Excellent analysis.The thing is, you're not paying $120 for a 3-D ride, you're paying $120 for several world-class theme park attractions, most of which do not require you wear 3-D glasses. So if you honestly think that one 3-D movie at your local theater is a better deal than 12 times that much to ride The Mummy, HRRR, Men In Black, The Simpsons, ET, or the soon-to-be HE, then you are quite the film fan.
But that's not even the point. You can't compare the experience Universal offers you to a movie theater. Last time I saw a movie in 3-D (Man of Steel, yuck) I sat in a box with a bunch of annoying people who were kicking my seat and kept getting up and sitting back down--I was very aware I was watching a screen, in a black box, and that I would be done in 2 hours.
This is not my experience at any of the rides at Universal. I go on Transformers and I'm in a fully-realized, multi-layered environment. The images just don't jump off the screen, they're a living part of the experience that envelop and involve you. I can't get that in a movie theater, where I'm sitting down in the same spot watching something passively going on that doesn't involve me.
Even in theatre-style shows like the Terminator, you aren't just watching a movie, you are part of a fully-realized immersive experience. The live action only adds to it. But the show does a great job of throwing you into the action. That's an experience you can't get for 10 dollars elsewhere...
The thing about involving guests in attractions is that world-class theme parks are devoted to offering the best experiences possible, and utilizing the best resources available to fully immerse guests into the world they are offering. Do you not like 3-D? Ok, that's fair. But what's the alternative to not using it? Transformers wouldn't be the action-packed spectacle it is now. It would be a passive experience, where you pass a few figures who really don't do much...you certainly wouldn't be able to fly through the air or crash through buildings or pass through Devastator. I feel like that's a poor alternative to the experience that is offered now.
In regards to Kong, you have to realize that, again, Universal is devoted to throwing us, as guests, into an immersive world where we are part of the action (really, the antithesis of the experience at the local movie theater). If the best way to do that is to use 3-D, then I think we should be applauding their efforts to really bring something crazy and action-packed to life. Sure, some parts of the ride may be built using "stupid-ass tv screens", but what sets them apart from the AMC over in Citywalk is the fact that they make up part of a much larger experience that you can't match anywhere else. And even better yet, rumors seem to hint at live action effects and animatronics. So, yes, 3-D isn't a hot commodity right now--but it's not about the technology itself, it's its implementation that is important, and that makes the difference.