New Transformers Mega-Attraction for Universal

October 20, 2008, 7:23 PM · From today's

"Transformers...will now be developed as a new theme park mega-attraction in a partnership between Universal Parks & Resorts, Hasbro, Inc. and DreamWorks Pictures.

The attraction will fuse 3D-HD media, mega special effects and stunning robotics with a ride system that will transform perceptions of theme park experiences. The rides are scheduled to make their debuts in early 2011, first at Universal Studios Singapore and then at Universal Studios Hollywood."

For the rest of the story, go to

Replies (25)

October 20, 2008 at 8:39 PM · Universal has now thrown down the gauntlet. Economy or not, they are pushing forward with big, ambitious attractions. Disney has to step up. DCA refurb or not, the attractions I am most excited about are coming to Universal. In my opinion, Disney has yet to fully recover from 9/11. Their last batch of great attractions came out in the 90's with Tower, Indiana Jones, RNR Coaster etc. Since then, Universal has been the parks with the most advancement. They came up with Spiderman which Imagineering themselves admit is the best ride on Earth. Universal is the first to use the Kuka arm in a ride. I adore Disney but it is time to answer back.

Also, I heard the burned down Kong attraction is getting replaced with a new Kong attraction based on the Peter Jackson remake. The tram would play the role of Naomi Watts and you would be inbetween huge animatronics of Kong and the T-Rex.

October 20, 2008 at 8:50 PM · Umm...Toy Story Mania? Expedition Everest? Soarin? Turtle Talk with Crush? If you are talking about the entire 21st century, you cannot say Disney/WDI has faltered...those are 4 of the most innovative and advanced attractions ever...Universal has only debuted Spider-Man and The Mummy in that time....I'll give you that Universal has better attractions coming up in the next couple of years, but over the last 8 years, Disney has clealy been supreme

Back to the subject, Im really excited about Transformers! I figured it was only a matter of time, and it sounds really cool...and it sounds big enough for a large attraction of its own, not just a small part of the Studio Tour...I just hope it eventually comes to Florida too...if not I'll have to go out to Cali in 2011! I already have to go there for the new DCA in 2012

October 20, 2008 at 9:21 PM · Yeah, Disney is still striking back, but its good that it seems that Universal is using its Spiderman Technology and expanding on it!
October 20, 2008 at 9:33 PM · Nice! This is great news for Universal Studios Hollywood. Transformers is a great movie and its sequel next June should also be action-packed and get huge numbers at the box office. I can't wait for more details on this mega-attraction. My biggest question about this project is where Universal plans to put this attraction at its Hollywood park. I don't see many areas where they can put a ride of this size and magnitude without tearing down something.
October 20, 2008 at 10:04 PM · This sounds really interesting and I'm excited to see more details about it. I was wondering when some type of attraction would be coming from this franchise and to hear it is from Universal, I could not be happier.

I didn't see it on the original link but this site has the same press release as well as another concept art for the ride.

October 20, 2008 at 10:10 PM · Midway Mania is just a variation on Buzz Lightyear. Everest is a relatively simple mine train coaster with little scenery. Soarin' is a placid rip=off of Back to the Future with worse sightlines. I'll give you Turtle Talk. That is a wonderful use of technology but it is still a slight attraction. WDI claims to have a Spiderman beater in them and I personally can't wait to hear about it.
October 20, 2008 at 10:42 PM · The proposed Monsters Inc mega-attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida will definitely be a contender...but honestly, dissing Everest as a simple mine train-type ride? What are you smokin? ....the entire Everest section of Animal Kingdom is a marvel of theming ingenuity...I was just there two weeks ago, and I couldn't stop gaping in awe at the immense mountain, the kick-butt thrill-ride within, and the unequalled theme and immersive atmosphere. Disney spared no expense, and it shows. Everest towers over the competition.

I'll agree with you that those attractions you listed are great accomplishments -- Spiderman, to this day, is in a league all its own. HOWEVER, you fell off the crazy wagon by comparing Soarin' to Back to the Future...they're only slightly similar....whereas Back to the Future gave riders an adrenaline burst and a headache, Soarin' pumps up the thrill and awe without the pain. It's a true masterpiece -- and yet so simple.

You may not be a Midway Mania fan, but the hours-long lines beg to differ. It's proven to be one of Disney's most popular attractions in a decade. The approval numbers are THROUGH THE ROOF. And if it's an improvement on Buzz Lightyear, then GOOD! MEN IN BLACK is just a derivative of Buzz too, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable (I'd argue that Buzz is "infinitely" better than MIB).

