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BOTCON SAN DIEGO
(griffin's 2013 BotCon adventure)


- TRANSFORMERS RIDE - UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA -

NOTE - this is just the Transformers Ride part of the Florida Universal Studios. The rest can be found here.
Coverage of the other two Transformers Rides can be found here - California (September 11th 2012) -- Singapore (November 21st 2012)

It was about 9.30am by the time I got to the Transformers Ride (after getting a locker and finding the Ride).

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The wait time early in the day was already 60 minutes, and blew out to 80 minutes by middle of the day.  It probably didn't get any longer, because who'd join a queue with a 90 minute wait time when you only have about 8-12 hours at the Park.  Considering it is only a 5 minute ride (that basically replicates the Spiderman Ride), that is a lot of time wasted in a queue. By the end of the day people were just going into the single-riders line, just to shorten the wait time, which ended up filling out to the entrance, so would have taken about an hour as well (based on how many people could fit in that area, and how slow it was to move).
The ride wasn't busy for being popular, but because it was new... as I couldn't imagine anyone queuing up twice (for 3 hours) just to ride it a second time. (imagine having kids with you in that queue)

I used my express past on my first go, as I was not keen to wait 60 minutes at the start of the day... especially with a limited amount of time today to do both Parks.
I don't they scanned it either, or if they did, it didn't register for later (unless they just expect people to not try to use it a second time on a ride).

Since I didn't end up going through the regular entrance, I didn't get to see the various props (like Scorponok's tail and the Allspark shard).
This was what the Single Riders and Express Pass people see...

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This was where I was stuck the third time I went on this ride (at about 2pm), as it broke down for about 10-15 minutes, and I ended up watching the same clip on that screen about 6 times.  This might have been working the bugs out of the system since it was so new, but if this was happening throughout the day, it would have been slowing down the line a fair bit.

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At the boarding point.

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The Evac car that holds 12 people.  For details of what is on the ride itself, check out my California coverage (link at the top of the page).

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After the ride, the gift-shop.
I looked for a t-shirt that had Florida on it, to go with the ones that said Singapore and Hollywood on them, to prove that I was there (rather than a generic Transformers t-shirt or one of the Ride shirts that didn't have the location on it) The black t-shirt on top left had that, and wasn't too bad, so I bought one.

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There weren't any new toys, which was probably a good thing as they were very expensive (about Australian pricing though).

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There also wasn't any new exclusive toy (or roleplay) items, which was a bit of a shame, but it meant less to spend on.

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In the cental display cabinate at the top was the $225 Allspark Cube... which I ended up buying later in the day, as it was something I wanted, but wasn't too keen about having to carry it around for the rest of the trip.
But since there wasn't much I wanted to buy at this Park, I figured it was something significant to distinguish this TF Ride by.

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They had random lollies in bags on the right, but then there was one with choc shards in it that were painted with food colouring to look like metal allspark shards.  So I bought that as well.

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This here was a foam sword and foam shield.  They were about $15 each, which was way too much.  They looked nice, and would hang on a wall nicely, but I couldn't justify that price ($35 for the pair).

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Especially since I would be forced to buy the Autobot set as well for another $35. (and then try to get them home without getting damaged or squashed)

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The Optimus and Bublebee sipper cups were different to the Singapore ones, in that these had a flip-top lid to reveal a straw (to not leak when you put it in a bag or drop it), while the Singapore ones just had a straw in a hole in the middle of the lid.

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I was tempted to buy one of these t-shirts as well, as I liked the art and simplicity of it.

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But I couldn't choose between the Autobot one and the Decepticon one... and didn't want both to be the same.  I didn't need yet another Transformers t-shirt, so I figured it was a good sign to not buy either.

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Expensive display pieces were kept behind glass.

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So many mugs to choose from.


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This was a unique item to Florida (or is now at the others, but was only new since I was at the others). A projector cube.

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It was about $20 I think, and all it was, was a plastic box sitting over a small torch that could project shapes or symbols onto the ceiling.  It looked and felt so cheap, that I didn't even consider it. Especially with me buying the metal version anyway.

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One of the two entrances to the gift-shop.

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The other entrance.

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And how it looked at night, lit up.

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This was at a regular gift-shop elsewhere in the park.

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Outside the main Transformers building was an off-site building that had the character costumes housed.  At various times during the day, one of three would come out of the roller door for people to have their photos taken with it.  The first one I saw was Megatron.

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With glowing eyes.  (he looks so rubbery)

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This was funny.  When I was there taking my photos, a mother was trying to get her (4-5 year old) boy to stand with Megatron for a photo, but he was crying his eyes out in fear of Megatron.  A couple of the NEST guys tried to coax him into it as well, but in the end they had to give up, as the kid wouldn't go anywhere near Megatron.

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Dispensor on the other hand, thought it was his one true master... I'm certainly not his master.  I fear him too much...

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When I came back later in the evening, Optimus Prime was there. I just caught him too, as he went back inside soon while I was there taking photos.

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So I went into the gift shop for a few minutes, and when I came out, Bumblebee was there instead.

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The Ride entrance lit up at night. (it was about 9pm)

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I was actually trying to get onto the ride for the fourth time of the day when I took this photo, but the single-rider's line was filled up right to the door, so didn't want to risk spending an hour in there and miss the final lightshow over the lake.

The Transformers items I bought - The Cube (in the box), a bag of choc-shards, two lollipops (in each allegiance symbol), a t-shirt, and plush Bumblebee and Optimus.

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A closer look at the choc-shards.

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The Cube out of box with other toys for scale.

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And in the Universal Studios section of my collection, with all the Actionfigure and Roleplay toys from all three Transformers Rides.

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Look... mass-shifting is real.

The one in the middle was sold as a official merchandise item in Asia after the first Transformers movie, and is made from a light-weight metal alloy, while the tiny one held by Dispensor is the cube inclosed with several Japanese Movie toys in 2008.


Return to Sunday June 23rd (for the rest of the Universal Studios themepark report)

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***All pictures in this convention report are mine unless noted. Any that are borrowed, have the source credited/noted.  If you want to use/borrow any of my photos, all I ask is for you to please credit the source as well. I try to take as many of my own photos as possible, and usually only resort to using others if I failed to get something, or my photo wasn't clear enough.

OZFORMERS - The Australian (and Asia) Transformers Fansite for News and Interaction (started way back in 1996 - try to find a Transfan community that's older)
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BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website
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To contact me --> griffin @ otca.com.au