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It's official. "Transformers - The Ride 3D" to open at Universal Studios Florida for the Summer of 2013

It's official. "Transformers - The Ride 3D" to open at Universal Studios Florida for the Summer of 2013

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It was a quiet, grey November day yesterday at Universal Studios Florida ...


Photo by Jim Hill

Which was kind of impressive unto itself. Given that the night before had been October 31st, Halloween, the very last night of operation for this year's edition of Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights.


Photo by Jim Hill

Sure, as you wandered through the theme park yesterday, you'd occasionally come across a piece of set dressing that hadn't yet been pulled down & carefully packed away for next year.


Photo by Jim Hill

But for the most part, all traces of this seasonal hard ticket had been removed from USF.

Well, not all traces. Yesterday afternoon, as you were walking around this theme park, dodging those truckloads of steel ...


Photo by Jim Hill

... which were whizzing in & out of that mysterious / massive construction site right at the edge of Universal Studios Lagoon ...


Photo by Jim Hill

... you'd hear a seemingly innocuous theme park announcement (EX: "Please join us at 7:30 tonight for a presentation of Universal's Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Magic ...") ...


Photo by Jim Hill

... suddenly go all glitchy & sinister-sounding. As if someone from very far away was trying to cut into Universal Studios Florida's park-wide audio system to deliver a " ... very urgent transmission. Please stand by."

And sure enough, as thousands of USF visitors gathered around Universal Studios Lagoon at twilight, waiting for the start of Universal's Cinematic Spectacular, they got a bit more show than they had originally planned on. As the fountains & lasers that power this nighttime show suddenly came alive ...


Photo by Jim Hill

... in Optimus Prime red & blue. As the head of the Autobots commandeered USF's in-park park's audio system to warn all guests of a great peril.


Copyright NBCUniversal / Hasbros. All rights reserved

The Decepticons (under the command of their cruel leader, Megatron) ...


Copyright NBCUniversal / Hasbros. All rights reserved

... were already on their way to Orlando. And their message was to enslave humanity. (Which -- you have to admit -- would be a pretty depressing message to get right in the middle of your Central Florida vacation.)

However, all hope was not lost. If humankind would stand together with the Autobots, perhaps there was still a chance that the Decepticon threat could be beaten back. And as Optimus Prime's transmission ended, a single title card came up on all three water screens at the heart of this theme park. And that card said ...


Copyright NBCUniversal / Hasbros. All rights reserved

As far as announcements of new theme park attractions go, the event that the Universal Orlando Resort held last night was pretty impressive. Right after that "transmission" on the Universal's Cinematic Spectacular water screens ended, members of the press & a handful of bloggers were herded away from Universal Studios Lagoon. Where they then met with Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative and Thierry Coup, the VP of Creative Development for the Universal theme parks ...


Mark Woodbury (L) and Thierry Coup (R) talk about USF's "Transformers
- The Ride 3D." Photo by Jim Hill

... who then revealed the particulars of this project. How Universal Creative had never before built a ride that was this massive & this complex in a single year's time ...


Photo by Jim Hill

... but due to the overwhelming popularity of "Transformers - The Ride 3D" (which opened at Universal Studios Singapore in December of last year and at Universal Studios Hollywood back in June), there was just no way that they could not bring this 3D dark ride in Orlando. Which is why -- six months ago -- they quickly threw a construction fence up around Soundstage 44 (which used to house USF's old "Murder She Wrote Mystery Theatre" show) and then pulled that structure down.


Photo by Jim Hill

... because (to quote Mr. Woodbury here) " ... an iconographic attraction like the 'Transformers' deserves a iconographic location right smack in the middle of our theme park."

And speaking of icons, this "Transformers - The Ride 3D" announcement ended with members of the press & those bloggers standing outside of USF in front of a darkened Universal globe (You know? That giant rotating version of the Universal logo which is just to the left of the studio theme park's entrance complex?). And who should come striding out of the darkness ...


Photo by Jim Hill

... but the walk-around character versions of Optimus Prime & Bumblebee.


Photo by Jim Hill

Given the huge number of tourists who hung on long after Universal Studios Florida had closed for the night, happily snapping shots of Mark Woodbury standing with the Autobots in front of the Universal globe as the head of Universal Creative was interviewed by a dozen or more television outlets ...


Photo by Jim Hill

... it looks like the Universal Orlando Resort may have another hit theme park attraction on its hands. But will "Transformers - The Ride 3D" be a real turnstile turner like Islands of Adventure's Wizarding World of Harry Potter was?

And speaking of the boy wizard, when are Universal Orlando officials going to talk about that other massive construction site right inside of Universal Studios Florida?


Photo by Jim Hill

You know? That ginormous project that's being built right where "Jaws - The Ride" used to be? All traces of Amity Village have been removed. And that corner of USF which used to be New England themed is now looking more Old England themed. As in those sort of broad, open walkways that one might find if they were wandering through the streets of London.


Photo by Jim Hill

But that's a topic of discussion for another press event. One that Universal Orlando officials will probably be holding in 2013. But -- hey -- you didn't hear that from me.

And speaking of 2013, how many of you are looking forward to next Summer, when you'll finally get the chance to experience "Transformers - The Ride 3D" as part of your next Central Florida vacation?


Copyright NCUNiversal / Hasbros. All rights reserved

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  • This is amazing! I've known for the past few months that Transformers was coming to the UOR, but the way it was revealed was pure Universal showmanship! This is fantastic news! Everyone I've talked to that has experienced Transformers The Ride - 3D in Hollywood has said it's an amazing ride that truly rivals and probably surpasses Spider-man in terms of ride technology, film clarity, special effects, and film/live set integration. This is indeed exciting news for thrillseekers. I can't wait! Can we assume Memorial Day?

  • Doesn't transformers have the same track system as spider-man?

  • Credit to Universal for an incredibly creative way to announce the ride, it just pains me to think how popular the Transformers movies are when they are just so poorly done and downright impossible to follow. Not dissing on Universal for the announcement, just disappointed by the fact that those movies are popular enough to warrant a ride. I wonder if I'll be able to hear Shia LaBeouf's awkward stammering in my ear for the entire ride, telling me when its time to "G-g-g-go go go go GO GO GO GO" or in times of peril he'll start shouting "N-n-n-n-nonononononononononoNONONONONONO"...

  • Well, it was expected. However, I really wish that they would up the story quality even a tiny bit to make it stand out, just a bit. That's just a dream though.

  • Nice image! Great idea for a family get-together. I am planning to go there!

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