Condon
So now that Simpsons is open, Fast and Furious is about to open and the Night Tours are in "Technical Rehearsals" we can pretty much start to concentrate solely on Wizarding World. The rest of those things will come in separate updates for sure.
We'll start off where we always do, with the Hogsmeade archway.
Looking up to the castle. It's big.
Something is going on behind the trees
Some of the scaffolding has been removed to reveal ... windows!!!
The Great Hall was actually there behind all that scaffolding the whole time!!! =)
There's supposedly some Hippogriff track back there ... I may need to get my eyes checked.
From the other side, pictures just don't do this justice.
They are either planting more treees here or they are just growing.
Elsewhere around the park, the old Jaws was taking a well deserved vacation.
Hadn't noticed this before that the sports bottles only have a $0.99 refill price on the day of refill, so that means if you are an AP you can't get the low-cost refills on repeat visits. This is kind of odd considering pretty much every other park has refill options (other than Disney) and some parks even have a season-long Sports bottle now.
Lastly, the new dining/retail location continues to be built quickly. No word on what exactly it will be yet, but some kind of multi-use function is obviously what they are probably going for here.
Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this update. We'll probably have another update in a week or so.
Remember, if you have an AP you should have received an email about previews for Fast and Furious Supercharged, that attraction officially opens on June 25. The night tours are also coming soon which from what we've seen so far should be a lot of fun.
Video Announcement below!!!
HOGWARTS IS COMING TO HOLLYWOOD!
Universal Studios Hollywood Introduces “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” Bringing the Most Anticipated Global Phenomenon to California in an Authentic Entertainment Experience, Beginning Spring 2016
“Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” Attraction, Located within Land’s Hogwarts Castle, Makes West Coast Debut in Hyper-Realistic 3D-HD with Guests Wearing Quidditch-Inspired Goggles
Hollywood, CA, June 2, 2015 – The countdown to “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” begins today as Universal Studios HollywoodSM announces the Spring 2016 arrival of the West Coast’s most anticipated entertainment experience and the introduction of the land’s signature attraction, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” in hyper-realistic 3D-HD.
More than five years in the making, and inspired by J. K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters and the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood will bring guests the same authenticity and storytelling found at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Japan and is expected to attract Harry Potter fans and visitors from all over the globe for decades to come.
Visitors will be swept into a fully immersive themed land that brings the Harry Potter fiction and films to life with impeccable detail and precision. “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will be faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including Hogwarts castle which will serve as its iconic focal point.
“Harry Potter is an exhilarating multi-generational global phenomenon that has captivated the world’s attention across every one of its mediums, from books and movies to exhilarating theme park adventures,” said Larry Kurzweil, President of Universal Studios Hollywood. “With its imminent arrival to The Entertainment Capital of L.A., Universal Studios Hollywood is thrilled to bring our guests a new, compelling experience of ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ as we embark on this next chapter in our storied history.”
"The momentum behind J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world is as strong as ever and we are incredibly excited to bring Hogwarts to Hollywood," said Brad Globe, President, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. "Fans around the world have experienced the magic at ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ in Orlando and Osaka and we look forward to continued success with our partners at Universal Studios Hollywood as we offer more fans a chance to step into this immersive environment."
Like its counterparts, Hogwarts castle will sit at the heart of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” where the land’s signature ride, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™" will take guests on a journey into many memorable scenes alongside Harry, Ron and Hermione. Traveling by Floo powder, guests will soar high above Hogwarts, partake in a Quidditch match, narrowly escape a dragon attack and have a close encounter with the Whomping Willow.
“Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” is an achievement in pioneering theme park ride technology featuring a groundbreaking robotics ride system, fused with elaborate filmed action sequences and immersive visceral effects. Sporting Quidditch-inspired 3D goggles, guests will venture through journeys experienced by Harry and his friends, spiraling and pivoting 360-degrees along an elevated ride track on a whirlwind adventure of a lifetime.
At Universal Studios Hollywood, "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" will make its U.S. debut as a dynamic 3D-HD adventure designed to further immerse guests in an already captivating storyline.
Also within “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” the enchanting family coaster, “Flight of the Hippogriff” will debut as Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor coaster.
“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will resonate with immense detail, inviting guests to revel in Harry Potter’s epicurean world with the opportunity to enjoy authentic food and beverage at multiple locations, including: Three Broomsticks™ and Hog's Head pub, as well the Magic Neep and Butterbeer™ carts.
A foray through the shops will add to the authenticity of the land with eight retail shops and locations, including Honeydukes™, Ollivanders™, Owl Post™, Zonko’s™ Joke Shop, Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges, Gladrags Wizardwear and Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods™.
As excitement builds for the Spring 2016 arrival of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” in-park guests at Universal Studios Hollywood are able to experience and purchase authentic merchandise, including wands, robes and other collectibles from "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter," available within the Features Presentation shop, located just inside Universal Studios Hollywood’s main entry.
To hear details of the Spring 2016 opening of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood, please click here. The announcement video will be available beginning today, Tuesday, June 2, at 1PM ET / 10AM PT.
Join the conversation online using #WizardingWorldHollywood and for all the latest news, “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @UniStudios.
Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM, includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue. World-class rides and attractions include the popular 3D Ultra-HD adventure, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and immersive “Super Silly Fun Land,” the critically-acclaimed mega-attraction, “Transformers™: The Ride-3D,” the intense, award-winning ride, “King Kong 360 3-D” on the behind-the-scenes Studio Tour, “Revenge of the MummySM—The Ride” and “Jurassic Park® —The Ride.” As part of its milestone 50th anniversary celebration in 2015, Universal Studios Hollywood introduced a slate of dynamic new attractions, including the electrifying 3D-HD thrill ride, “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” as the grand finale to the famed Studio Tour, “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons Ride™” and the “Nighttime Studio Tour,” offering evening tours of the iconic movie backlot.
Warner Bros. Entertainment is a global leader in all forms of entertainment and their related businesses across all current and emerging media and platforms. A Time Warner Company, the fully integrated, broad-based studio is home to one of the most successful collections of brands in the world and stands at the forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry from feature film, television and home entertainment production and worldwide distribution to DVD, digital distribution, animation, comic books, video games and brand licensing, international cinemas and broadcasting.