News Column

'Transformers' Coming to Orlando: Jobs2?

Nov. 2, 2012

Universal Orlando announced last week what has been rumored for months: A new ride, based on the Transformers movies, is under construction at Universal Studios, with the opening planned this summer.

The 4-minute dark ride, with 3-D and flight simulator technology, will be almost identical to the Transformers rides already operating at Universal Studios Hollywood and Singapore. Construction on the Orlando ride began shortly after the ride at Universal Studios Hollywood opened Memorial Day weekend, but the Orlando park wouldn't comment until now on what was being built.

In the pre-ride queue, guests are recruited to help keep the AllSpark, a source of energy, out of the hands of the bad-guys Decepticons, who want to use it to take over Earth. The Decepticons breach the secret N.E.S.T. military base, though, and a high-speed chase and battle follow.

"It takes your breath away. It's probably the most action-packed ride we have ever created," said Thierry Coup, senior vice president of Universal's Creative Studio, who was also the producer of the Harry Potter and Spider-Man rides. "Being able to experience the great battles between the good and bad robots ??" it's something that Transformers fans have dreamed about."

Characters in the ride are voiced by the same actors who voiced them in the movie, including Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime. The ride introduces a new character on the good-guys Autobot team, Evac, who transforms into a car after which the ride vehicle is styled.

The flight simulator technology, Coup said, is "the next generation of Spider-Man" -- although guests will wear the same 3-D glasses. Scenes are projected on enormous screens, some as high as 60 feet, and the vehicle reacts to what's happening in the battle. Riders feel the car shudder when a Decepticon smashes into it; when a cold wind blows, they feel that too.

"All these things create that extra sense of reality," Coup said. "It's an incredible journey."

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2012 The Miami Herald

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