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Transformers: The Ride 3D opens officially at Universal Studios Florida

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Published: June 20, 2013 at 8:19 AM

After several weeks of soft openings and what might have been the fastest construction schedule in modern theme park history, Transformers: The Ride 3D opened officially at Universal Studios Florida this morning.

Transformers: The Ride 3D at Universal Studios Florida


Photo and video courtesy Universal Orlando

Based on early reviews from Theme Park Insider readers, expect this third version of Universal's Transformers ride to be every bit as popular as its older siblings in Singapore and Hollywood, which together won last year's Theme Park Insider Award as the world's Best New Theme Park Attraction. Here's one reader's review:

Spider-Man on crack. Bigger, faster, more intense. Nonstop vehicle motion and an incredible sense of simulated speed. Larger-than-life screens with vivid and clear projections. Eye-popping 3D. An fantastic experience and a new standard for themed attractions.

If you haven't been following Theme Park Insider for long, we've been covering Transformers from the start, and we were the only U.S.-based news outlet to cover the ride's initial debut in Singapore, in December 2011. Take a look at some of our in-depth coverage of Transformers: The Ride.

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Readers' Opinions

From Dominick D on June 20, 2013 at 8:29 AM
I rode it in softs a couple of weeks ago, and it's worth the wait.
From 108.204.152.206 on June 20, 2013 at 8:39 AM
I rode it twice during their technical rehearsals, and it was awesome. There is a ton of action, great visuals, and even a few surprises that I wasn't expecting. It is similar to Spiderman, which I am a huge fan of, and even has a lot of the same sounds (e.g. the tires squealing), but it is definitely a lot better. My top four favorite rides, in order, are now: Harry Potter Forbidden Journey, The Mummy, Transformers 3D, Spiderman 3D
From Brandon Mendoza on June 20, 2013 at 9:41 AM
I'm not even a fan of the movies, but this ride is tons of fun. Personally, I think the ending is a let down, but that's just my opinion as it's not a huge climax. But everything leading up to it is phenomenal! Without spoiling anything, my favorite part deals with a missile explosion.
From 75.69.20.247 on June 20, 2013 at 10:10 AM
Does anyone think this opens the possibility of Disney and Universal coming to an agreement over Marvel? I'm not saying its going to happen, but now that Uni has a ride similar to and better than the highly praised Spider-Man it seems the door is slightly cracked open... How many suitcases of cash can fit through that door? :)
From 71.195.74.100 on June 20, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Universal's Studios' CEO, in his comments this morning, said that Disney fan bois need to forget it, there's no way Universal is ever going to give Marvel Island up. ....Orlando Attractions Mag has video of the opening ceremony air and land battle. It's awesome. Fighter jets, helicopters and land based military vehicles. Just a great opening ceremony. And Roker's interview with the autobots on NBC Today was priceless.
From Eric G on June 20, 2013 at 5:55 PM
Coming to an agreement? You have to first start a discussion to come to an agreement and I can pretty much vouch that no serious discussion has taken place!

Why does this talk about Disney pulling the Marvel characters from Universal continue?

Why is it so difficult to comprehend that Universal retains the right to use these characters in their Florida theme parks forever?

Disney doesn't need Marvel to succeed in Florida. Disney is already successful in that market and they've got plenty of creative options to keep their theme parks fresh for decades to come. Furthermore, if I were Disney I would be thrilled to have my competitor promoting my own creative properties!

It's really that simple - end of story.

I'm glad the Universal CEO basically just told the Disney fan boys to shut up!

From N B on June 20, 2013 at 4:16 PM
34 days from UOR.... Can't wait to ride this. We may skip our "Straight to MIB" family battle as soon as we toss our luggage in the room to hit Transformers first...

Spidey is still my favorite ride of all time, but that may change.

From Robert Niles on June 20, 2013 at 5:12 PM
I talked about the whole Disney/Universal/Marvel thing last August. At this point, Disney simply isn't offering Universal anywhere near enough for Universal to consider giving up the Orlando-area theme park rights to Marvel. So it ain't happening.
From grant crawford on June 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM
Looking forward to riding this in Singapore come January.

I personally think the marvel land in IOA will come to represent the growing competition between Disney and Universal. I'm sure Disney would love to have its franchise back in order to translate some of their big screen domination into theme park sales, and Universal would love to stick it to them by holding onto the characters. The big sticking point is whether Universal's ownership of the characters use on the east coast will make Disney hold back from developing the characters elsewhere in the world. If this is the case, I wonder how much Disney would be prepared to pay to getthe characters back. Despite what Universal may be saying here, money talks and if Disney reached Universal's asking price they would make a deal. As the previous poster said though, Disney has the dominant market share and would be unlikely to spend the money on something it doesn't need.

Currently I believe the franchise is underutilised in IOA, with only one of the rides being truly themed, but I'm certain Disney will do everything it can to prevent Universal from developing marvel land any more.

From Josh Pearson on June 20, 2013 at 5:31 PM
Aw man, my review had to be quoted. Had a slight typo lol.

Anyway, Transformers beat Spidey for my favorite theme park attraction (FJ is third). Truly a masterpiece. I've been on countless simulators and none have been as convincing to me as Transformers. To make me feel like I'm moving at 60MPH despite being mostly, or in the first elevator scene's case, completely stationary is an incredible accomplishment.

