Universal Studios Florida

Production Central

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D photos

(June 20, 2013 - present)

 

History and photos of the TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D thrill ride and Supply Vault store in the Production Central section of Universal Studios Florida.

Universal Studios Florida - Production Central - 1991

The history for the location of the TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D attraction dates back to the early days of Universal Studios Florida.  When the theme park opened on June 7, 1990, that space in Production Central was occupied by 'Murder, She Wrote' Mystery Theatre.  The attraction based on the television show "Murder, She Wrote" used a combination of live performers and audience participation, and we saw how Hollywood assembled a television show from start to finish.

Universal Studios Florida - 1998 guidemap

'Murder, She Wrote' Mystery Theatre closed in 1996, and by 1997 it was replaced by Hercules and Xena: Wizards of the Screen.  The Hercules and Xena show also used a combination of live actors and audience participation, and the theme of the previous attraction was kept alive with new theming.  This attraction closed on September 2, 1999.

After Hercules and Xena: Wizards of the Screen a few small walk-through attractions occupied the building.  These weren't too fancy, and most of them featured movie props from whatever major film recently opened in the theaters, such as The Mummy and The Grinch.  After that, the building was mostly unoccupied until it was demolished in the spring of 2012 to make way for TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D.

Universal Studios Florida - Production Central - TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D - 2013

On June 20, 2013, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D opened in Universal Studios Florida.

Taken straight out of the hit Transformers movies, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D is a 3D simulator ride that uses a moving base to move riders between scenes inside of the attraction.  The ride uses a combination of high-definition computer animation taking place on large screens, physical sets, and a variety of special effects to take riders on a very convincing and action-filled trip into the world of the Autobots and Decepticons and their never-ending battle for control of the AllSpark.  This is the same exact ride system as The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man next door in Universal's Islands of Adventure.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D begins by approaching the military-themed NEST building.  A life-size structure of Optimus Prime stands over the entrance, thrilling music from Transformers' soundtrack is playing, and workers wearing BDUs (battle dress uniforms) direct us where to go next.  There's the regular line, the single riders line, and the Universal Express Plus line.  Guests riding in ECVs will have to transfer to a courtesy wheelchair to gain access to the ride.  The handicap riders must then be able to transfer into the ride vehicle itself.

WARNING --- SPOILERS!

LINE QUEUE

The adventure begins as we enter the Nonbiological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty (NEST) military base.  Emergency lights are flashing and a series of video monitors explain that the Decepticons have arrived on Earth in search of the AllSpark.  As we remember from the film, the AllSpark is an incredibly powerful device that can bring mechanical and electrical devices to life, making them Cybertronian and lifelike.  The Autobots want to use the AllSpark to rebuild their home world of Cybertron, while the Decepticons want to use the AllSpark to create an army of robot soldiers to conquer the universe.

In the line queue we learn about the various Autobots that we'll be seeing on our mission.  We also learn that our ride vehicle, Evac, is an Autobot machine.  After grabbing a pair of 3D glasses we're assigned a row in our vehicle.  Each vehicle seats four riders in three rows, making it a total of twelve people per vehicle.

RIDE

The battle begins immediately as we hear gunfire, round a corner, and see Ravage capture the AllSpark.  Ravage jumps above our vehicle and runs across a catwalk.  We spin around and see Bumblebee arrive and fight Ravage.  Sideways also arrives and joins the fight.  As soon as Bumblebee wrestles the AllSpark away from Ravage, Sideways kicks Bumblebee and the AllSpark flies towards us.  Evac reaches out and snatches it in mid-air.  The two of the keep fighting and we flee the structure.

Outside, Optimus Prime arrives and has us Autobots "roll out" and join him.  He's ambushed and attacked by Megatron.  Megatron sends his Decepticons after us and suddenly we're being pursued by Grindor.  He chases us and we're heading in reverse, trying desperately to get away from the Decepticon.  We roll through a subway tunnel, and just as Grindor reaches for us, an oncoming train chops off his arm.  All seems well until Megatron bursts into the warehouse and grabs Evac.  We struggle to get away until Megatron breaks a water pipe, distracting him and allowing us to escape.

Evac scrambles and tries to find a way out of the building.  One way is closed and we have to take a different direction.  Megatron is back but Optimus Prime has also returned.  The two giant robots fight and we escape.  Megatron notices us trying to leave, so he fires a missile at Evac.  Events switch to slow motion as the missile tracks our vehicle and detonates right above us.  The explosion creates a large hole in the side of the building, and we escape into a neighboring building.

