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Did Steven Spielberg say Transformers is coming to Universal Orlando?

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Published: September 19, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Steven Spielberg spoke with the Orlando Sentinel's film critic over the weekend and insinuated that Transformers could be coming to Universal Orlando soon:

“I always like to hear that people are still coming to the attractions we already have in the park. I know everybody’s going to Harry Potter right now. But we think Transformers is going to pretty amazing. We’ve been working on that for about three years now. It should be ready soon. I don’t have an announcement, yet, but it should be coming there soon,” Spielberg said.

Transformers
Transformers under construction at Universal Studios Hollywood

At first read, I wondered if Spielberg could be conflating his Universal Studios theme parks. Universal's been developing Transformers rides at its Hollywood and Singapore theme parks for the past three years or so. There's been no word yet on an Orlando version of the simulator ride, nor has Universal Orlando teased any indication that word might be forthcoming.

But if Spielberg means what he said, and Transformers is coming to Orlando, where would it be?

It might be tempting to see this as a replacement for Spider-Man, given the similarities in their ride systems. But Spider-Man's getting an expensive new facelift next year. And the building profile for Transformers is very different than Spider-Man's. Transformers is a vertical attraction that needs a tall building, though its footprint is relatively smaller for such a major attraction.

Thematically, Transformers would not fit in any of the existing Islands of Adventure. So I'd be inclined to guess it would go into Universal Studios HollywoodFlorida. My best guess? It'd go on the site of the Fear Factor stage.

What's yours?

Readers' Opinions

From Michael Owen on September 19, 2011 at 10:44 AM
I'm not entirely sure on if it would fit into the Superhero Island area of Islands of Adventure, but for me that's the best long-term place for it.

Whilst Universal do retain the rights to the use of Marvel in Orlando's theme parks, I'm not sure the brand has a long-term future at Universal as the contractual constraints on adding new attractions and upgrading current attractions will be incredibly tight now Disney owns the brand.

That's why, in my opinion, Transformers would be a great attraction to begin the slow phasing out of Marvel from Islands of Adventure.

From 63.255.223.58 on September 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM
Uni obviously isn't phasing out Marvel, as evident from the Spider-man redo. People need to realize that.

This WON'T be an IoA addition for a myriad of reasons. First, there's no where it'll thematically fit with IoA. Second, IoA doesn't need the attendance boosting draw that Transformers will be. The Studios park needs a big draw to even out the crowds between the two parks.

As for an area where it could go, I'm thinking it'll take up the plot between Simpsons and MIB that has always been a prime area for expansion, and it will have an entire mini-land devoted to it.

From 166.137.8.233 on September 19, 2011 at 11:05 AM
It will probably go behind The Simpsons Ride where Jurassic Park was originally slated to be. It doesn't make sense for Islands of Adventure because A) there's nowhere for it to fit thematically and B) Universal Studios Florida needs a major new attraction more than they do.
From Zack McDonald on September 19, 2011 at 11:34 AM
I bet Twister will get the boot. IOA will get more Potter before they get anything else.
From 71.53.151.12 on September 19, 2011 at 11:41 AM
I have heard that universal is willing to negotiate with disney for the remaining rights to marvel and the transform (no pun intended) the whole island into a transformers playground. Letting Disney go ahead with the fifth Disney villians and Marvel charters park. Bring on the coasters!!!
From 99.194.126.137 on September 19, 2011 at 11:59 AM
My best guess is the site where they tore down the old hard rock restaurant. If it's big enough that is.
From Eric Malone on September 19, 2011 at 12:14 PM
I have to agree with Zack. IOA is getting more Potter before anything else new, and if we're getting Transformers in Orlando, I'd imagine Twister would get the boot, 'cause it's just such a boring experience now.
From Robert Niles on September 19, 2011 at 12:59 PM
Looking at the footprints for both the new Transformers building at USH and Twister at USF, it appears that the Twister building is a bit smaller than the Transformers building, though the height seems about right. Maybe Universal could fit it there. But I still think that the Fear Factor site gives them more space, and helps draw people deep into the park.
From Anon Mouse on September 19, 2011 at 1:19 PM
Universal Studios Orlando seems like the logical place for it. Why not take advantage of customers who would like to see both Transformers and Harry Potter? Transformers can fit anywhere. They do have the unused backlot area.
From Flavio de Souza on September 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM
Universal Studios Orlando is about movies.
IOA is themed to written stories (books or comics).
Transformers is a movie. There is no book about it. So it won't fit in IOA.
Besides that, with Harry Potter, IOA doesn't need a new blockbuster in this moment, but USO does.
From duncan henny on September 19, 2011 at 2:35 PM
yeah if it comes it looks like studios. don't think islands will get more potter it's fine the way it is and jk rowling probably wouldn't allow it.
From Daniel Etcheberry on September 19, 2011 at 2:44 PM
Spielberg's comment is ambiguous, but if it were to come to Orlando, Fear Factor would have the space needed.
From Dominick D on September 19, 2011 at 3:39 PM
Fear Factor is closed until December. Maybe they could build it there.
From N B on September 19, 2011 at 3:52 PM
I was thinking fear Factor could go away too.... perfect place for it. Universal could use a ride like this instead of IOA. This way, both parks have a Spider-Man type immersion ride.
From Domenik Jost on September 21, 2011 at 4:17 AM
Now Robert, you wrote:"So I'd be inclined to guess it would go into Universal Studios Hollywood".....but Transformers is already going into Universal Studios Hollywood (I think you meant to write USF or Hollywood section of the park) but with it possibly coming to Universal Orlando Resort, yeah where do you put it?

