Transformers: The Ride-3D, the Best Attraction Ever at Universal Studios Hollywood


From l, Transformers fans Dot Marie Jones, Margie Barron, and Josh Sussman with Optimus Prime.

How can you describe something that is so unique and exciting that it defies description? That’s the new attraction at Universal Studios, Transformers: The Ride-3D. It is based on the super-cool Hasbro toys that have cars and trucks transforming into robots — very popular in the early-‘80s. Then along came the exciting trio of films it spawned. Big screen action directorMichaelBayhas been at the helm of the franchise, and he was the creative consultant for the new thrill ride.

At Universal’s spectacular launch event last week, Steven Spielberg was there as a fan to enjoy the ride. “It was amazing,” he said, and also praised Bay’s creative input for the high-tech interactive experience. Bay sent a video message for the VIP crowd that gathered for the premiere of the ride, which certainly has Bay’s signature brand of explosive excitement every second of the Transformers encounter. Heat, wind, and water felt by the riders make the 3D environment extraordinarily realistic. Yes, it really is a big “Wow!”

“Are you ready to kick the tires and light the fires?” said Glen Morshower, who played the General in charge in the Transformers: Dark of the Moon blockbuster. He opened the ride which has the premise of the good Autobots defending earth from the evil Decepticons. The ride uses a mobile car with flight simulation technology which takes everyone around city streets, on top of buildings, and puts you alongside the enormous Transformers as they battle.

Larry Kurzweil at Transformers: The Ride 3D launch.

Larry Kurzweil, president of Universal Studios Hollywood, said, “I’ve been on this attraction hundreds of times so far, and I’ll be on it thousands more. This is the most amazing ride experience of a lifetime. It’s like literally going into the battle on a ride and dodging every which way as you are part of the action. There’s no greater sensory overload in a theme park anywhere on this planet.”

Anthony Anderson (Law & Order, K-Ville) who was in the original 2007 Transformers movie totally agreed with the sensory overload statement. “It’s non-stop, it’s unbelievable 3D, and it’s like being in the movie.” He should know.

Dot Marie Jones, Glee’s great Coach Beiste, said, “It’s electrifying. It’s so overwhelming because everything is so fast paced, and literally right in your face. And there was a cool part when things are coming right at your face, and right before it hits you, it explodes, and you feel the heat of the impact. So I love that kind of attention to detail. There’s a lot of fine tuning to produce that kind of experience.”

Dot’s been a fan of the action movies, and she was quick to mention her favorite Transformers character. “I love Yellow Jacket because it’s a Camaro. My first car was an old ‘70s Camaro. So I love that the movies made that car come alive.”

Another alumnus from Glee, Josh Sussman was also on the first VIP group of guests on the ride. Josh seemed out of breath when he emerged from the experience. “It was really cool,” he said. “At one point, it’s so realistic when the car goes into the huge warehouse, I started to look around and wonder how they built all this. Then I thought, oh, wait, it’s special effects and you don’t even realize you have the 3D glasses on.”

At the end of the ride, a really cool ten-foot-plus Transformer Optimus Prime gave Dot, Josh, and me a big hug. The red, blue, and silver Autobot and the yellow Bumblebee action-bot star mingled with the guests on hand including Peter Cullen (voice of Optimus Prime), Frank Welker (voice of Megatron), Oscar Nunez (The Office), Holly Robinson Peete (Mike & Molly), filmmaker Judd Apatow, NBC’s Steve Burke, and Universal’s president and COO Ron Meyer, among the VIPs.

The Autobots will be hanging around the theme park every day posing for pictures with visitors all summer long.

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