Orlando Parkhopper just acquired a bit of poster art that indicates what Universal Orlando’s next big attraction might be and when it may arrive.  Transformers: The Ride 3D has posibly been fast-tracked and  may now be under construction at Universal Studios Orlando.  The innovative, blockbuster attraction is a design wonder that creates an expansive ride experience with a relatively small footprint.  With a streamlined construction timeline, Universal could be attempting to get the ride up and running in a year and a half.  Is this a hoax?  Is this realistic?

Rumors began swirling when the building known as Soundstage 44 was suddenly demolished at the Universal Studios Orlando theme park.  So sudden was the demolition that a haunted House for this years Halloween Horror Nights was actually in mid-construction within the space when word came to demolish the building.  The building is now completely leveled, and Universal is about to put up construction walls that will reveal the new addition

The week of June 11th, walls suddenly shot up and the building was gone within a months time.

This week, cranes have taken up residence at the site.

We question, however, the wisdom of building Transformers so close to The Amazing Spiderman which has been celebrated as one of the best rides on the planet.  Spiderman, which has an identical ride system and similar track layout spread out on one level,  is always brought up and compared when considering Transformers.  There is hardly a review of the ride that does not mention the original use of the ride system.  Will this Transformers be a new, improved version of the attractions currently in operation in Singapore and Los Angeles?  Doubtful.  Still, we hope that they throw enough into the ride to make it seem fresh and different from the brilliant Spiderman attraction just steps away in Islands of Adventure.

So much for the rumors that Transformers was developed as a potential replacement attraction for Spiderman in the event that Disney and Universal come to an agreement to end Universal’s licensing agreement for the Marvel characters in Orlando.

With all of this big news, it is easy to forget that there is still another project that started quite a while ago, that will be done, long after.  The London extension of the Harry Potter Universe at the resort is currently under construction.

View full size image here

We also see visible progress now on the midway games being installed in front of The Simpsons ride


Universal Orlando is certainly pulling out all the stops to be on the top of your list on your next Orlando vacation. Will Transformers and a brand new Harry Potter land get you to spend a day away from Disney?

  • lazyboy97O

    I was wondering when this would get a mention here. Hopefully Universal actually makes an announcement soon.


    I find this really unfortunate. I guess a ride is better than what I guess was an empty building, but still I hate to see direct clones of rides popping up everywhere.

    Transformers essentially is Spider-Man, just re-themed. It was alright for them to build it though because it does try to be a different experience. To then take that and build it back in Florida I think is just plain dumb.

    Sometimes I just really don’t understand decisions like this. For instance, I have many friends that made the trip to Florida when they live near USH specifically to visit the Harry Potter World at IoA. Who’s not to say that people near Florida wouldn’t make the trip to CA to ride the Transformers ride? Now they don’t have to. With them building Harry Potter at USH then less people will need to visit USF. I’m assuming whatever they are putting in USF is what is going to be built at USH, not the ride in IoA.

    Seriously I think Next time I visit Florida I might not even go to Universal. If I do I might just go to IoA, because at least there I get my moneys worth as a different experience.

    • lnsemsf

      I don’t find it unfortunate at all. The thing to remember is that most people don’t visit both Florida and California parks for vacations, most just visit Florida. I’m a rare exception. I enjoy my parks probably too much and I spend a day most weekends here in Florida at a park (or 6) and fly 4 times a year to Anaheim to spend about 30 days at the parks in California. I’ve been doing this for 4 years now, and I’ve spent a grand total of 0 days at Universal. So when you say people will come from Florida specifically for Universal I think it’s inaccurate. That’s not to say some people wouldn’t do it, but unlike Disneyland where there are tons of unique experiences USH is just a smaller version of Florida, with a movie studio tour as well. Transformers wasn’t enough to make me get out to USH to see it when I was 30 minutes away, it definitely wouldn’t be enough to get me to go out and ride it if I had no intention of going.

      Here in Florida however, where most families are going to take their time off it’s another story. Here you have the big draw of Harry Potter which will pull a whole lot of people to Universal, but not everyone. I sure don’t know the exact demographic of HP fans, but I can tell you the people I see most excited about it are girls under 25. I’m not saying older people and boys don’t like it, but I think the girls like it the best. The studios is adding a new ride that should draw a huge crowd of mainly teen to younger boys to a park that really doesn’t have a huge attraction that’s going to make it a must see for them. This is a very smart move to flesh out that park before the new Potter attractions open, and get families to now take either 2 days in Universal, or to at minimum purchase a 1 day 2 park ticket so the daughter can see Harry Potter and the son can ride Transformers.