IOA's Harry Potter addition and the new Transformers addition are spectacular announcements (have you seen the size of the Harry Potter building??? HUGE!). I don't know why an accomplishment over at Universal automatically means a misfire at Disney. That's nuts! I LOVE IT when either of the parks moves the ball forward. I can't wait to see universal Orlando finally use all their land...(too bad they sold 10,000 acres to the county).

DCA is going to raise the bar again when it completes its Cars Land -- something John Lasseter is personally overseeing. CAN'T WAIT. All this is good news...

Too bad Time Warner -- the largest media and entertainment company in the world -- doesn't have the stomach for a theme park.

And what about Dubai's new DreamWorks theme park. Amazing! Can't wait to see what they "Dream" up.

October 20, 2008 at 10:59 PM · Midway Mania a variation on Buzz?? The technology needed to have spring action shooters launching virtual targets in a 4D atmosphere, and to have the differerent ammo change in each game and the projectile of the angle of the shooter matcghing up with what appears on the screen, triggering an ednless variety of new targets, effects, and different outcomes, is outstanding....I still can't figure that one out...and the amount of computers needed to operate the attraction requires FAR more technology than fact, the technolgy is probably equal to Spider-Man, just because its not as thrilling and unique doesnt take away from the inventiveness of WDI

Everest itself may not be the most advanced coaster in the world, but the Yeti, when working, is among the most complex Animatronics in the world....and Soarin transcends a simple motion simulator like BTTF

Again, Universal is very lucky to have awesome franchises at its disposal in Harry Potter and Transformers....but give these projects to Disney, and they would assuredly turn out better, at least more true to the franchise in theming....and rememeber, Universal Creative (Universal's Imagineers) has been downsized a lot since Spider-Man and even RotM were designed, which limits the creative potential of these projects

October 20, 2008 at 11:11 PM · Oh, and to answer your question Manny, they will have to dear down somethings...the ride will replace Backdraft and the Special Effects Stages...still dont know if that gives them enough room to make it as good as it should be...but I hope so

The concept art does look awesome!

October 20, 2008 at 11:17 PM · Everything about Everest(the great queue, the beautiful mountain, the area around it) is top-notch; except the ride itself. I had the same reaction coming off it I had coming off Kali. There is more to look at during a ride on Big Thunder or even the classic Matterhorn than on Everest. It is not a bad ride; I just expected more.

Soarin' is Back to the Future. I must have missed the thrill aspect of it. Hanging, while watching a film and peoples feet, is not my definition of thrilling. As someone else pointed out, its' popularity is based on its' accessiblity to all age groups.

Toy Story is a good ride but it is something we have seen. Interactive rides are incredibly popular. You could make a whole park of them and guests would love it. This does not make it a breakthrough.

Even the DCA refurb has nothing revolutionary. Radiator Springs Racers is a copy of Test Track. Even if rumors suggest it will be a straight-up coaster. The Little Mermaid will be a standard, though gorgeous, dark ride. The most innovative attraction in the refurb will probably be the World of Color show.

Once again, I am not attacking Disney by complementing Universal. My three favorite rides in the world are still Disney rides: Tower, Indy and Pirates. It just seems that WDI is still shaking of the cobwebs from the Pressler/ Eisner years. I have high hopes for the Lasseter years. The Monsters Inc. coaster sounds fantastic and can't wait to see some concept art. Bring it on Disney. I can't wait to see more.

October 21, 2008 at 3:52 AM · Competition is awesome. No one else is making narrative attractions like Disney and Universal. The competition between the two companies is so important to theme park fans, that it cannot be understated. I hope Universal continues to push Disney, and I hope all these new projects do not create too much financial burden in a somewhat depressed economy. Keep in mind, both Universal and Disney can always lean on their movie making profits which never seem to struggle in times of financial woe.

I am just sad to see this new attraction is not slated to come to Orlando. I guess it is too similar to Spider-Man to have the two together? What a shame.

And with a fully animatronic Yeti (not the so called "Dance Club Yeti" working today), Expedition Everest is the best narrative coaster on the planet.

