Make us your home page
Instagram

Transformers will invade Universal in Orlando this summer

By SHARON KENNEDY WYNNE

Times Staff Writer

The hugely popular Transformers 3D ride that makes passengers feel like they've been dropped into a movie chase scene is opening June 20 at Universal Studios Orlando — and so is a record-breaking price increase.

The award-winning ride that uses stunning 3-D and flight simulator technologies to immerse passengers is credited with boosting Universal's attendance and revenues at its parks in California and Singapore.

Little surprise, this week Universal upped its ticket price to $92, becoming the first Orlando theme park to top the $90 threshold.

Ride designers worked closely with Michael Bay, the director of the Transformers film series, to create an intense chase with Megatron where riders feel wind, heat and water and smell smoke as they swerve and soar through downtown Chicago. The ride begins with meeting Optimus Prime ("Humans, I must warn you, at this very moment the Decepticons are coming to take over Orlando") at the front of the ride, and visitors enter a massive steel and concrete structure that resembles an Army bunker.

The visitors, or "recruits," are led into the Allspark room where the artifact — capable of creating new Transformer life — remains protected from the Decepticons. Heavy pulsating bass and blue strobe lighting give visitors the feeling that the Allspark is pulsing with power.

Wait times of 60 to 90 minutes are to be expected, but California reviewers have praised Universal for its engaging interactive queue, which the park calls a preshow.

The ride is expected to be a huge boost for Universal Studios, which has been overshadowed by its sister park Islands of Adventure, home to Harry Potter and the popular Spider-Man attraction and Incredible Hulk roller coaster. The park gets another boost next year with Harry Potter's London as seen in Diagon Alley.

Universal's Express Pass can be tempting if you are there during a busy time (late June and early July are the busiest at the parks) because you rarely have to wait more than 10 or 15 minutes for a ride with one. They cost $55-$70, and there are some notable exceptions: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Islands of Adventure and likely the Transformers ride. So consider this: If you stay at one of Universal's three on-site hotels, your room key is an Express Pass and you get early park admission.

IF YOU GO

There are two separate theme parks, Islands of Adventure (home to Harry Potter) and Universal Studios Orlando (home to Transformers). One-day admission to one park is $92, $86 for kids 3-9. There are big discounts for buying online or multiday packages at universalorlando.com.

INSIDER TIP!

The water rides at Islands of Adventure are much wetter than other theme parks. In short, you'll get soaked. So plan ahead and buy a $1 poncho at a discount store instead of buying an $8 version in the theme park or worse, buying a new shirt. Also, you can save money on drinks here. The parks allow you to bring in bottled water or snacks and even insulated bags no larger than 8.5 inches wide by 6 inches high.

Transformers will invade Universal in Orlando this summer 05/22/13 [Last modified: Thursday, May 23, 2013 5:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Watch Round 3 of Feeding Tampa Bay's Epic Chef Showdown

    Cooking

    TAMPA — Round 3 of the third annual Epic Chef Showdown to benefit Feeding Tampa Bay is Monday night, and you can watch it live right here.

    Chef Richard Bergendale of The Mill restaurant and Sous Chef Jeff Thornsberry of Locale Market competed in Round 1 of the Epic Chef Showdown. [Epicurean Hotel / Feeding Tampa Bay]
  2. Dragon ride in Harry Potter section of Universal closing for new themed ride

    Florida

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019 — sending wizard fans into a guessing game with hopes for a Floo Powder Network or the maze from the Triwizard Tournament.

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge on Sept. 5 for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019. The ride, originally the Dueling Dragons roller coaster, was renamed and incorporated into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when the hugely popular area opened in 2010.
  3. Restaurant review: Food and beer pair nicely at the Eatery at Brew Bus Terminal and Brewery

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA - Tampa Bay's craft beer scene is perennially in flux. New breweries open, others close or get scooped up by bigger breweries, some reinvent themselves so they can sell beer off site, and still others build on kitchens and add food to give enthusiasts another reason to sit tight.

    A Passion of the Heights hibiscus wheat ale is displayed at The Brew Bus in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Jul 19, 2017.  The Brew Bus Terminal, which houses a microbrewery and tasting room and serves as a hub for bus tours to local breweries, has opened an on-site kitchen called the Eatery. With the opening of the new casual dining concept, the brewery joins the ranks of microbreweries across the country that have asked that question: "What goes with beer? Hey, how about food?"
  4. Daniel Lipton resigns as artistic director of Opera Tampa

    Stage

    TAMPA — Daniel Lipton has resigned as artistic director of Opera Tampa, the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts announced.

    Daniel Lipton took over the post when 17-year director Anton Coppola retired in 2012 at age 95.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 25

    Events

    Shawn Mendes: The multi platinum-selling singer/songwriter embarks on his first-ever headlining arena word tour in support of his sophomore album Illuminate. Charlie Puth opens. 7:30 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $43.75-$63.75. (813) 301-2500.

    Shawn Mendes, performing at Amalie Arena on 7/25/17. Credit: James Minchin.