Reviewed by: Dave
April 23, 2012

Transformers The Ride - 3D, Technical Rehearsal sign, Universal Studios Hollywood

My wife and I went to Universal Studios Hollywood this weekend to take advantage of their ‘buy one day get the rest of the year free’ promotion.

Their new 3D Transformers ride doesn’t officially go live until May 25th and our plan was to go back this summer with our annual pass and check it out then.

So imagine my curiosity when I saw a sign stating that the ride was in ‘technical rehearsal’ mode. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but once we got down to the lower level of the park near the ride entrance, we started to get an idea when we saw people standing in line.

Today the ride was open and fully operational. Trans-fan-tastic.

(SPOILER ALERT: Continue reading at your own risk)

Entering the Bunker

Entrance to Transformers: The Ride 3D, Universal Studios Hollywood

 

The entrance to the ride is staffed by ‘military’ personnel that are guiding you, a new recruit, into the headquarters of NEST (Nonbiological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty), which is the military base for the government and the Autobots in their war with the Decepticons.

It is also the fortified location of the AllSpark, a special amulet with tremendous powers that is at the center of the war.

The waiting lines wind through several bunker rooms, many of which are broadcasting video messages with status updates from General Morshower and various Autobots. Soon all of us new recruits were called into active duty when the reports delivered the news that the Decepticons were attacking the base in search of the AllSpark.

Our Mission

Bunker room at Transformers: The Ride 3D, Universal Studios Hollywood

Our assignment was to help smuggle the AllSpark out of the base by riding with EVAC, a Transformer that turns into a heavy duty vehicle that looks like an oversized all-terrain Prius.

There were 12 people in each car – three rows of four people – and we were each given a set of safety goggles (3D glasses) to wear.

The car was on a track with a motion control system that consisted of quick turns, twists and tilts, as well as abrupt accelerations and stops as we traveled through futuristic 3D urban landscapes while battling the Decepticons. As the warning signs will tell you, this is definitely not a ride for people with head or neck problems or heart conditions.

The Verdict

Although it’s not groundbreaking, Transformers is a solid first class ride, from the design of the waiting areas to the ride itself. You really do feel like you are in the story and the 3D environments are outstanding. There isn’t anything really comparable to it on the West Coast…yet.

The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman ride

However this Transformers ride is essentially the same mechanics and design as The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman 3D ride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, FL and that’s been running since the late 90s. And just last year they upgraded its 3D to high definition so now it is even better than when I saw it a few years ago.

Now the reason I say there’s nothing on the West Coast comparable to this Transformers ride yet, is because it was announced last year that Harry Potter will be coming to Universal Studios Hollywood around 2016.

And if they bring the same Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride to Hollywood from Islands of Adventure in Orlando, then this Transformers ride will most definitely fall to 2nd place behind it.

Forbidden Journey is truly a groundbreaking experience. It combines a vertical motion robot arm controlled ride with physical sets and animatronic characters intercut into amazing video scenes. It’s just too bad that Transformers: The Ride wasn’t also designed with that same level of technology.
 
Visit our Transformers: The Ride 3D title page for more information and to watch the trailer.
 
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