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
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
Of course, the Decepticons tried to disrupt yesterday's
The Lower Lot exploded as the
Decepticons attempted to get their claws on the AllSpark. Photo by Shelly
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
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
This Universal Studios
Hollywood visitor really got up in Optimus Prime's grill. Photo by Shelly
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
"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
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
Wait a minute. Anthony Anderson is standing right next to
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 ...
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?
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.