I wanted to share a few photos (as well a quick, cute story)
from last week's grand opening media event for "Transformers: The Ride -
Photo by Nancy Stadler
The Universal Orlando Resort invited myself, Nancy and Angela to the
pre-opening party. Where -- no matter what direction you looked in -- you saw
Transformers. There was an Optimus Prime & Megatron in ice sculpture form
... an Autobots symbol carved into the side of a watermelon
... even the tables that were laden with this event's elaborate dessert
buffet were held up by Transformer-shaped stanchions.
The next morning, hundreds of Transformers fans made their
way to Universal Studios Florida ...
... so that they could then whip their iPhones &
Droids out and take pictures as Optimus Prime ...
Photo by Nancy Stadler
... and Bumblebee walked down the red carpet.
Mind you, there were some really-for-real celebrities who
also walked down the red carpet Thursday morning. These included voice acting
legends Frank Welker (voice of Megatron) and Peter Cullen (voice of Optimus
(L to R) Frank Welker and
Peter Cullen smile for the cameraphone. Photo by Nancy Stadler
Now, who's that with Optimus Prime? No, it can't be ...
Academy Award-winner Steven Spielberg (who's not only the executive producer of the "Transformers" film series
but has also served as a creative consultant for the Universal Orlando theme parks for
over two decades now) actually flew down to Florida to take part in the grand opening of
USF's "Transformers: The Ride - 3D" ? How very cool.
I'm specifically mentioning Mr. Spielberg because -- over
the course of Thursday morning's grand opening ceremony -- I got to observe Steven
doing something surprisingly goofy / normal.
Photo by Jim Hill
To explain: Given Spielberg's longtime association with Universal
Studios, theme park officials -- of course -- gave him a primo viewing spot for Thursday morning's proceedings.
To be specific: Right across from that temporary stage which had been set-up in front of the
main entrance of "Transformers: The Ride - 3D."
Now you'd think -- given that Steven has directed dozens of
movies & TV shows over the past 30 years -- that he'd be at least a little
bit jaded at this point. That it would take more than just full-sized replicas of Bumblebee
... and Optimus Prime rolling through to impress Mr.
That daytime fireworks and a squadron of jets passing
noisily overhead wouldn't be all that impressive to the guy who helmed "Saving
Private Ryan" & "War of the Worlds
But that's where you'd be wrong. As soon as the
"Transformers: The Ride - 3D" grand opening event got underway,
Steven whipped out his cameraphone. And then -- just like everyone else in the
crowd last Thursday morning -- Spielberg kept trying to capture as much of the
action as possible by quickly moving his cameraphone for one scene to the
I don't know why. But it just made me smile to see Steven
Spielberg, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, acting just like the rest
of us goobs who had turned out to watch the grand opening of "Transformers:
The Ride - 3D" at Universal Studios Florida.
And just in case you're wondering: Yes, I did use my own cameraphone to take the above pictures of Steven Spielberg using his cameraphone.
That's awesome! Reminds me of the "celebrities: they are just like us" section of the weekly tabloids magazines where they show celebrities grocery shopping and stuff.
Where in the park is this ride located? Did it replace a former attraction?