Universal launches “next generation” Transformers ride

Steven Spielberg shakes hands with Optimus Prime
Universal Creative SVP Thierry Coup with Chick Russell
‘Transformers: The Ride-3D’ opens

Steven Spielberg was among those present at the launch of Universal Studio Hollywood’s (USH) latest attraction, “Transformers: The Ride-3D”, which was officially unveiled at a red carpet event at the Los Angeles theme park last week.

The ride, which opened to the public on May 25, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend, is the latest offering from USH, fusing 3D-HD media and flight simulation technology with original action sequences and a new storyline.

The Transformers have come along way since their inception as a line of toys in Japan some forty years ago. From comic books to animation, video games to films, and now to what USH describes as “the next generation of immersive themed rides”, it seems the franchise knows no limits.

And that is what the new ride sets out to achieve: an experience that goes beyond the boundaries of conventional rides, according to Universal Creative show/ride producer Chick Russell.

Speaking to e-Travel Blackboard at the premiere, Mr Russell said the new ride set out to really make you “feel as if you’ve actually entered into the Transformers world”.

“It’s not enough for us just to see Megatron attacking you: we want you to feel what it’s like to have Megatron attack you,” he explained.

“Our ride vehicle is a flight simulator on a track, so when Megatron reaches out in 3D with his giant claw it looks like he’s really coming out to grab you.

“And when he shakes the vehicle, the vehicle actually shakes, so once you’re on this attraction, you don’t feel like you’re looking at media anymore.”

Calling the ride a “completely new experience”, Mr Russell said there would be plenty to keep the ride goers coming back for more – perhaps even after the movie franchise had gone the way of the Dinobots (former Transformers characters).

“If you make the ride very physical and very visceral and very thrilling people will come back and ride it over and over again,” he remarked.

“Even on an attraction like this, that hasn’t even opened yet, we’ve had people go back multiple times to see things and experience things they couldn’t appreciate the first time.”

Attending the launch was USH president, Larry Kurzweil, who said the ride was a “perfect match” for the park.

“Transformers represents a perfect match for our theme park: an exhilarating blockbuster, non-stop action and astonishing special effects.

“It has all the elements to become one of the world’s most dynamic theme park thrill rides and a centerpiece attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood.”

And did the ride live up to expectations? By all accounts, yes.

“You will be a little bit scared: it’s a very intense ride,” Mr Russell told e-Travel Blackboard.

“When you have 38-foot tall Decepticons chasing you and attacking you it really is a frightening experience; but a lot of fun at the same time.”

View our photo gallery from the ride launch here

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H
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