Joe Nerssessian gets an early look at the ride based on Vin Diesel's hit films.

"I don't have friends, I have family," says Vin Diesel's Dom Toretto in 2015's Furious 7, the seventh installment in The Fast And The Furious franchise.

It's a message Universal Orlando Resort seized upon when planning a new ride based on the Box Office-busting films, first released 17 years ago. At four years in the making, it's taken a little while longer than average to complete - but the wait is finally almost over, and it looks set to be just as much a crowd-pleaser as the movies.

An immersive journey through the world of cars, the Fast & Furious - Supercharged ride promises to be more than just a simple white-knuckle roller coaster, using projections, sleek design and pumping music to create an experience that's both high-energy thrills and entertainment.

And although it uses dozens of references and original props from the franchise's history - including the stunning 1970 Dodge Charger - the ride has an original story to tell as part of Dom Toretto's next chapter.

With the ride set to open any day now, we travelled to Florida for a sneak preview...

What's it all about?

Street racing, heists and espionage aren't normally associated with the family-friendly Universal Resort Orlando. Of course, it's not possible to actually race a car through the park (think of the Minions!), and so the alternative is simulation.

Following an immersive queuing experience, featuring genuine film props, live-action characters and some epic special effects, the five-and-a-half minute ride will see visitors become part of Dom's crew on the run from villainous Owen Shaw through the streets of Los Angeles.

Echoing Dom, the ride's creators have made use of the 'Family Forever' slogan; expect to see it printed throughout the ride and across all of the gift shop merchandise. It's an exclusively virtual queue attraction too (meaning you reserve you space electronically), so there's no chance of a 90-minute wait.

So, what happens?

The Fast & Furious - Supercharged story begins outside an abandoned warehouse, where engines are revving loudly in the background. Punters become partygoers at a race and, once inside, join a queue. But fear not, the line - which is estimated to last around 10 minutes - is a chance to explore the franchise's history.

As DJ Snake's Turn Down For What blares out, car-lovers can take a closer look at some of the best vehicles seen on screen, including the VeilSide Mazda RX7.

Into the next room, we meet live-action character Pat, in what's fitted out to be the family room. She puts us on a video call to Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) and Tej Parker (Ludacris), before the latter finally hands out the invite to a party.

But when we move into Tej's war-room, a stunning replica from the film, the story gets its crucial twist. Vin Diesel's Dom and Dwayne Johnson's Luke Hobbs phone a second live-action character, Jamie, urging him to get us out of the warehouse, as their nemesis Shaw is on his way.

How does the ride work?

After leaving the war room, it's finally time to get a taste of the Fast & Furious action. Guests board sleek 96-passenger buses - black, and decorated with purple and neon blue lights to bring the party atmosphere on board.

Expect flying vehicles and gunshots during the thrilling car chase but, fear not, it all remains family friendly forever, of course.

Do you need to be a fan of the films to enjoy the ride?

The narrative remains easy to follow throughout, and the car chase itself is pretty entertaining, so it's not 100% crucial you're fully familiar with the films. A bonus for those Fast And Furious fans, however, is the chance to test their trivia via the Universal Orlando app, which features a games themed to the ride. Leader boards are live throughout the attraction to keep track of the top scorers.

How to get there

Virgin Holidays (; 0344 557 3859) offers seven nights in Universal Orlando Resort from £1,055 pp, including Virgin Atlantic flights from London Gatwick direct to Orlando, accommodation at Universal's Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, car hire and access to all three Universal Parks. Price is based on a departure of September 8, 2018.