As for parks I would definitely go with Universal Studios Florida for that. IOA is getting enough traffic thanks to the WWOHP and USF is not drawing capacity even when IOA is slammed during the summer months. So a new high tech attraction like Transformers: The Ride would certainly help draw attendance to that park again. I know USF is also getting Despicable Me but that is not an ambiguous enough of an attraction in my opinion that would draw crowds just to see it for time to come.

As much as Twister sounds like a good ride to replace I can't see it location wise being possible. With the addition of RRR and the track of the coaster going through part of the twister building in the New York corner of the park. Now the track doesn't go over the main auditorium/presentation stage of the building. I don't know the if the size of the footprint of that area is large enough without interfering with RRR, that Universal could build up to the height and footprint size they would need for the Transformers ride. Due to the restraint of the RRR coaster I don't see that option as the easiest to pull of.

I do really like the idea of them putting the ride deeper into the park. I don't see Universal taking out the Fear Factor theater for a ride but see them rather putting a new show in there. Plus they use that theater for Bill and Ted's when HHN is in USF and they also every year use it as a venue for that cheer competition they have at USF along with other events. In addition to those, NBC is rebooting the Fear Factor franchise and is actively taping the new episodes (TMZ already reported on an incident that happend while taping). So the show is back up to date (in the sense that it is an active TV Show again) even with keeping the current theme. Either way, having a show there helps with the crowds on busy days, and personally I'd like to see Universal put on a new quality show once again.

There are two locations I can think of that aren't being used currently, by any attractions anyways. First being the Soundstage behind the Monster Cafe and Donkey's Photo Finish (Shrek meet and greet), and the Train from BTTF. The only thing I know that is being used as storage area. Looking at Google Maps and comparing it to Hollywood, it would seem that if the Train was moved and the building rebuilt it looks like it could possibly be big enough.
The second location that could work is the area between the MIB building and the Simpsons Building. Currently that is where 2 sprung tent houses for Halloween Horror Nights are located. I'm sure that area could be repurposed to build a Transformers attraction and still keep room to move those Sprung Tents back further on the lot of land in that area.

They could tear down the T2 building, and redo the parking/bus loop of the hard rock hotel and put it there, but rumors are still floating around of an Avatar based 3D attraction coming to that building (and the Na'vi are going to Disney World).

From Lucas Lee on September 19, 2011 at 5:17 PM
NO! They can't put it in the Fear Factor Stage. We need the BIll & Ted show for Halloween Horror Nights!
From Robert Niles on September 19, 2011 at 9:34 PM
Fixed the Hollywood/Florida brain-fade finger-fail.
From TH Creative on September 20, 2011 at 9:24 AM
Note to Robert: I mentioned this rumor to my wife and she immediately suggested 'Fear Factor.'

Great minds, etc. etc.

From Joshua Counsil on September 20, 2011 at 10:50 AM
Let's put Transformers on hold for a bit... Why is Spidey getting a layover? Dudley and Jurassic Park are in much worse condition. Spiderman, conversely, still holds up.
From Mark Fairleigh on September 20, 2011 at 11:51 AM
Supposedly, Universal has greenlighted the demolition of the old Hard Rock. Robert has a point about that being a poor location with the kids area being next door, but I dont see the kids area as a major part of the park, so I can see Universal reworking that whole area around Transformers. I personally wouldn't mind seeing it replace Twister and giving New York the one-two punch of it and the Mummy. But why would Universal demolish HR after all these years, if true? Expansion of the kids area?
From David Sutter on September 21, 2011 at 3:44 AM
Lets try the end of the NYC set. Thinking the old "Ghost Busters" SHow area. Pretty much a dead end anyway. And it places it right between HRRR and Mummy.
From 72.91.33.12 on September 21, 2011 at 1:49 PM
Dudley got a huge makeover and paint job recently its fine

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