Transformers The Ride 3D
My 6-year old and I rode Transformers the Ride 3D at Universal Studios Hollywood yesterday and loved it. They were having "Technical Rehearsals," which is their term what Disney calls "Soft Openings." I like "Technical Rehearsals" because it better prepared me for the brief breakdowns which temporarily stopped the line.
1. I'm prone to motion sickness and usually feel a bit woozy after getting off the Simpsons ride, but I did not feel the slightest bit motion sick after getting off this Transformers ride; I felt exhilarated and inspired to congratulate every cast member in an army uniform, or at least tell then, "good attraction." Maybe I was too caught up in my role of saving our human race by keeping that important power thingy from Megatron to think of my own human physical limitations--such was my desire to win the respect of Optimus Prime. If I had ridden twice in a row I might have been in bad shape.
2. What impressed me most was how well integrated the film elements were with the physical objects that framed them. In contrast, the undersea fish on the Nemo Submarine voyage seem out-of-place in their underwater, big-screen TVs with 2D images, while Transformers once convinced me (for maybe half a second) that we were actually moving very quickly down a street. Of course, the speed of tech innovation is accelerating, so I don't expect the attraction to age as well as the Haunted Mansion.
3. Sorry, but I'm like the South Park character who asked, "If there is a god, why does Michael Bay get to keep making movies?" Yet, just as the ambitious, belly-flop movie "Water World" begat a long-running stunt show that my kid and I still loved seeing today, so to have Bay's "Transformers" (surprisingly) spawned something I really like. Bay is a graduate of the great Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and this attraction might be a small tribute to that amazing, important, unfortunately named trade school that produces some wealthy artists. I didn't think I'd ever write this, and I might regret it after his next soul-less movie, but congrats to Michael Bay for his role in this amazing artistic success. I got the feel from this ride that many artists and artistic engineers were "on their best game" at the same time--and that a lot of pride went into this--not just money and marketing meetings.
4. The employees on this ride are great (Part 1): While we were waiting during a breakdown, a cast member/soldier came down the line, late 1960s, very early 70s Pan-Am like, giving everyone free, small bags of pretzles. Yes, you read that correctly; I'm not making that up. At that moment, Universal Hollywood became the 7th theme park I love (joining Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, WDW's Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Cedar Point, and Knott's.) Disneyland and WDW's Magic Kingdom are my first loves, but I couldn't imagine Disney ever giving me pretzels while I'm waiting for a ride to (hopefully) begin--or passing out free hot chocolate when it rains as Universal Hollywood does--that's Universal loving and it should be universally loved.
5. The employees are great (Part 2): To their credit, the employees in soldier uniforms seemed out to set loading and unloading records by respectfully yelling at guests while reminding us of our most immediate tasks. Those soldiers had a mission to accomplish and their urgency fit this. Later in the day, I walked past a soldier from this attraction on the upper lot and said, "Good attraction." He responded perfectly in character, "Thank you, sir!" It reminded me of how (in the 80s) I used to stride, skulk, panther-lope or strut across Main Street in my Jungle Cruise costume on my way to lunch or after my shift was over, pretending to be a bad a** while looking for opportunities to be polite and helpful
04-23-2012 09:33 AM
At home in the hills
Ok you just made the fact that I can't take advantage of my AP invite to preview it, all the worse. Thankyoueversomuch. B and I have been soooooo waiting for this. Interestingly enough he hasn't gotten an invite in his email. If Whistler has he hasn't mentioned it. I think the dates were the 4th and 5th of May.
Glad to hear it is a great attraction.
In all fairness to The Simpsons ride, wasn't it a retrofit for an older ride (Back to the Future, IIRC). They had to create the movie to match the ride which I imagine is vastly harder than synching the ride to the movie.
As a huge TF fan, I sooo want to ride the Transformers ride. Maybe it'll get to Orlando in the next couple of years (or I'll finally make it to California).
At home in the hills
I only got to ride Back to the Future a couple of times but I did feel like the motion is the same, so I think you are correct, Jeff.