Transformers invade Universal Studios Hollywood

Transformers invade Universal Studios Hollywood

Transformers: The Ride-3D, the best Universal attraction

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At Universal’s spectacular launch of the exciting new Transformers: The Ride-3D, Steven Spielberg was there as a fan to enjoy the ride. “It was amazing,” he said, and also praised director Michael Bay’s creative input for the high-tech interactive experience.

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Bay has been at the helm of the film franchise and sent a video message for the VIP crowd that gathered for the premiere of the ride. The 3D experience certainly has Bay’s signature brand of explosive excitement every second of the Transformers encounter. Heat, wind, and water felt by the riders make it extraordinarily realistic.

The newest attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood is based on the 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 director Michael Bay was the creative consultant for the thrill ride.

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“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 along side the enormous Transformers as they battle.

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.

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Dot Marie Jones, Glee’s Coach Beiste, said, “It’s electrifying. It’s so overwhelming because everything is so fast pace, 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.”

Another alumnus from Glee, Josh Sussman was also on the first VIP group of guests on the ride. Josh emerged from the experience reporting, “It was really cool. 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, the ten-foot-plus red, blue and silver Transformer Optimus Prime, and the yellow Bumblebee Autobot 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.

All summer long, the Autobots will be hanging around the Universal theme park along with a lot of happy thrill seekers.


Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications. Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.

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