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Universal Studios Hollywood transforms its Lower Lot for the grand opening of "Transformers: The Ride-3D"

Universal Studios Hollywood transforms its Lower Lot for the grand opening of "Transformers: The Ride-3D"

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Universal Studios Hollywood transformed its Lower Lot yesterday, rolling out yards & yards of red carpet right next to the Starway escalator, so that celebrities like Holly Robinson Peete ...


Holly Robinson Peete and her son Roman & Robinson.
Photo by Shelly Valladolid

... as industry legend Frank Welker (who has voiced characters in both the "Transformers" animated series as well as the feature films) ...


Frank Welker at yesterday's event at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Photo by Shelly Valladolid

... could then run elbows with Autobots like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee at the grand opening of USH's newest cutting-edge  attraction, "Transformers:  The Ride-3D."


Optimus Prime and Bumblebee towers over the press corps as they walk the red carpet.
Photo by Shelly Valladolid

Clearly the word had gotten out about this amazing new attraction, because Hollywood high rollers like Judd Apatow actually got up early and then made a special trip over to this Universal theme park. Just so Judd could be among the first folks to experience "Transformers:  The Ride-3D."


Judd Apatow and Bumblebee. Copyright NBC Universal. All rights reserved

As you might expect (given that this new theme park attraction is based on three of the highest grossing films in Hollywood history), Universal Studios Hollywood put together a real cinematic spectacular to help launch its newest theme park attraction.  With General Glenn Morshower himself presiding over the opening ceremony.


Glenn Morshower at the podium. Photo by Shelly Valladolid

Of course, the Decepticons tried to disrupt yesterday's proceedings ...


The Lower Lot exploded as the Decepticons attempted to get their
claws on the AllSpark. Photo by Shelly Valladolid

But in the end, the good guys prevailed. Mind you, there was a slight pause before "Transformers:  The Ride-3D" could officially open to the public. So that  Universal's publicity team could then get the obligatory photos to commemorate the grand opening of this brand-new theme park attraction.


(L to R) Chairman of Universal Parks & Resorts Tom Williams,
Universal Parks & Resorts), President of Universal Creative
Mark Woodbury,  President of Universal Studios Hollywood
Larry Kurzweil, Optimus Prime, Steven Spielberg,
President and COO of Universal Studios Ron
Meyer and NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke.
Copyright NBCUniversal. All rights reserved

But those in attendance didn't mind the slight delay, given that it then gave them the opportunity to check out cool pieces of Transformers lore like the AllSpark ...


This is what Megatron disrupted the opening
ceremonies for. To try and get his metallic
claws on the AllSpark. Photo by
Shelly Valladolid

... as well as get their picture taken with one of the Autobots.


This Universal Studios Hollywood visitor really got up in Optimus Prime's grill.
Photo by Shelly Valladolid

But once all of those commemorative photographs were taken, it was then time to proceed into the "Transformers: The Ride-3D" show building and experience this brand-new attraction.


Remember when this show building used to house USH's "Backdraft" attraction?
Photo by Shelly Valladolid

"So what was 'Transformers: The Ride-3D' like?," you ask. Just like Universal's Island of Adventure's "The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man" attraction, "Transformers" skillfully blends 3D film footage, in-your-face physical effects as well as over-sized set pieces to give you a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience. As you zoom along "Transformers: The Ride-3D" 's 2000-foot track in your 12-passenger EVAC vehicle ... Thanks to this attraction's photo realistic 3D media (which is projected on 14 different screen found throughout this massive show building. FYI this eye-popping footage is produced by those visuall effects wizards at Industrial Light & Magic), you're really going to feel like you're right in the middle of a "Transformers" film.


Bumblebee tries to protect us from the Decepticons.
Copyright NBCUniversal. All rights reserved

With the 3D movie portion of this attraction moving in perfect concert with the movement of the EVAC ride vehicle, coupled with the physical effects and spectacular three dimensional set pieces scattered throughout this 60,000 square-foot show building, "Transformers: The Ride-3D" is one game changer of an attraction. This is epic storytelling in a theme park setting. Trust me, folks. Even though -- as you zoom through this ride at a simulated 60 MPH -- you seemingly come within inches of being crushed by Megatron himself ...


"Oh, what big claws you have, Grandmothers."
 Copyright NBCUniversal. All rights reserved

... as soon as you get back to the unload area, you're going to jump out of your EVAC vehicle and then immediately run back around to the entrance of "Transformers: The Ride-3D" so that you can queue up again. This ride is seriously that good.

I mean, I can't even begin to describe how good the 3D is on "Transformers: The Ride-3D."  This hi-def digital footage is so crystal clear, it almost feels like members from the "Transformers"cast -- take, for example, "Law and Order" vet Anthony Anderson -- are standing right next to you.


Anthony Anderson gives reporters his impressions of "Transformers:
The Ride-3D." Photo by Shelly Valladolid

Wait a minute. Anthony Anderson is standing right next to me.


Anthony Anderson and Shelly Valladolid. Photo by Terry Smith

Anyway ... Based on what Anthony told me yesterday, he absolutely loved "Transformers: The Ride-3D" and he can't wait to ride this new USH attraction. And neither can I.

I know, I know. All you Disney fans out there -- for the past few months, anyway -- have primarily been focused on another theme park attraction that is being built around autos ...


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

... which I hear is pretty special as well. But "Transformers: The Ride-3D" is genuinely not to be missed. So why not grab an Autobot this Memorial Day Weekend ...


I wonder how much it would cost to park one of these things in the USH parking lot?
Photo by Shelly Valladolid

... and motor on over to Universal Studios Hollywood to check this cutting-edge attraction out?

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  • Is the merchandise all Bayformers, or is there anything with the classic characters on it?

  • There are classic tees and toys in the shop - thank goodness!

  • Impressive stuff - it's gonna be interesting to see if this and the appearance of a certain boy wizard will give Disney a run for its money in the SoCal market in the couple of years.

    Just curious - Any indication whether or not the Optimus Prime and Bumblebee walkarounds will be out for photo ops, or were they just brought out for this event?  Getting a photo with Optimus as truck is kinda cool, but  photos with Autobots sounds even better.

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