Evac notices something is wrong.  Suddenly everything is being sucked out of the building by Devastator, a MASSIVE Decepticon.  We're also sucked out of the building, but we manage to stay out of Devastator's grasp.  He tries to suck us again, but Ratchet and Ironhide provide covering fire, allowing us to once again escape from the Decepticons.

The Autobot Sideswipe arrives and snags us with a tow cable.  He quickly pulls us through the city as Bonecrusher tries to attack us.  Once again things go to slow motion as Evac leaps into the air and fires his gun at Bonecrusher, defeating the enemy robot.  Just as all seems well, Devastator has returned.  This time we won't be able to flee. Evac activates his battle shields and we go for a wild ride through the metallic innards and meat-grinding gears of Devastator.

The journey through Devastator damages Sideswipe, and as we're still attached to the tow cable we go flying through the city, crashing through an office building, and finally landing on top of a construction site.  The tow cable is released and we're on our own.  Evac wanders to the roof and we again get caught up in the battle between Optimus Prime and Megatron.  Megatron tries to grab and yank away the AllSpark, but Optimus Prime stops him.  Megatron then focuses his attack on Optimus Prime.  Optimus fights him and tells us to keep protecting the AllSpark.  We reach another section of the roof and encounter Starscream, but he's quickly chased away by two NEST helicopters.

Evac is then ambushed again by Megatron.  Just as the evil robot is about to grab us, Optimus Prime attacks Megatron, and the two of them continue with their never-ending battle.  By now Evac is fed up with Megatron.  The Autobot runs forward, and as Optimus Prime pins Megatron, Evac jams the AllSpark into Megatron's chest.  This causes us and Megatron to both fall to the ground.  Just as we're about to crash, Bumblebee catches and saves us.  He gives us a thumbs up and we back away from the scene.

One last video screen has Optimus Prime thanking us for helping us protect the AllSpark.  Apparently our bravery has helped save the planet.  As we roll away from Optimus Prime, lodged into the roof above us is a heavily damaged and most likely destroyed Megatron.  After that is the unloading station where we disembark from our ride vehicle and return the 3D glasses.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D exits through the Supply Shop store.

END OF SPOILERS!

As a whole, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D is a fantastic ride that takes us right into the world of Transformers.

Universal Studios Florida - Production Central - TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D - 2014

There are two issues with an otherwise awesome ride.  First of all, this ride is a little bit too similar to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man next door in Universal's Islands of Adventure, a ride that opened back in 1999.  Transformers is the same style of ride but with a different layout and theming.  From the ride vehicles to similar "falling" sensations near the end of the ride, there are many similarities between the two big-budget rides.  However, one big difference in the layout is that apparently TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D is actually a two-story ride whereas The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man all takes place on one level.  When you feel like you're rising and falling in Transformers, you're actually ascending and descending on elevators.

The elevator rises during the "roll out" scene with Optimus Prime and the Autobots.  The elevator descends when we "fall" to the ground with Megatron.  Look up during both of those scenes and you'll see how it works.

The second fault with TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D is that there's a lot of action right in front of you.  It's hard at times to actually see the robots and tell who is who out there, especially if you're not familiar with the recent films.  On The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, it's easy to see the different characters and even their facial expressions thanks to the recent conversion to high-definition video.  As far as Transformers, it's not as easy with the big machines battling each other right in front of you.  The robots tend to blend together and it's difficult at times to watch and enjoy the action.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D - advertisement in the 2013 Universal Orlando vacation planning guide

But those are just two minor issues with a fantastic addition to Universal Studios Florida.  The theming is great, the soundtrack rocks, and the ride itself is a thrilling experience from start to finish.  Lovers of thrill rides AND the Transformers films must experience this ride a few times.  You'll want several rides to take in all of the details.  Remember that TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D is a thrill ride, and those people with the normal anti-thrill ride health ailments should NOT ride this attraction.

Outside the attraction is a meet-and-greet area for us to get our pictures taken with the three star robots:  Bumblebee, Megatron and Optimus Prime.  Megatron continually asks for our surrender while Optimus Prime thanks us for our bravery and assistance.  Bumblebee just moves around and "speaks" through his motions.  It's quite a site just seeing the robots moving around and interacting with the people.

HEIGHT REQUIREMENT You must be at least 40" tall to ride TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D.

 

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Universal Studios Florida - Production Central - TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D:

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D - warning sign:

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D - line queue:

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D - single riders line queue:

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D - loading station:

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D - Supply Vault store (exit for the ride):

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D - meet-and-greet charactersBumblebee, Megatron and Optimus Prime: