One of the biggest rides to come to Universal Studios Hollywood in well over a decade, Transformers: The Ride – 3D represents the very best in technology and theme park thrills. Based off the successful Transformers franchise, Transformers: The Ride is one of Universal’s biggest thrills to date.
You’re a new recruit, and you’ve just been invited into the headquarters of N.E.S.T. – a governmental organization that has an alliance with the Autobots – for some training. In a twist of fate, the Decepticons have attacked N.E.S.T. in an attempt to get ahold of a fragment from the Allspark (the all-important mineral or rock within the Transformers franchise).
Unfortunately for you, it’s your mission to accompany an untested Autobot to transport the Allspark out of N.E.S.T. and into safety.
Duration: 5 minutes
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes, ask for assistance. Be aware that you will need to get out of your wheelchair to experience this ride.
Flash Photography and Video Taping Policy: Not permitted.
Height Restriction: 40″.
Child Switch: Yes. Child Switch allows your party to experience Transformers while you wait behind with your child. When your party is finished, you’ll reverse roles – you ride, your party waits.
Child Friendliness: Parents should exercise caution. See the intensity meter below for more information.
If you and your child have seen Transformers before, than this will be a real treat. For everyone else, think of Transformers as a more intense version of the Simpsons Ride or even King Kong 360 on the tour. It includes simulated drops, intense motion and loud special effects.
Nothing is necessarily real, and the ride is a motion simulator, but the ride itself is mildly intense, which is why we’ve given it a 7.
Scheduling: Like all attractions located in the Lower Lot, we’d recommend hitting every attraction (including this one) in one beat. Getting up and down the StarWay (the escalator bank that separates the Upper Lot from the Lower Lot) multiple times a day is an absolute nightmare.
Scheduling: As the newest ride at Universal, we’d recommend hitting Transformers early in the morning or late at night if the crowds become unbearable.
Personal Belongings: Belongings should be held tightly in your lap or between your legs.
3D Glasses: Be aware that you will need 3D glasses for Transformers.
Single Rider: Don’t want to wait? Try the Single Rider program. Unfortunately (or fortunately for some), you will be separated from your party, but you will shave minutes off your wait time.
Every vehicle has 3 rows of 4 people, and to expedite the boarding process, have the number of people in your party ready before entering the loading dock. Please also be aware that seating is assigned.
Based off the same ride technology that brought theme park guests the wildly successful Spiderman Ride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Transformers: The Ride – 3D hopes to bring similar success to Universal Studios Hollywood. Question is, did it work?
Well, yes and no.
Let’s start off with what I consider to be the good: the ride is excellent – no questions asked. The ride experience – like its sister in Florida – is completely immersive. Think of the Simpsons Ride on wheels, and you’ll get a snippet of what Transformers has to offer. Visually, the ride film is absolutely stunning, and the sound system is out of this world. You literally feel as if you’re whizzing through mid-air with the likes of Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots because of how fluid and smooth the entire experience truly is. And the sheer complexity and engineering feat needed to create this attraction makes that smoothness even more amazing.
The theming is also worth mentioning. Though really adequate in comparison to other Universal parks (Islands of Adventure, I’m looking at you), the theming is great when you compare neighboring attractions.
…and despite being based off what many consider to be the weak storyline that strings together the Transformers films, I had a decent grasp of what the ride was trying to convey in terms of a coherent plot – even after never having seen the films. So in all, these accomplishments make Transformers a wildly rewarding and enjoyable ride.
So why the fuss? Well, in many regards, I had hoped Transformers could be the new attraction that would introduce new grounds and break records – much like what Jurassic Park did for the park in the mid 90s. Everyone knew it would be based off the same technology that brought us Spiderman, but I had hoped for something new and innovative that used the core technologies from Spiderman as a jumping ground for something more. But unfortunately, it seemed much like an incremental improvement over what they had instead of a revolutionary jump.
But don’t let that discourage you. This ride is truly amazing – the best Universal Studios Hollywood has to offer – and I give it a hearty recommendation. You won’t be disappointed.
“The ride is breathtaking. Absolutely great.”