About 10 days ago, I had the opportunity to visit Universal Studios Hollywood to check out the exciting new Transformers The Ride 3D. Before I forget, I would like to give Universal Studios a very special thank you for the promotional tickets so that I could provide all of you with content on Seibertron.com in the form of a review, pictures, and videos. First off, the ride was incredible. I've never been to a Universal Studios theme park before and had never been on a ride that submerses you indauto a visual environment that makes you feel like you are part of whatever you're watching. Having been raised in Michigan, I grew up spoiled with Cedar Point and never felt a need to check out other amusement parks. Little did I realize what I was missing out on.
Upon arriving at Universal Studios Hollywood, I was instantly struck by how much "Transformers" had infiltrated the theme park. Transformers were everywhere. One of the first things I saw after walking into Universal Studios from the Jurassic Park parking lot, was a giant sign of Optimus Prime promoting Transformers The Ride.
After obtaining our tickets, we noticed that we had one of each of the four primary Transformers characters from Transformers The Ride: Megatron, Optimus Prime, Evac, and Bumblebee.
All of the maps for Universal Studios featured the Transformers.
My family posing with Bumblebee
Upon entering the building that houses the Transformers The Ride, you walk into a N.E.S.T. environment, complete with sounding alarm and details from the Transformers world everywhere. Everything is covered with Transformers stuff, symbols, whatever it takes to make you feel like you are part of the Transformers world. As you walk down several corridors, you end up where you board your own personal "Evac" (the vehicle form of the Transformers Autobot character in which you "ride").
At this point, I was asked to stop filming and photographing and for good reason since the 3D visuals during the ride just wouldn't look good with my camera to show all of you. This was fine since I was in for an incredible experience. Transformers The Ride truly made me feel like as if I was part of the Transformers battle that unfolded before my eyes. When Megatron grabbed hold of "Evac", I felt like he had latched onto both sides and was going to toss us. The 3D really immerses you into the Transformers world and I'm sure it helps build the illusion in your mind that you are actually part of what you're seeing. I was blown away. It was an awesome ride. My only disappointment was that I wasn't able to get right back on and do it all over again (our front of line pass only let us go to the front of the line once ... and there was an 85 minute wait if we wanted to do it again).
After the ride, we decided to cool off by trying one of the Energon drinks. I did a fun little review of it YouTube-style which you can view below. Just a quick note, the Energon drink actually tasted more like Orange Creamsicle to us instead of Hi-C Orange (just said the first "orange" thing that came to mind).
Part of my experience at Universal Studios that I couldn't get over was the insane amount of Transformers related merchandise that was available throughout the park. Some of the stores were dedicated ENTIRELY to Transformers products and merchandise. Some of the stores were called "Transformers Supply Vault". I had the misunderstanding that there was only going to be a select amount of Transformers items available (i.e. the Universal Studios deluxes, voyagers, the Allspark cube, and some shirts). I had no idea that there was going to be an onslaught of exclusive products available as well as products that you can find at regular retail stores.
I also was surprised at the amount of merchandise that was G1 themed, not just Movie themed. The pictures below are just a sampling of the products that were available. You can click on any of the images below to view a full gallery of the Transformers stores at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Unfortunately, as one might expect with products and merchandise at a theme park, the prices were on the expensive side. All of the retail Transformers toys were double MSRP, which might explain why you could find so many Vehicons and other popular toys available. The items that were exclusive to Universal Studios I could understand being more expensive, but I didn't understand why everything else was going for top dollar.
Regardless, there should be something for every Transformers fan here. I ended up with an Allspark Cube and a magnet and my sister ended up with a cool NEST hat and shirt. I would love to go back with the intention of getting a few other items. With rumors that Transformers The Ride will be opening up in Florida as well, I'm sure we'll all have plenty of chances to get there while this ride is still hot and merchandise is plentiful.
If you're a Transformers fan, you've got to find a way to get to Universal Studios to check out this absolutely amazing ride as well as all of the insane amounts of Transformers merchandise available at the stores in the theme park. You'll be glad that you did. And if you, make sure you stop by here at Seibertron.com to tell all of your fellow Seibertronians about your experience.
Now if they could only figure out how to do a Transformers convention at Universal Studios Hollywood ... then I'd truly be in Transformers heaven!
Transform and roll out! I hope all of you enjoyed the Seibertron.com tour of Universal Studios Hollywood. Special thank you to Universal Studios Hollywood for our tickets.