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The popular 3-D ride based on the "Transformers" movie franchise is coming to Universal's theme park in Orlando in the summer of 2013, Universal announced Thursday.
The announcement about the ride coming to Universal Studios Florida was made Thursday evening as visitors watched the nightly outdoor light, water and film show at the Orlando park. The show was interrupted by the voice of Optimus Prime, a character from the "Transformers" movie, announcing that a "battle is coming to Orlando."
"Transformers: The Ride — 3D" opened this past May at Universal Studios Hollywood and debuted in December 2011 at Universal Studios Singapore. The ride in Orlando will be the same as the other two.
"This is a wildly popular ride," said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative, in a phone interview. "It's technologically groundbreaking and tremendously innovative, experientially immersive and exciting in a way like no other."
Michael Bay, director of the three hit "Transformers" movies, worked as a creative consultant on the ride, and the movie's actors provided voice talent for the ride as well. But the attraction offers a story line not found in the films.
"You travel this great journey with these characters in the middle of this epic battle that takes place in city streets," said Woodbury.
The attraction puts riders inside a 12-person vehicle designed to look like a nimble new Transformer named Evac, who goes on a breakneck chase from the headquarters of the top-secret NEST agency through city streets, across rooftops and even inside an office building on the hunt for a missing shard of the AllSpark, the powerful Transformers artifact.
The action is digitally projected on 14 screens among real-world sets that the ride vehicles move into and past, mixing computer-generated fantasy with reality.
Universal is part of NBCUniversal, which is controlled by Comcast Corp.