      Now IOA does already have Spiderman which is a draw for the boys to that park and uses pretty similar technology. People are complaining that building Transformers so close to Spiderman is a bad idea because they use similar systems. The thing is the content is different and even though the ride will be nearly identical I don’t think too many people will care as long as the ride itself is good. Universal is not the first park in Florida to build the same attraction in 2 places with different scenes. Look at Star Tours/Body Wars at Disney. They were the exact same ride with 2 different movies. During their prime both were very popular and people didn’t really care that it was the same technology because to them the voyage was different. It’s going to be the same thing here, except I think that Transformers will have better staying bower than an 80s sci-fi journey to look at a splinter.

      I also hear people wishing that Disney would put the Indiana Jones Adventure in to Hollywood Studios, even though it’s an exact copy of Dinosaur. I honestly agree with them and I’d love to see it here. I know it’s a turn for turn clone in my head, but it’s a completely different feeling ride. When I ride the one in California I never think “Wait a minute, I’m on Dinosaur” I just enjoy the ride. Same thing is going to happen here. People are going to be excited about it, visit USH when they otherwise wouldn’t, ride the ride and enjoy it, and probably get back in line to do it all over again. It’s not going to hurt USH, It’s not going to be redundant, and it’s not a bad thing at all to have put in to Florida. It’ll be a welcome addition that will flesh out the attraction list of USF and make the Studios another major must see park.

  • mratigan

    That is going to be epic

  • MarkTwain

    I don’t see the ride system conflict as that big a deal. I don’t think anyone complains about how the Haunted Mansion in one park uses the same ride system as Spaceship Earth in another. If anything, this will strengthen Universal Studios as a park comparable to IoA in quality, and will encourage people to visit both, likely getting more people to stay on property.

  • MactheMan

    It’s kind of lame that KingEric did this…

  • Evanator

    They are building a hotel.


    New Hotel Will Add 1,800 On-Site Suites and Standard Rooms

    ORLANDO, Fla. (July 9, 2012) – Universal Parks & Resorts and Loews Hotels & Resorts will build a new hotel development at Universal Orlando that will add high-quality, high-value options for families wanting an affordable on-site experience.

    Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort will offer two distinct experiences within the development’s multiple buildings: 900 family suites, capable of sleeping six, that include kitchen areas and 900 standard guest rooms – offering both moderate- and value-priced accommodations. It will be operated by Loews Hotels & Resorts and is scheduled to open in 2014.

    The hotel will be themed differently than anything else currently available at Universal Orlando. It will evoke the driving vacations so many Americans grew up enjoying with their families – spending time at sweeping motor courts just off the highway, where families relaxed and played after a long day’s drive. The new hotel’s hip, vintage look will be accented with bold design, dramatic, clean lines, bright, period colors and touches of neon. Inside areas including the lobby, dining areas and large, comfortable rooms will follow suit. The hotel will have two themed pool areas.

    “Our new hotel will give guests an affordable, incredibly themed on-site hotel experience unlike anything else at our resort,” said Tom Williams, chairman and chief executive officer, Universal Parks & Resorts. “Our new family suites and family-value pricing will give our guests on-site options they’ve never had before.”

    The hotel will be built on a 37-acre site within Universal Orlando Resort and adjacent to Universal’s Islands of Adventure – just off Hollywood Way and Turkey Lake Road. Site work will begin soon. Pricing information, opening timeframes and room on-sale dates will be released over time.

    The new hotel will allow families to choose between value pricing or the higher level of benefits and service that come with staying at other on-site Universal Orlando hotels – Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort. It will provide early park admission, proximity to Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios and resort-wide charging privileges – but will not offer complimentary Universal Express Unlimited Access.

    “The Cabana Bay Beach Resort furthers our goal of operating special and distinct properties in important markets,” said Paul Whetsell, Loews Hotels & Resorts president and CEO. “This is another important step in our plan to expand the Loews system in major markets across the United States.””

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  • john balski

    Cant wait, I’ll be there!! I went last year and got a hot price after checking out one of the timeshare deals with Disney tix, the resort was nice. but I found http://www.orlandominivacations.com for a good deal, so we’ll enjoy the Transformers ride next yr!!