Transformers: The Ride
|Transformers: The Ride|
Ride entrance in Singapore
|Attraction type||3-D Special Effects Ride|
Industrial Light & Magic
|Length||2,000 ft (610 m)|
|Riders per vehicle||12|
|Riders per row||4|
|Height restriction||40 in (102 cm)|
Universal Express available
Single rider line available
Transformers: The Ride is 3D dark ride located at Universal Studios Singapore and Universal Studios Hollywood. A third installation is currently under construction at Universal Studios Florida. The ride, based on the Transformers film franchise, was designed by Universal Creative, Oceaneering International, and Industrial Light & Magic. Each installation is reported to have cost US$100 million.
The dark ride consists of vehicle-mounted motion platforms which follow a 2,000-foot-long (610 m) track. Throughout the ride, screens up to 60 feet (18 m) high project 3D images of various Transformers characters as the Autobots attempt to protect the AllSpark from the Decepticons. Transformers: The Ride has been praised by media around the world with some stating it is one of the best theme park attractions in the world.
Early planning and design for the ride began in 2007. In October 2008, Universal Parks & Resorts announced the addition of Transformers: The Ride to their Singapore and Hollywood theme parks. At the time of the announcement, speculation that ride which would feature an upgraded version of the ride system used on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride at Islands of Adventure appeared in the press. After two attractions at Universal Studios Singapore and Hollywood were opened, Universal Orlando Resort announced on November 1, 2012, that Transformers: The Ride would opening at Universal Studios Florida in mid-2013. The announcement was made just prior to that night's showing of Universal's Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories.
Universal Studios Singapore
Construction started in Singapore in late 2009 in a back-of-house location. Construction continued throughout the soft opening period of the park, which began on March 18, 2010. By October 2010, some of the track for the ride had been installed. It was discovered that the ride will be spread across two levels. On October 27, 2011, Universal Studios Singapore announced that Transformers: The Ride would open in Singapore on December 3, 2011. On November 19, 2011, Universal Studios Singapore opened the ride to the public for "technical rehearsals"; the ride operated intermittently until the official opening date. The ride debuted at an exclusive evening event on December 2, 2011, attended by director Michael Bay and Universal Parks & Resorts CEO Tom Williams. The ride officially opened to the public on December 3, 2011.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Installation of Transformers: The Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood, required the removal of two attractions. On April 11, 2010, Backdraft and Special Effects Stages closed. The Special Effects Stages were relocated to the Upper Lot and renamed the Special Effects Stage on June 26, 2010. Work began almost immediately on the construction of the ride. After a period of construction spanning close to two years, the ride and its gift store, the Transformers Supply Vault, soft opened to the public in late April 2012.Transformers: The Ride officially opened to the public on May 24, 2012.
Universal Studios Florida
A few days after Transformers: The Ride opened at Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Parks & Resorts decided to open the attraction at Universal Studios Florida. Construction began almost immediately on the site of Soundstage 44, which was once home of Hercules and Xena: Wizards of the Screen and Murder, She Wrote Mystery Theatre. These were demolished in June 2012. In July 2012, construction of a new building began with the installation of a tower crane and the start of excavation. On May 2, 2013, the park announced that the ride would open on June 20, 2013.
Ride system and experience
The ride system used on Transformers: The Ride is similar to that used by The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida, and later at Universal Studios Japan. The ride vehicles, developed by Oceaneering International, are mounted to a track-roaming platform that provides the forward motion to move the vehicle through each show scene. The yaw motor and a stewart platform with six degrees of freedom attaching it to the platform allows the vehicle to move 360 degrees at different angles along the 2,000-foot-long (610 m) track. Each vehicle is fitted with a motor that controls the right side door through which guests board and leave. These vehicles are modeled after an Autobot named Evac and each seat accommodates twelve riders. Each row of four riders is restrained by a single lapbar.
Queue and pre-show
Riders enter the queue from the Sci-Fi City themed area of Universal Studios Singapore, the Lower Lot at Universal Studios Hollywood or the Production Central at Universal Studios Florida. Riders must be at least 122 centimetres (48 in) to ride alone or 102 centimetres (40 in) if they are with an adult. The first portion of the queue is a large collection of switchbacks. The latter part of the queue is themed as a Nonbiological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty (NEST) base. A series of signs and video screens are located within this area. The video screens play briefings from General Morshower, Bumblebee, Ironhide, and Ratchet, who explain that the Decepticons have come to Earth in search of the AllSpark. Optimus Prime concludes the briefing by introducing all of the Autobots that are featured in the ride. Towards the end of the queue, guests are given a pair of 3D glasses. Once guests arrive at the loading station, they are grouped and loaded into a ride vehicle modeled on an Autobot named Evac.
