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Transformers: The Ride opens for technical rehearsals at Universal Studios Florida – photos, initial reaction


Transformers: The Ride 3D at Universal Studios Florida.
Transformers: The Ride 3D at Universal Studios Florida.

Today is the fourth day in a row Universal has invited guests to ride Transformers. Here’s what the scheduled has looked like:

May 30: The very first technical rehearsals opened to the public at approximately 7:05pm and lasted to 8:45pm.

May 31: Transformers opens for a second night in a row for technical rehearsals, from approximately 6:50pm to 8:45pm.

June 1: Transformers opens for a third night in a row for technical rehearsals, from approximately 6:00pm to 9:30pm.

June 2: Technical rehearsals opened at 2:35 and was still open as of the time this post was published.

Going forward, Transformers should be running on an almost daily basis, and we hope that Universal will soon settle into a routine so we can reliably expect the ride to be open at certain times. Of course, as soon as that happens we’ll update our Transformers page!


FAQ: What’s the best way to find out about Transformers technical rehearsals?

There is never a published schedule for for technical rehearsals, often called soft opens, so until Universal starts getting in a routine the easiest way for you to learn about technical rehearsals is to follow us on Twitter, where we will bring bleeding edge coverage…

If Twitter isn’t your thing, you can also like our Facebook page, where we will certainly post updates — just not as up-to-the-minute as our Twitter updates.


FAQ: What’s a soft open / technical rehearsal and how do I sign up?

Before major attractions like Transformers celebrate their grand opening, they open periodically to the public during the two or three week period leading up to the grand opening. This allows the park to get team members fully trained in running the attraction with actual guests, and it also allows the park to work out any remaining kinks in the system. These unannounced, unpublished openings are often called soft openings. The catch is that there is never a schedule given to the public, and these rehearsals may last an hour, a few hours, or just a few minutes… it all depends on how much training is needed and whether or not problems develop.

In many ways this is a “gotta be in the right place at the right time” situation. Hopefully when you get the word via our Twitter account that Transformers is currently open to the public, you’ll already be at the park! If you’re not already at the park, be aware that the ride could close again to the public before you have a chance to arrive, park, and run to Universal Studios Florida.


FAQ: So what did you think of the ride?

I am very happy to share with you some quick thoughts about Transformers: The Ride, as I got my first chance to ride it Friday night.

Transformers: The Ride 3D at Universal Studios Florida.
Transformers: The Ride 3D at Universal Studios Florida.


I will be perfectly honest — when I rode Transformers in Hollywood I was not very impressed. I felt that it was so similar to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Islands of Adventure that I couldn’t even get into it. I felt like I was just riding a re-branded Spider-Man ride, and I’ve been on that a hundred times, so what is one more ride?

It was with that mindset that I entered Transformers at Universal Studios Florida — ready to be underwhelmed.

When I left the building, I had a new mindset — amazement.

There’s no doubt that many aspects of Transformers are similar to Spider-Man. But I would like to suggest that Orlando’s iteration of the Transformers ride is a very different experience than Spider-Man. It is sort of like saying that, in many aspects, driving a minivan is like driving a high performance sports car. Sure, you have to press down on the accelerator to get both to move — but when you press down on that pedal in each vehicle, two very different things happen. This isn’t a slam against Spider-Man, I think we all love that ride. This is just my attempt to explain how much more intense Transformers felt to me.

Comparison between Transformers Hollywood and Transformers Orlando: In terms of intensity, Hollywood was like seeing a movie on an expensive home theater, whereas Orlando was like seeing a movie in a premium IMAX theater. The effects were so sharp and the imagery was so engrossing that I actually used the word “ethereal” to describe my experience riding Orlando’s version to a fan on Twitter.

So yes, I loved the ride, I love that it is in our park, and I love that I get to share this new attraction with so many other Universal fans this summer.


I know this is a very brief review of the ride. I wasn’t trying to give you a full rundown, I just wanted to share my initial reaction. Once I’ve had a chance to ride it a few more times and see the full queue, I’ll be writing much more.

Ready to see some photos? Below you will find my large photo gallery from Friday night.

Keep in mind that this is just a quick blog post to bring you up to speed with the latest that’s happening at Transformers (and to show off some photos!). For the very latest information, and to see our complete guide to the attraction, you gotta visit our Transformers: The Ride page in the OI Universal Center.

Transformers: The Ride – photo gallery

Click any image to view it full-screen. When the full-screen image is open, click to the right or use the right arrow on your keyboard to advance through the gallery.

