The Transformers Ride in 3D at Universal Studios Orlando had its grand opening yesterday, an event made all the more spectacular with explosions, a flyover, and appearances from the Transformers themselves. It was a showcase worthy of a Michael Bay movie--quite appropriate, as the ride takes after Bay's modern Transformers movie iterations rather than the classic animated TV series you might've grown up with.
The grand opening festivities featured a red carpet studded with VIPs (the voice actors who portrayed them all the way back in our Saturday morning cartoon days, and even Steven Spielberg, executive producer on the Transformers movie franchise). These folks, along with Universal bigwigs, got some decent applause, but the real crowd pleasers were Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, who walked down the red carpet and posed for pictures like the beloved stars they are.
The ride is Universal's newest attraction, and its grand opening marked a year and two days from its first breaking ground at the Orlando park. After successful versions of the ride at Universal's theme parks in Singapore and Hollywood, the powers-that-be fast-tracked it to the Orlando location.
Transformers the Ride: 3D puts you in the middle of a battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons, which is classic Transformers canon. What is unique to the ride is the addition of Evac, an Autobot character that takes the form of the cars you sit in. Evac takes you though a fast-paced, twisting, highly mobile journey from screen to screen as you observe the epic battle through your 3D "protective goggles."
The 3D is very well done and not too gimmicky, and the ride even incorporates some sensory elements to really bring the realism home (think warmth near depicted fire, actual water sprinkles during a water pipe break). The best part is getting a chance to really appreciate the scale of these characters, who are supposed to be over 40 feet tall. This is made possible through the use of a 60-foot screen at one point, what creatives call a "media silo."
As part of the attraction, you also might get the chance for photo ops with your favorite (or not-so-favorite) Transformers: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Megatron. Optimus Prime gives humble waves, Bumblebee has his twerk down, and Megatron is seriously creepy.
The Transformers Ride: 3D is now open at Universal Studios Orlando, with none of that pesky Shia Lebeouf or Megan Fox getting in the way of your action.
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