The ride begins with Evac moving out of the loading station and making a turn. The vehicle approaches the first of thirteen 3D high-definition video screens which depicts Ravage grabbing a canister containing the AllSpark. Evac spins 180° to face the second screen on which Bumblebee is fighting Sideways for the AllSpark which ends up in Evac's possession. Evac reverses into one of two elevator shafts which ascend to the second level of the attraction. During the ascent Optimus Prime battles Megatron and Grindor chases Evac who is furiously heading in reverse until Grindor's arm is broken off by a train. Megatron grabs Evac and the two struggle and Megatron breaks a water pipe, which sprays riders with water. Evac enters a dead end pathway before reversing and turning to face another 3D screen, which shows Megatron firing a missile at Evac. Hot air and fog generate the illusion of an explosion. Evac then heads through the hole in a building which was caused by the explosion. Inside lies Devastator, who is trying to suck everything out of the building. Ratchet and Ironhide covers fire while Evac reverses and escapes the suction. Here the Autobot Sideswipe helps in the battle against the Decepticon Bonecrusher. Devastator returns to the scene alongside Starscream. Evac escapes from Devastator a second time, but Starscream grabs Evac and throws it across several city blocks before landing on a construction site and smashing into some drums which release clouds of fog resulting in Evac asking if the riders are okay. Optimus Prime and Megatron continue their battle in the construction site as Evac reverses away in an attempt to protect the AllSpark. Starscream appears for a second time but is chased away by two NEST helicopters. Evac then returns to a second set of two elevators. During the descent to the ground floor, Evac forces the AllSpark into Megatron's chest causing both to freefall to the ground when Megatron grabs Evac. Bumblebee saves Evac from destruction before Optimus Prime congratulates Evac and the riders on their mission.
Exit and Transformers Supply Vault
Once the ride is complete, riders dismount the Evac vehicle at the unload station. Upon exiting the ride, guests are greeted with the Transformers Supply Vault gift store, which sells items from the Transformers film franchise, Transformers: The Ride merchandise and a variety of vintage Transformers toys.
Transformers: The Ride was primarily developed by Universal Creative, the research and development division of Universal Parks & Resorts. Universal Creative's Thierry Coup was the Creative Director of the ride, having worked on previous Universal attractions including Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, and Shrek 4-D. Michael Bay, director of the Transformers film franchise, collaborated with Universal Creative on the ride, despite an earlier blog post that suggested otherwise: "I don't support it yet – I'm not involved and [I'm] not sure the story of the ride works, and I know Optimus is not going to just show up to be directed by some new people that have never worked with him," he wrote. Bay's involvement in the attraction's development was revealed by Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative, in an NBC documentary on Islands of Adventure's Wizarding World of Harry Potter.Industrial Light & Magic developed the special effects for the ride, having previously worked on Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Each installation is reported to have cost US$100 million.
Initial promotion for the ride began with a blog by Resorts World Sentosa dedicated to the ride. Universal Studios Hollywood launched a website called Prepare For Battle. The ride's launch at Universal Studios Hollywood saw a 30-second commercial for Transformers: The Ride premiere during Super Bowl in 2012 and an 80-foot (24 m) high silhouette of Megatron attached to the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Universal Studios Hollywood also released a 30-minute documentary about the construction of the ride. Similar to Universal Studios Hollywood's marketing campaign, Universal Studios Florida utilised the same Prepare For Battle website as well as attaching another silhouette of Megatron to the Fairwinds Credit Union Tower in Downtown Orlando.
Transformers: The Ride has been praised by media around the world. Brady MacDonald of the Los Angeles Times said he had high expectations of the ride, and was very pleased with it, and wrote that it "ranks among the top theme park attractions in the world". Martin Miller, also of the Los Angeles Times, was equally pleased with the ride, and called it "one of Universal's most sophisticated, satisfying rides". Miller acknowledged the long queues associated with the ride but commended Universal for the design and theming of the queue to combat this. John Chan of CNET stated Transformers: The Ride "isn't as heart-stopping as a roller coaster [but] the (relatively) long 4-minute ride is every bit as entertaining". Bob Strauss from the Daily Breeze interviewed some park guests who had experienced the attraction. Their comments included "the 3-D's crazy; I think it's a step above where the other rides are so far" and "it's a new way of making these rides".News.com.au stated "the happy smiles on the faces of visitors as the exit ... say it all".
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Transformers: The Ride|
- Transformers: Prepare for Battle – dedicated website for Transformers: The Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood and Florida
- Transformers: The Ride at the official Universal Studios Singapore website
- Official Blog for Transformers: The Ride at Universal Studios Singapore
- POV Video of the ride at Universal Studios Hollywood on YouTube