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June 2, 2013 5:23 pm

Really weird question…. But where would the best place be to sit??? I know some of these simulators can be touchy

June 4, 2013 5:37 pm

Will be there next Monday or Tuesday, 8AM for the AP preview!!  Comparing Transformers to Spider Man is like comparing 2 metal rail roller coasters.  They both work in the same way, but thrill you in different ways.  Can’t wait!

June 4, 2013 5:43 pm

@JoshFront row, center is the best because then the sides of the ride vehicle don’t block your view of what’s happening around you. But this is a very immersive ride really anywhere you sit, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much 🙂

June 4, 2013 6:07 pm

We haven’t been around when the testing was going on, but we will keep trying.  The lines were real long on Sunday, but due to bad weather and problems they shut it down sooner than later.  From some of the buzz i heard from people that were able to ride they sounded excited.  I did hear several say that it was not as good as Spiderman (my 3D fav).  I guess we will see here in a few days when we try again.

June 4, 2013 7:33 pm

Passholder preview next week! Going Thursday and Friday 🙂

June 4, 2013 7:51 pm

I am REALLY looking forward to riding this attraction. I admit I was also prepared to be “underwhelmed” if it was too much like Spiderman, but from everything I have heard so far it is a great ride. Thanks for the update!

June 4, 2013 8:32 pm

I’m soooo thankful for Orlando Informer!  We will be taking our only grandchild (8 yrs,) to IOA and UO in September especially for the new Transformers the Ride!  He has never been on a plane and although a bit apprehensive is willing to “take that chance” just to get to go to Universal!  It really makes things a lot easier when we can give him some idea of what to expect and appreciate the information you give.  Additionally, we “grands” are very happy to see that you don’t limit your insider ideas to the parks only.  We will be staying… Read more »

June 4, 2013 11:12 pm

I am so excited! I’m going on the 14th (just in time for my 30th birthday!) and I loved the review. Makes me even more excited. 🙂

June 5, 2013 7:10 am

My family (wife and 2 daughters, 15 & 16) and I have been on it twice now, Sunday and last night. Both times, we rode in single rider lines…barely waited 30 minutes. We have mixed reviews. 2 of us liked it, 2 didn’t. I have to qualify that I love the movies, so was extremely excited to ride. I also have to say that until HPFJ, SpiderMan was my favorite ride at IA. I liked the ride the 1st time, but felt underwhelmed. I LOVED the lead up! They did a fantastic job with the set and story line, leading… Read more »

June 5, 2013 10:54 am

I am so excited to ride this ride!! I’m hopefully going there sometime before the grand opening as well as the grand opening. However, I am jealous of my boyfriend because he works at IOA and has already ridden Transformers!

Cathy Parker
Cathy Parker
June 5, 2013 1:11 pm

Can’t wait! Will be there on June 23 and I am glad to hear the ride was not underwhelming.  I was afraid this would be a lot like Spiderman, although I really like Spiderman. I also wonder if the Gringott’s ride will be the like Transforers and Spiderman.

June 5, 2013 8:34 pm

We got to ride transformers yesterday(June 4th) We joined the queue around 5.20 when, at that point there were around 150 people in front of us. It opened at 6pm and unfortunately, the staff couldn’t control the hundreds of people who had been hanging around outside the building from storming in at the front of the queue. However, the ride seems to load quickly and we didn’t have to wait too much longer as a result of the queue jumpers. For anyone who likes Spider-Man, you WILL like transformers but for me, I hoped to experience something new, not just… Read more »

June 7, 2013 8:26 am
Reply to  Teallach

TeallachThanks for helping us test our new features. This comment was randomly selected and you’ve won a free OI t-shirt. Please contact us via within 72 hours to redeem. Congrats!

June 7, 2013 9:58 am


June 6, 2013 12:00 am

My family and I had witnessed all of the construction stages in person, and we were very dissapointed when our annual passes expired just before the soft openings. However, we are equally excited to experience this new ride as soon as we are able to purchase new passes! Until then, we are sufficing with a video of the new Orlando Transformers ride that we found on YouTube. And after watching this video, we are sure that it will be another great addition to the park!  Although we were slightly dissapointed in the fact that the effects and ride were extremely… Read more »

About Taylor Strickland

Taylor Strickland is the owner of Orlando Informer, the internationally awarded independent resource for guests visiting Orlando. In this position, he leads the website's overall direction and day-to-day operations, working with a team of writers, editors, developers, and producers.

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