If you don’t have plans for the next couple of summers yet, you may be tempted to take some theme park trips after you read this post. After the jump:

  • Disneyland Paris will get a Ratatouille attraction in 2014
  • Check out the first model image from Shanghai Disneyland
  • Disney’s Imagineers will be the subject of a new documentary
  • Universal Florida‘s Transformers ride prepares for its launch
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem opens in Hollywood next year
  • Stephen Chow is making a Journey to the West-themed park

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/Film boss Peter Sciretta was lucky enough to get an early preview of Universal Studios Hollywood’s new Transformers The Ride 3D last month, but for the rest of us, this weekend marks the long-awaited debut of the attraction. General Glenn Morshower (played by Glenn Morshower) led the grand opening ceremony, which doubled as a set-up for the premise of the ride. Michael Bay, who directed the first three films and served as “creative consultant” on the ride, was not present, but sent in a greeting via satellite.

But the real stars of the show were Bumblebee and Optimus Prime, who showed up in car form at the ceremony after having appeared in robot form on the red carpet. Megatron made his presence known as well, “derailing” the proceedings by announcing his intention to steal the AllSpark back. Video footage and photos from the event lie after the jump — along with info on a new Universal Studios potentially being developed in South Korea.

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Video: The Making of Transformers The Ride 3D

Earlier today we ran an exclusive preview of Universal Studios Hollywood’s new Transformers: The Ride, which will have its grand opening on May 25th 2012. Universal has just released a three minute behind the scenes featurette showing the development and construction of this new theme park attraction. Watch it now embedded after the jump.

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Yesterday at noon, a text message popped up on my phone: “TF has soft opened. Wanna go?” And with that, I put all of my scheduled work on hold. I jumped in a car and was off to Universal City. Transformers: The Ride doesn’t open at Universal Studios Hollywood until May 25th 2012, but yesterday the theme park was running a technical rehearsal.

Theme parks usually hold grand opening celebrations, complete a red carpet with celebrities and the usual group of press folk. And after that, on an advertised date, the masses go at it. But before any of that can happen, theme parks hold “soft launches”. This usually begins with employee nights, allowing workers at the theme park to test out the new attraction. After that, they open the ride on select days and hours to annual pass-holders, and sometimes later, the general public. The point of these previews are to test the rides against large groups, to fine tune the technology and hopefully spot problems before the real advertised grand opening.

After the jump you can read my reaction and watch a video blog I recorded after experiencing the ride alongside /Film correspondent and theme park expert Reza Lackey. I have also included an image gallery featuring photos from outside the attraction and inside the queue.

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I can’t say I have much love for Michael Bay’s Transformers as a movie franchise, but even I have to admit that their huge, splashy, more-is-more approach is perfect inspiration for a theme park ride. With the spring opening of Transformers: The Ride 3D at Universal Studios Hollywood just months away, the company has revealed an exciting new teaser that hints at some of the spectacle that’s in store. Watch it after the jump.

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The title of this post is “Theme Park Bits,” but it should really be called “Universal Studios Theme Park Bits.” While most of us have been spent the past week alternating between lounging about in our PJs and bickering with our families, the international amusement park division was apparently busy getting new attractions for its Orlando, Hollywood, and Singapore parks on track. After the jump:

  • Details revealed on the new Harry Potter expansion in Universal Studios Florida
  • A video allows you to revisit Universal Studio Florida’s recently closed Jaws ride
  • Universal Studios Hollywood sets an opening date for Transformers The Ride
  • Universal Studios Singapore unveils its brand-new Hollywood Dreams parade

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Transformers The Ride opens this weekend at Universal Studios Singapore and, if you’re like me, you wish you could hop on a plane to check it out. Sure it’s opening at Universal Studios Hollywood this Spring but, just like seeing a movie early, there’s something special about riding a ride before anyone else.

We’ve already shown you a bunch of pictures and videos from the experience but now we have your best look yet inside the ride itself and what went into creating it. Short of flying to Singapore and walking around the theme park, this video will probably be the best look anyone has of the ride before its opening. Read More »

In feverish anticipation of the public unveiling of Transformers: The Ride December 2 at Universal Studios Singapore, several videos have popped online that give you both a tour inside the ride and brief glimpses of the ride itself. We’ve seen photos, but now it’s movie time. Enough fuss, the videos are after the jump. Read More »

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