After intense speculation, Universal made it official tonight. The construction site next to the Shrek attraction at Universal Studios Florida, where crews have been working at a feverish pace, will, as heavily rumored, turn into Transformers: The Ride-3D. The attraction is set to open in summer 2013 (which is an insanely quick, um, transformation, considering construction began only a few months ago).
The ride will be a clone of the popular Transformer attractions that opened earlier this year at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Singapore. Like the groundbreaking Spider-Man ride at sister park, Islands of Adventure, Transformers will incorporate a roving motion base simulation technology. It will also make use of the latest 3D and high-definition projection systems, which Universal retrofitted at Spider-Man, to spectacular effect, when it updated the attraction this past March.
As an interesting aside, I wrote earlier today about Disney's purchase of Lucasfillm. One of that company's divisions, Industrial Light & Magic, produced the computer-generated transforming robots for the Transformers films and has been helping to create the Transformers rides. The burgeoning Mouse now also owns Marvel, but Universal Orlando has exclusive rights among theme parks in eastern United States to use Spider-Man and other Marvel characters. Maybe Universal can deploy Optimus Prime on a search-and-destroy mission against its crosstown rival.