Earlier today MiceChat was invited to take a sneak peek at the brand new Despicable Me Minion Mayhem attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood. The California version of the ride is brimming with interactive elements, goofball humor, and the mischievous minions that scamper around, spouting gibberish, and chasing bananas.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
We were escorted to the impressive façade of the new attraction, which is located on the upper lot, in the former location of the Terminator 2: 3D attraction.
Looming at the far end of baker street is the tall, dark, angular home of Super-Villain turned dad, Gru. He is holding an open house and inviting all who want to join the ranks to become one of his doughy, yellow minions.
Outside there are a number of funny little hidden gems. Try the doorbells in the neighborhood next door to Gru’s abode.
Once inside we enter the foyer to Gru’s Mansion. It’s a lovely area, complete with a suit of armor that has a bouquet of flowers for a head.
We exit this area and this is where things get a little wobbly for a bit. Instead of continuing the interior theme, there is a generic sky blue switchback queue with monitors overhead. Yes, the speakers disguised as bombs are a nice touch, but it is sad to see this large space wasted by bland showmanship.
We reach the top of the ramp and grab our “Minion Goggles”.
Entering the first of two pre-show rooms, we find ourselves in Gru’s entryway. It is a warm, albeit austere space. The found gags hidden throughout the room are a lot of fun here.
We are given instruction and enter the second pre-show room. It is here that the premise for the ride is really sold. We are about to undergo transformation into minions. We will then undergo rigorous training which will be overseen by Gru’s adopted children, Edith, Margo, and Agnes. Gru hates an unclean minion and wants to make sure you take a shower before joining the crew.
Finally we get to the ride portion of the attraction, a “training space” where we board the ride platforms that are facing a large “mechanical wall”. Once seated, and with goggles on, the training begins. You wouldn’t think that a room full of motion platforms pointed at a movie screen would work very well. But it does. The dazzling hi-def digital 3D is surprisingly effective and inviting.
Things move at a rapid pace as we are put through the rigors of training. We are thrown for a loop, hit with fly swatters, shot at with fuzz-inducing lasers, and sprayed by fire hoses. Another thing that works so well here is the humor. Filled with universal gags that transcend language, the minions are the perfect foil for any situation.
We don’t want to give away all of the details, but it is truly a much-needed family addition to the Universal Studios Hollywood roster. The themeing is a step above what was accomplished over at The Simpsons Ride and brings Universal Studios Hollywood up another tight notch on the quality scale.
Exiting the attraction we walk through a disco dance party that is a little larger than the Florida version, and then down the ramp into, you guessed it, a gift shop.
It is already open and totally stocked with tons of minion dolls and other accouterments.
The addition of Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is reason enough to at least go and check out the park. But they are in the process of building a whole new mini-land just outside the attraction based on the fictitious (well not anymore) theme park, Super Silly Fun Land. The area is not open just yet, But MiceChat got an early look at the progress behind the walls and we’d like to share a few exciting things.
The area attempts to recreate the look and feel of the unhinged, goofy, Super Silly Fun Land from the movie. Serpentine lines and flowing curves populate ever turn. Bright, almost gaudy, color combinations assault the eyes. There are four main areas.
To the far right will be a massive water play area. Every so often a large spill of water will cascade down, drenching guests below, There will also be water cannons and hidden effects throughout. This area will also come complete with changing rooms. That should give you an idea of how wet you’ll get here.
Next is a first for Universal Studios Hollywood, the Silly Swirly Fun Ride. This is a spinner flat ride in which guests can control movement up or down. There are no interactive effects here like the Kang and Kodos spinner in Florida, but it looks great nonetheless.
Further past the flat ride will be a dry play area for the kiddies and those less inclined to getting soaked.
And the final area is a game zone. Guests will be able to step right up and attempt to win their very own unicorn. IT’S SO FLUFFY!!!
There are also TWO new food locations designed specifically for the Despicable Me area. Gru’s Lab Cafe features eats and drinks with the signature Gru stamp of approval.
Next door is the snack stand, Despicable Delights.
We can’t wait for the rest of the area to open. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is sure to be a huge success for Universal and a wonderful family draw in a park that could benefit from it.