During a recent trip to Los Angeles, Erin and I took the time to visit Universal Studios and play the part of tourists. The highlight — hands down — was “Transformers The Ride-3D,” an immersive thrill ride that took our breath away with its realism and extreme excitement.
The ride takes the characters from the hit series of sci-fi action films and adds a big boost of steroids to get your adrenalin pumping. Riders climb aboard an enclosed transport car that tilts and rolls on command, and once the ride begins, you put on 3-D glasses to become enveloped in the action. Because most of the ride is virtually presented, it’s hard to tell how far you’re traveling in the car — it’s not like a roller coaster or other typical amusement park attraction, where you can see the tracks and know where you’ve been and where you’re going.
The car (which is essentially a state-of-the-art flight simulator), goes around a 60,000 square feet building along 2000 feet of track amidst 3D scenes presented on 14 different screens showing panoramic images from 34 projectors. Being immersed in the set, the 3D effects don’t stop in front of you like they would in a movie theater or on your TV at home. They wrap around you, adding to the immediacy of the experience.