Film critics who put down Michael Bay’s “Transformers” movies by calling them theme-park rides in disguise won’t change their mind after hopping on Transformers: The Ride — 3D at Universal Studios, but they might have a dramatically improved opinion of theme-park rides.
The $100-million ride, which officially opened May 24, is being hailed as a game-changer by the reviewers and bloggers who cover such things (yes, there is quite a bit of room on the Internet), and even rivals at Disney Imagineering have, in private, acknowledged that the shiny new kid on the block is pretty impressive and possibly, well, transformative.
Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim, opening this month, has been the big theme park story this summer due to the scale of the project and the stakes involved for a Disney destination that was not the hoped-for success story in its first decade. Years from now, though, this summer’s opening of Transformers: The Ride might also be viewed as a milestone moment for its intriguing hybrid of digital illusion, real-world velocity and assorted atmospheric effects.
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