Universal Once Again Transforms Blockbuster Movie Into Attraction

It seems the Universal Studios is making a second trilogy out of the popular “Transformers” movie series.

Florida’s Universal Orlando Resort has just announced the amusement park will unveil the third Transformers-themed ride in summer 2013. The ride, which is already attracting fans at Universal Studios Singapore and Universal Studios Hollywood, takes the hugely successful toy line and movie and makes it into a simulator ride that pits the Autobots and the Decepticons against one another, with riders as an audience.

Universal said constructing the ride in Florida is one of the company’s “most ambitious projects ever,” pointing out that the attraction will have one of the shortest build times in Universal history.

“The attraction combines the larger-than-life Transformers characters and an exciting storyline with life-like HD CGI media, state-of-the-art 3D technology and amazing special effects to place riders right in the middle of an epic battle between good and evil,” Universal said in a press release.

Earlier this year, the Associated Press reported the ride – which is simply called “Transformers: The Ride” – cost $100 million to create. It opened in Singapore in 2011 and earlier this year in Hollywood, and was done so under license from Hasbro, Inc., with close supervision of Michael Bay, the award-winning director of the “Transformers” film series.

Three blockbuster films released by Paramount Pictures have so far grossed more than $2 billion under the Transformers name: “Transformers” (2007), “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” (2009) and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (2011). The films were all directed by Michael Bay and executive produced by Steven Spielberg.

Guests who haven’t experienced the Transformers ride in Singapore or Hollywood but have ridden the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man attraction located in Islands of Adventure in Orlando have an idea of what to expect from the new ride, in which thrill seekers watch a film while moving through the attraction.

Other films and film franchises made into amusement park rides include “Dumbo,” “Wayne’s World,” “Terminator,” “Indiana Jones,” “Shrek,” “Twister,” “Police Academy,” “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter.” What’s your favorite movie-turned-attraction?

[Photo credit: NBC Universal, Orlando]

Universal Studios Singapore opening day tickets sell out

What does a girl have to do to get a ticket to ride a Battlestar Galactica dueling roller coaster?

Universal Studios Singapore tickets went on sale Wednesday, and developer Resorts World Sentosa says the park’s opening day, March 18, is already sold out.

Channel NewsAsia reports that people frustrated with trying to buy tickets online or get through to an operator at the company’s call center are lining up at the ticket booth.

A note posted on the theme park’s web site asks people who have trouble buying tickets to e-mail the reservations department with their request, but there’s no way to tell if that’s going to get you one of the hot tickets either. “Due to high demand, we cannot guarantee that you’ll get your choice date of visit, but we will contact you to process your purchase order within the next 48 hours.”

The new theme park has a Lost World section a la Jurassic Park, a sci-fi area with the Battlestar Galactica roller coaster and children’s rides in a Madagascar-themed playground.

The massive Resorts World Sentosa also includes six hotels, shopping, dining, nightclubs and an aquarium complex.