Universal StudiosOrlando announced Thursday a new ride based on the Transformers movies to open next summer. That’s big news for theme park fans around the world.
The new four-minute Transformers ride in Orlando will be entirely in the dark and use 3-D flight simulator technology, said to be the next generation of Spider man, much like Transformer rides already in motion at Universal Studios Hollywood and Singapore.
Continuing a move by theme parks to make rides more experiential, riders are recruited in waiting queue by the Transformers. Their job is to help keep the AllSpark energy source away from the Decepticons who will surely use it to take over Earth. Not everything goes well there though and a high-speed chase/battle to the death (of the Decepticons, not those on the ride) follow.
Perhaps bigger news comes from the magical world of Disney who agreed to buy Lucasfilm, heralding in a new era of Star Wars.
Three more Star Wars movies, the first to open in 2015, are in the works on top of the original films, which have earned $4.4 billion so far.
“I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime,” Lucasfilm founder George Lucas said in a statement reported by Travel Weekly.
It looks as if Star Wars will live on the silver screen and in theme parks too. Already a hit during Star Wars Weekends, Disney looks for more from the Star Wars franchise rolled into Disney products, including theme parks.
The Universal Orlando ride will be closed to repair the damage, and to undergo seasonal maintenance, according to Universal. Ripsaw Falls had already been scheduled to be closed for maintenance in a couple of weeks.
About 5:30 Saturday evening, the ride and surrounding Toon Lagoon area were evacuated when clouds of black smoke started billowing from the ride’s roof. Forty firefighters called to the scene had the fire under control in about 30 minutes and completely out in about an hour, officials told the Orlando Sentinel.
No guests were injured in the fire, though a few were evaluated at the theme park’s first aid station.
The rest of the Islands of Adventure theme park remained open during and after the fire.
The exact cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
She was right, because one Harry Potter fanatic said he was “quite disappointed” when ride operators told him his 265-pound frame was too much for the ride safety harness.
Other Universal rides have some modified seats for larger passengers, but in the world of Muggles and Butterbeer, fatties are apparently not invited to share in the fun.
Ride operators are now performing “random” screenings, asking passengers to sit in a test seat in order to kick them out of the line before they actually arrive at the ride itself. As embarrassing as this is, it sure beats trying to strap yourself into a seat and realizing the safety bar won’t go down all the way.
Of course, the main reason for actions like this is to keep riders safe – seats and restraints are designed with a certain size in mind, and the last thing a park wants is to be in the news when an overweight passenger becomes stuck, or worse. And no, unlike on the airlines, buying two tickets won’t solve this problem.