Transformers: The Ride – 3D is one of Universal’s most popular attractions, garnering enough fame over the past eight years to warrant its inclusion at three separate Universal locations across the globe (soon to be four, if we include the upcoming Universal Studios Beijing). And although Transformers’s queue story and ride experience are essentially the same at each property, they’re separated by the details of each attraction’s entrance and queue design and how the ride’s incorporated within its respective park.
Sounds like the perfect reason to compile a quick run-down covering each of the versions, right?
Transformers: The Ride at Universal Studios Singapore
For those interested: Universal Studios Singapore was the first to premiere Transformers: The Ride – 3D to the world. Getting into the attraction, fans of the Transformer Bumblebee will be excited to know that a statue of him vigilantly stands guard above the ride’s entrance. Across from the show building is a display of Bumblebee’s alternate, Chevrolet Camaro form from the Michael Bay movies, along with a life-size EVAC statue that’s unique to this park; also located here are the Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Megatron character interactions. (Talk about your great photo opportunities!)
Walking through the queue, the floors and ceiling resemble sleek metal being held up by heavy, distressed stone walls that are decorated with control panels, movie relics (i.e., Scorponok’s tail and the AllSpark), and monitors that provide the ride’s backstory. The further you go into the queue, the deeper the journey into the base’s undisclosed location feels as the lights begin to flicker before entering the EVAC vehicles.
Since Singapore’s Sci-Fi City, the land that’s home to Transformers: The Ride, has a naturally cybernetic theme, one could say that the general atmosphere surrounding this version of the attraction feels like being at a military facility on the Transformers’ home planet, Cybertron. Objectively, this is possibly the best overall execution of the attraction, due to the cohesion of the Non-biological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty (NEST) installation and its location within the theme park.
Transformers: The Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood
Jetting over to California, Transformers can be found on the lower level of Universal Studios Hollywood, just next to Jurassic World: The Ride and the West Coast version of Revenge of the Mummy. In lieu of a physical statue, a matte marquee portraying an epic battle between Megatron and Optimus Prime towers over the ride’s entry.
Compared to its siblings around the world, this queue is simpler in nature, as there isn’t much visually conveying that guests are in an advanced military facility outside of a few monitors, minor tech decor, and NEST emblems on concrete walls. That being said, the queue still tells the story well enough and the payoff is the same, so it works. Guests also won’t miss out on much as they have the same opportunity to meet Optimus, Bumblebee, and Megatron as everywhere else.
Transformers: The Ride at Universal Studios Florida
Our theme park is home to my favorite concept of the NEST headquarters. The military installation is a massive, cubed base located in Universal Studios Florida‘s Production Central section, and it’s nearly alien to the rest of the park, particularly the classically-themed New York backlot right next to it – much like the Transformers themselves are. While its exterior design and markings don’t convey anything “confidential” about NEST’s presence, that’s easily overlooked with how impressive it is.
In a similar fashion to Singapore, Optimus Prime stands above the Orlando version’s ride entrance. Valiantly pointing outward and armed with his battle blade, he’s certainly inspiring to any potential recruits. Walking through the queue, it hits a nice balance between Singapore’s sleek, state-of-the-art base and Hollywood’s simpler, concrete theme. And visitors who want to meet the Transformers in Universal Studios Florida can still do so near the attraction’s entrance.