October 21, 2008 at 4:28 AM · I'm a HUGE transformers fan and was totally excited when I read this message!!!! But, for me, it sucks that it wont be built in Universal FLorida. I understand that with the new Harry potter island opening next door the year before that would steal some major thunder for it and obvious budget reasons with that expansion is why it wont be going to Orlando. But, it still sucks... :( *tear* Now I know how the brits feel when something cool and exciting like that is opening and they are nowhere near it.

Enjoy it Hollywood!!!

October 21, 2008 at 5:09 AM · Transformers attraction...Im there sounds interesting..And could be fun. Give Harry to disney? No way..even thou I love disney..they tend to make every story line santized...And try to remove all the dark elements out of them..Good always wins.
Only one I can think of that they couldnt do it to was Hutchback...One of there best cartoons..ANd darkest. Besides the show thats gone form the stuidos here in Fl...which is gone...nothing on it...Expedition Everst..have been on it manytimes, I expected more from A/C in the mth..arent caves cold? Rock and Roller Coaster...Off the shelf ride...conceept to finished product lost...Monster, Inc..again off the shelf hang coaster...again in the dark..Sorry but Disney realy needs to start up and let the Imaginners loose...ANd stop worring about the stock holders..Walt himself nearly bankrupt the company many time over...creating and designing..and always dreaming...and above all would always entertain us...
October 21, 2008 at 7:30 AM · If you haven't see it, Transformers is not revolutionary either since it sounds like a variation on Spiderman. Disney and Universal own rights to paticular ride technology making Midway Mania like Pirates of the Carribean at Disneyquest and DCA's Cars Ride like Test Track (which is a very expensive attractions). Its great Hollywood is expanding their attractions due to its unfortunate fire
October 21, 2008 at 7:44 AM · I would love to see in Florida, but I dont see where there would be room. At USH they are tearing down Backdraft and Special Effects Stages for Transformers, but I dont see where USF could put it, or what theyd be will to replace to fit it...also, with Harry Potter coming in 2011, they dont need another huge attraction, but if Transformers is a huge hit in Hollywood, it wont be long before Orlando's park finds some way to fit it in
October 21, 2008 at 10:19 AM · Jurassic Park made it's "splash" in Hollywood before moving to Florida...Transformers will definitely do the same thing. And they've got plenty of room (or, should I say, plenty of lame attractions in USF) to make room.

A few suggestions on which attractions to ditch:
Animal Actors
Boardwalk around Jaws (Amity)
Disaster (My choice)
Fear Factor Live
Poseidon's Fury (although the themeing wouldn't work)
OR, just build into one of the existing sound stages -- they don't see much production work anyway.

How is Blue Man Group doing? Once they close, put it in there...

October 21, 2008 at 10:19 AM · Jurassic Park made it's "splash" in Hollywood before moving to Florida...Transformers will definitely do the same thing. And they've got plenty of room (or, should I say, plenty of lame attractions in USF) to make room.

A few suggestions on which attractions to ditch:
Animal Actors
Boardwalk around Jaws (Amity)
Disaster (My choice)
Fear Factor Live
Poseidon's Fury (although the themeing wouldn't work)
OR, just build into one of the existing sound stages -- they don't see much production work anyway.

How is Blue Man Group doing? Once they close, put it in there...

October 21, 2008 at 1:18 PM · It gets REALLY old after awhile when folks are constantly on the Disney versus Universal kick. You have a choice of where you want to go, pick one park and enjoy it.
October 21, 2008 at 1:51 PM · Better yet, pick Disney AND Universal - you can enjoy them both!
October 21, 2008 at 3:30 PM · I'm not dissing on Universal. Heck, I could diss on Disney's lame attractions, too (Monsters Inc, etc). I just think Universal Studios Orlando has more attractions that are ready to be replaced.
October 21, 2008 at 4:44 PM · Stated even better, James!
October 21, 2008 at 4:58 PM · everyone else had said what i wanted to....disney is still top of the game. though universal is still amazing. that one guy needs to stop smokin whatever he is on
October 21, 2008 at 5:00 PM · I knew it I knew it I KNEW IT! I have had a feeling ever since this movie came out being that there was new kuku technology and that the film was by dreamworks corporation that universal creative would put this in one of there parks. I just hope they make it into a 3D action packed ROBOCOASTER! That would be awesome!Sad to see its not going in orlando though.
October 21, 2008 at 7:59 PM · Finally, they are replacing backdraft and SES with a whole new actual ride!!!!
October 21, 2008 at 9:06 PM · Just very odd seeing how Orlando is the tourist capital of the world you would think for sure they would start with the Florida park first.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive