×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Universal Studios to add ‘Transformers’ ride in Orlando

Park aims to build attraction within a year

Universal Studios will add a third “Transformers” ride to its theme parks, with plans to open the 3D attraction based on the film franchise at its Orlando resort in summer 2013.

Park revealed the plans Thursday night at Universal Studios Florida.

Ride, which costs more than $100 million to create, will be a replica of the “Transformers: The Ride — 3D” that opened at Universal Studios Hollywood in May, featuring the same cast of robotic characters, footage and technology developed by Industrial Light & Magic. ( Daily Variety , May 22). The exterior and line pre-show will be different to distinguish the attraction from its counterparts.

Whereas the ride in Hollywood and at Universal’s theme park in Singapore took three years to build, the Orlando attraction will be constructed in a year, according to Thierry Coup, senior VP of the park’s creative studio at Universal Creative. That will mark one of the shortest build times in Universal’s history.

“What helps is that we’ve done this twice now and the same team is assigned to this project,” Coup said. “They know that it’s going to take to bring this to life. It will be a huge accomplishment.”

Riders wear 3D glasses from Germany’s Infitec to view action — often as close as 15 feet — that unfolds on 14 screens of various sizes, the largest 60 feet high.

The addition of “Transformers” follows a busy year in which Universal Orlando Resort also opened a revamped “Spider-Man” ride, new “Despicable Me” attraction and announced plans to expand The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which broke attendance records and still marks a popular draw.

“It’s a good time to be at Universal right now,” Coup said.

New “Transformers” attraction will replace a soundstage that used to house a live “Hecules and Xena: Wizards of the Screen” show that shuttered in 1999 and has hosted small events since.

“We’re so happy to bring this to Orlando now,” Coup said. “This is too good to keep in Hollywood.”

Hasbro licenses the rights to the ride to Universal. Toymaker worked with “Transformers”-helmer Michael Bay to develop a new character, EVAC, that it could monetize as merchandise. Bay serves as a creative consultant on the ride.

Attraction has helped boost ticket sales in Hollywood since the ride opened its doors.

“The ride has already proven to be a hit at our Hollywood and Singapore parks, and we’re excited that Universal Orlando guests will soon be able to join the Autobots in the fight to save the world,” said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative, who called it “the perfect addition to Universal Orlando’s thrilling theme park experiences.”

The three “Transformers” films, released by Paramount, have earned $2 billion worldwide.

The three films, released by Paramount, have earned $2 billion worldwide.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Renee Zellweger Rufus Wainwright Sam Smith

    Renée Zellweger: Judy Garland Was 'My Childhood Hero'

    Awards buzz is building around Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland, emerging as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for best actress. But for her, the real prize was paying tribute to Garland, of whom she’s been a lifelong fan. “Nobody was prettier, nobody sang prettier…the adventures she had, [she was] my childhood [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • 'Downton Abbey' Music Gets 'Bigger, Better,

    As 'Downton Abbey' Hits the Silver Screen, the Music, Too, Gets 'Bigger, Better, Grander'

    When “Downton Abbey” fans hear that familiar strings-and-piano theme, a Pavlovian response ensues: Get to the television immediately, because you don’t want to miss a minute of the addictive Crawley family melodrama to follow. This week, with the “Downton Abbey” movie reaching theaters on Friday, fans can’t wait for their fix of Lady Mary and [...]

  • 45 Seconds of Laughter

    Film Review: '45 Seconds of Laughter'

    “Everyone is worth more than their worst act,” said Roman Catholic sister and anti-death penalty advocate Helen Prejean, and it’s with these words that “45 Seconds of Laughter” closes. It’s an apt sentiment on which to leave Tim Robbins’ sincerely felt documentary study of the therapeutic acting workshops run by his own theater company in [...]

  • Julie Andrews

    Julie Andrews Selected for AFI's Life Achievement Award

    The American Film Institute Board of Trustees has selected Julie Andrews as the recipient of the 48th AFI Life Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Andrews on April 25 in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be telecast on TNT. “Julie Andrews is practically perfect in every way,” said Kathleen Kennedy, chair of the [...]

  • 4127_D001_00007_RC Phyllis Logan stars as Mrs.

    'Downton Abbey' to Dominate Box Office Weekend With $30 Million

    The feature film version of “Downton Abbey” is heading for an impressive $30 million opening weekend at 3,079 sites for an easy victory at the North American box office, early estimates showed Friday. The launch of Brad Pitt’s space drama “Ad Astra” will land in second with about $20 million, while Sylvester Stallone’s action-thriller “Rambo: [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content