They transformed the action genre on-screen, and now the loveably tough ‘bots are ready to roll into Central Florida. The Autobots will continue the ongoing struggle against Megatron and his band of cantankerous heavy machinery at Universal Studios Orlando.
We were waiting patiently for the official Project 722 announcement. As we watched, Universal used a little misdirection. Suddenly, all eyes were on Soundstage 44. And just as suddenly, the soundstage was turned to rubble.
It was a notably short time between Universal filing the demolition plans and the actual destruction of the building. Whatever the plan was for the space, Universal was in rush to get moving.
So what did we internet people do? We started the rumors. First, 44 was to be used as a haunted house for Halloween Horror Nights 2012. Then, it was to evolve into a year-round horror attraction similar to an existing one in Hollywood. And Now?
Yes, Transformers: the Ride. A clone from Universal Hollywood.
The two-story motion/action attraction was exactly what Orlando needed to take the focus from Harry. The Potter expansion, or Project 722, is delayed due to chemical toxins in the ground. With thousands of Potterheads waiting to rejoice at the chance to explore Diagon Alley and ride the Hogwarts Express, Universal needed something big – Optimus Prime big – to distract us.
That distraction may not have been the only motivating factor for moving the residents of Cybertron into town. Marvel’s contract with Universal is set to expire, leaving the future of Super Hero Island uncertain. There is a looming possibility Spider-Man will swing over to Disney, leaving a void in the 3-D action simulator ride category (if, in fact, that is a category). Since the two attractions are similar in operation, Transformers would be a perfect backup. Certainly one that would ease the burden immediately if the Marvel heroes begin fighting for the Mouse. If a contract is renewed, Transformers could help ease the lines at the newly renovated Spider-Man. More importantly it would attract people to a side of the resort which is so often overlooked. With the addition of Transformers, and eventually Harry Potter, Universal Orlando would no longer come second to its thrill-ride heavy sister.
With construction rushing at blinding speed, we can expect an announcement regarding Soundstage 44 very soon.
You can read about the attraction from Universal Hollywood here.