Transformers soft-opens in Orlando; Simpsons next, this weekend
Published: May 31, 2013 at 9:09 AM
The Orlando version is similar to the Hollywood version. If my eyes did not deceive me, this version also uses an elevator system similar to the one California's version uses. I believe that the lift occurs in the 3rd room where you first encounter Optimus Prime. Top notch graphics, incredibly realistic. Everyone that I observed coming off the ride seemed impressed. I'm just impressed that they built such a great ride in about a one year's time.
In terms of differences, there was a slightly different line queue layout and an Optimus Prime figure on top of the line queue entrance. I did not see any in-ride differences. That being said, it has been a year since I went on the California version so I might not of noticed the in-ride differences.
My one critique, which I think has been mentioned before by others, is that the ride building sticks out like a sore thumb. However it bears saying that one has to prefer the amazing E-ticket ride that doesn't quite fit in with the surrounding theme, over an empty Xena & Hercules building.
Like I said in my earlier email, all the screens seemed to work perfectly and the ride ran flawlessly while I was in line and on the ride. Transformers was fast paced and fun, just like the California version. A welcome and much needed addition to Universal Studios Florida. In my opinion, it is an equal to the Forbidden Journey next door. The perfect appetizer before theme park goers get a taste of the new Harry Potter Expansion next summer.
The Orlando Transformers building
To confirm, the Orlando version of the ride uses the same ride system and layout, down to the same blueprints, as the first two Transformers rides, in Singapore and Hollywood. Since Universal had built this identical ride twice before in the past few years, that certainly helped speed the construction cycle in Orlando, where Universal went from project green light to completed ride in just about one year. But let's not discount that accomplishment -- that development schedule for an attraction of this magnitude is just insane in today's business. Universal threw big coin at making this happen -- fast -- and now its visitors will get to enjoy the result this summer.
If you're looking for more detail about the ride, Universal Creative ride designer Thierry Coup first talked abut Transformers in-depth with us in Singapore in December 2011. (Warning about that link if you haven't ridden: Spoilers abound!) In addition, we reviewed the Transformers ride when it first opened in Singapore, too.
Transformers Orlando opens officially on June 20, and we're planning to have someone there to cover the festivities in the park that morning. In the meantime, though, Transformers isn't the only soft-opening happening this weekend at Universal Studios Florida.
Universal team members have been telling park visitors that the Simpsons-themed restaurants in the park's new Springfield land will open this weekend, as well. So if you are in the park this weekend and get your hands on a Krusty Burger, Duff Beer, or other Simpsons-themed food or drink, please submit a comment below, or drop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) describing it. Your fellow readers thank you for the report.