My Take on the Ride:
Transformers: The Ride-3D is a dark ride (ride-through attraction) with 3D, high-definition projected images, 4D sensory and special effects, and, physical sets. It uses a similar roving motion base vehicle and a digital projection system that Universal pioneered for its breakthrough The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
. By moving passengers in sync with projected 3D imagery, while at the same time moving them through physical sets, the ride effectively blurs the wall between reality and the virtual.
See the Ride:
The blockbuster Transformers film and toy franchise demands an over-the-top attraction -- the kind that Universal, home of Jurassic Park-The Ride and Revenge of the Mummy
, is more than capable of delivering. Taking its cue from Spider-Man, which gets my nod as one of the best attractions
anywhere, Transformers is the next evolution. Unlike Spider-Man, which has a comic book look and feel, and stars characters who are human-sized, the transforming robots attractions goes for a more photorealistic look and has humungous characters. For example, central hero Optimus Prime is 30 feet tall. It takes enormous sets and screens to bring him to life.
And bringing him and other robot heroes and villains to life is what the ride is all about. In a clever move, each 12-passenger ride vehicle is itself a transformed robot dubbed Evac. Guests are enlisted by the N.E.S.T. agency to board Evac and hunt down the all-important AllSpark. Of course, all heck breaks out -- in stunning high-def 3D. You can read more about the attraction in my interview with Universal Creative's Thierry Coup.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Transformers story, it has something to do with alien good-guy and bad-guy robots, known as Autobots and Decepticons, respectively. They battle it out by blasting one another with laser cannons embedded in their enormous arms and by transforming into trucks, planes, and other weird alter egos. It may not make much sense, but Transformers provides plenty of inspiration for Universal's hallmark of loud, in-your-face, explosive action.