All TF is really missing is a wow-inducing practical effect like Spidey's fireball but I can't really fault it for that. Still 10/10 from me. Go ride it!

From Eric G on June 20, 2013 at 5:56 PM
Who says that Disney has even offered anything? There is nothing credible to suggest that an offer was even on the table.

I read that article a year ago and didn't comment, but it was purely your own speculation. That's fine, but I think you misinterpreted the Dreamworks distribution deal with the Walt Disney Studios. It's a distribution deal between the studios, not an employment contract with co-founder Spielberg and chief executive officer Stacey Snider. Disney doesn't have to release them should they seek work elsewhere since that wouldn't change Dreamworks plans to distribute their films through the Walt Disney Studios. There is no bargaining chip for Marvel there.

Seriously, it's time to give up this nonsense. There is no evidence that Disney is seeking the rights to Marvel in Florida and Universal has made it very clear that they're not giving them up.

From Phil B. on June 20, 2013 at 9:30 PM
There's no evidence that Disney isn't seeking the rights to use the Marvel property in their Florida parks either. It appears on the surface that there is no ongoing aggressive talks taking place, but I would imagine it is safe to assume that Disney attorneys have gone over the Universal/Marvel contract with a fine tooth comb looking for any loophole to recover rights to use Marvel characters in Florida. Especially as the purchase was in negotiations and then yet again once it was finalized. Once you can't do it in the courts, you go through the pocket book. I'm sure Disney threw out a number which was probably nowhere near worth it for Universal to part with their exclusivity of the I.P. shortly after the Marvel deal was finalized. It wouldn't make any sense business wise not to make that offer. As it is right now, the Disney/Marvel/Universal issue is probably a back burner priority at the Mouse House, but don't kid yourself thinking Mickey isn't looking to have Tony Stark over for dinner as soon as he can.
From James Rao on June 21, 2013 at 4:59 AM
I like Marvel right where it is in Florida. Nothing like getting a taste of Disney during my Universal visits! ;)

As for Transformers, I am definitely looking forward to riding this seemingly amazing, new attraction. So much so that I crossed Universal Hollywood off my list of parks to visit this fall when I head to SoCal. Can't see spending the $80/head now that I know the only attraction I really care to experience (besides the Studio Tour, I guess) is waiting for me when I visit Orlando in 2014/2015.

NB, looking forward to your trip report!!! Have a great vacation, bro!

From Mark Fairleigh on June 21, 2013 at 5:56 AM
One heck of an opening ceremony! Good going, Universal!

As far as the whole Disney/Uni/Marvel thing...would not hurt my feelings a bit if Universal made a deal with WB and brought in DC Comics instead. With Man of Steel successfully kicking off the DC-movie-verse franchise and all.

From Tim Odom on June 21, 2013 at 9:21 AM
On the subject of Disney + Marvel (I know the subject at hand is the Transformers ride, which I cannot wait to ride):

I can't see Disney buying the rights back to Marvel from Universal anytime soon. Mainly cause Universal would want a king's ransom for them. I know, I know, Disney has the money, but do they want to give that much money to a competitor like Universal? Especially when, with Marvel rides at a Universal park, they get more brand saturation than if they got the rights back.

The main evidence of this is, seemingly, in the plans that Disney has to effectively rebuild a wide swath of DHS. I think we can all agree that DHS is the most natural home for Marvel. With the possibility that everything from Indiana Jones to the Backlot ride being replaced (with the exception of Star Tours), then they really can't put Marvel there. There is still room in the park for expansion (namely by Tower of Terror), but they won't touch that til after the Star Wars/Pixar stuff is done. They won't close 75% of the park for renovations.

Maybe if, at some point, the Marvel screen universe starts failing, they will try to get the rights back. Or maybe after DHS and DAK are finished with their major construction efforts. But soon? Nope. Can't see it happening.

From 85.150.173.168 on June 21, 2013 at 4:56 PM
I'm sure Disney is going to try to get Marvel for it's Orlando parks. Look at trough how much effort they went to get Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Ending up putting him in 2 bad selling games, some t-shirts and some silly hats.
Sure they want it back and Universal is going to give it to them if they can get the money to revamp the whole of Marvel land onto, wait for it, Lord of the Rings/the Hobbit land (paid by Disney). Re-using the Spidy vehicles and digital projectors for a new ride depicting those movies. Hobbiton gets build, Dr Doom will be Sauron's tower and will be enclosed with special effects. The Hulk will become the Great Eagles flight and the thea cups will be a Hobbit ride. Or maybe they level it and rebuild the whole thing because the 500 million Disney is giving them.
From Steve Griswold on June 22, 2013 at 5:59 AM
It's been an amazing few years for theme park fans in Florida. Transformers at Universal Studios along with everything else they have done and have in the works really is fantastic for all us Theme Park Fans.
From 96.255.242.192 on June 23, 2013 at 5:59 AM
If Disney is pursuing the themepark rights, they should stop. Especially now that they have SW. And given the glacial pace of development at Disney (certainly compared to Uni), it would take a decade for anything to develop.

Disney needs to concentrate on the SW and develop that. And quickly! I just hope the rumors of Cars and SW at WDW means the demise of Avatarland.

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