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Vote of the week: Antarctica vs. Transformers, the Battle for Orlando 2013

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Published: February 8, 2013 at 2:37 PM

There's an epic theme park battle shaping up in Orlando this summer.

And Disney isn't involved.

You'll find the top two attractions debuting this year in Orlando theme parks at... SeaWorld and Universal Studios Florida. Sometime this spring, SeaWorld will unveil its most ambitious (and expensive) ride attraction yet, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. Then, later in the summer, Universal will counter with Transformers: The Ride 3D, based on the popular Michael Bay films.

Antarctica

Transformers

So, which one has you more excited to visit the Orlando theme parks this year? That's our vote of the week.

Before we get to that, let's take a look at the current park promotions for each new attraction. SeaWorld's created a website for Antarctica, where you can download an app and check out the schedule for a national promotional tour, previewing the ride in several cities, with upcoming stops in Philadelphia, Washington DC, Jacksonville, Atlanta and Miami.

In addition, SeaWorld's running a YouTube series, called "Behind the Freeze," detailing the making of the ride. Here's the latest:

To promote Transformers, Universal kept up PrepareforBattle.com, the website it first launched in 2011 to promote the opening of the ride at Universal Studios Singapore. Universal's updated the site with a slew of information about Transformers, its characters and the making of the ride, including this announcement video:

Universal doesn't need a promotional tour to introduce the ride around the country, as it's been open in Hollywood since last May. (And in Singapore since December 2011. We were there for both openings!) But waaaay more people go to theme parks in Orlando than in Southern California and many fans from the eastern half of the country are looking forward to the chance to get on Transformers themselves later this year.

So let's vote. Which one of these rides are you most anticipating?


Tell us why, in the comments. And thank you, as always, for reading Theme Park Insider!

Readers' Opinions

From Phil B. on February 8, 2013 at 2:48 PM
What, no option for the billion dollar gate crasher MyMagic+
From James Rao on February 8, 2013 at 2:51 PM
Something innovative and original or something exciting but copied... tough choice.
From Duncan Henny on February 8, 2013 at 2:52 PM
I won't be going back to florida till sept 2014 but i can't wait to see what sea world has done with Antarctica.
From Melanie Howe on February 8, 2013 at 3:17 PM
Transformers will be fun, I'm sure, but the Antarctica ride sounds really special. However, I'm just as glad I won't be going to SeaWorld any time in the near future so the novelty (and crowds!) can wear off first :-).
From Tony Duda on February 8, 2013 at 3:36 PM
I plan on going on both this year but Transformers is a thrill ride and Antarctica is a family ride. I'm looking forward to Transformers much more. I love Spiderman and can't wait to see this version of that ride system. I don't care if it is a copy from other parks.
From David Brown on February 8, 2013 at 3:51 PM
So...

Transformers - basically Spiderman but with louder explosions. A virtual attraction which requires you to wear 3D glasses whilst being spun around a lot. Like being sat in a seat and slapped about the face with a wet fish for 5 minutes.

Or Antarctica - an innovative, immersive experience with variable thrill levels set within a real three dimensional environment populated with living breathing creatures.

I'm sure Transformers will be a blast but Antarctica is going to be different every time you ride it.

And it's got penguins....

No contest.

From Dominick D on February 8, 2013 at 3:54 PM
Neither opening changes my opinion, so neither.
From 98.117.50.239 on February 8, 2013 at 3:58 PM
I'm probably most excited and the most apprehensive for Antarctica. The ride system looks awesome though I'm concerned how much projection and special effects will be used since the production Turtle Trek and Europe left a lot to be desired.

99% of Orlando tourists haven't been on Hollywood's Transformers and the both penguins and giant robots should be a big draw.

From Richard Faraci on February 8, 2013 at 5:01 PM
As somebody who will be visiting Universal a lot anyway, I voted Antarctica. More excited for Transformers, but I'm more interested to ride Antarctica.
From 173.76.215.77 on February 8, 2013 at 5:26 PM
Since it feels like Antartica here, I voted for Transformers.
From 206.29.182.143 on February 8, 2013 at 8:04 PM
I voted Antarctica because it seems to be the freshest and more innovative attraction, and real life immersion is always better than virtual reality. Transformers, although a fantastic experience is essentially a better Spiderman and the third copy of this ride so far. And ILM (ironically now owned by Disney) really outdid themselves with the visual effects. Its definitely one of the the best motion simulator attraction ever built imo, closely following or tied with star tours. But since star tours has variable experiences, and interactive elements its definitely the more rerideable. Nonetheless you guys are in for a real treat with transformers. I hope Antarctica lives up to the hype as sea world has yet to prove itself to be a contender in the Disney/universal playing field. If it could play with the big boys that'd be yet another huge win for us, the consumers!
From 66.87.88.79 on February 9, 2013 at 2:24 AM
Antarctica.. It's something new where as transformers is a fun ride, you already know what your gonna see
From robert morris on February 10, 2013 at 2:10 PM
Actually really looking forward Moe's opening in Universal Studios part of Springfield
From 216.53.141.3 on February 11, 2013 at 3:51 AM
Spiderman is significantly superior to Transformers. Irrespective of if you have experienced the attraction in USH (which I am fortunate to have seen last September) if you've ridden the new enhanced Spiderman, you will be disappointed. Antarctica, at least, seems far less derivative and the live penguins / ride system differentiate it from other Orlando attractions.
From Mark Kausch on February 11, 2013 at 7:02 PM
Um, let's see. Original or clone. Original or clone. Well...

Neither of these will get me out to Florida this year, but I'd rather see Antarctica. And the reason I won't be out is the same as most every other year - lack of funds.

Hopefully, I'll be able to see Antarctica in San Diego not too far off. And since Transformers is in LA...

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