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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

S'pore opens world's 1st Transformers ride

41/2-min ride welcomes public today; US attraction not ready till next April
The Straits Times - December 3, 2011
By: Eddino Abdul Hadi
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S'pore opens world's 1st Transformers ride Universal Parks & Resorts chairman Tom Williams, Hollywood producer Michael Bay and Resorts World Sentosa chairman Lim Kok Thay at the launch of the Transformers ride. -- ST

THE world's first theme park ride based on the successful Transformers movie franchise was launched at Universal Studios Singapore yesterday.

Another is expected to open in the United States at Universal Studios Hollywood in April or May next year.

However, Singapore will not be getting a Harry Potter theme park in the foreseeable future, contrary to what wire agencies reported earlier.

Universal Creative's senior vice-president, Mr Thierry Coup, who attended the press conference to launch the Transformers ride here, said: 'There may be rumours out there, but there are no plans for that currently.'

Film-maker Michael Bay, who directed all three Transformers movies, came to Singapore as well for the opening of the ride, which features the robots from the series. In all, the movies have made more than US$2 billion (S$2.6 billion) worldwide.

Bay made his entrance in grand style, in a yellow Chevrolet Camaro sports car done up to resemble the Transformers character Bumblebee in car mode. Flanking Bay were theme park staff dressed as Bumblebee in Autobot mode and another robot character from the series, Optimus Prime.

At an earlier press conference, Bay, who is the theme park ride's creative consultant, said he insisted that the same creative team who worked on the three Transformers movies be involved in designing the ride.

However, he refused to confirm his involvement in the fourth Transformers movie. 'We're talking about it, but there's nothing right now,' he said.

The 41/2-minute Transformers ride takes up to 12 participants seated inside a vehicle modelled after a new Autobot character called Evac. Moving along a track, the vehicle gets shaken about and executes 360-degree spins as it tries to avoid attacks from the villains, the Decepticons.

Riders wear 3-D glasses as they are taken through 12 scenes shown on giant cinema screens that surround the vehicle. They are exposed to hot air, wind and heat, to simulate what the characters go through during the battle.

Singapore is getting the ride before other countries because its construction started earlier, even before Universal Studios Singapore opened its doors to the public in March last year.

The vice-president of park operations at Universal Studios Singapore, Mr John Hallenbeck, did not reveal how much it cost to construct the ride.

However, he expects it to boost visitor arrivals at the theme park this month to the highest level ever.

He said: 'This is not only the most technologically advanced attraction in the park - I believe it is for all of Asia.'

The ride, which is limited to those who are at least 102cm tall, will be open to the public today.



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