The new Despicable Me Minion Mayhem motion simulator attraction coming to Universal Studios Hollywood puts riders through a relentless and chaotic minion training course full of slapstick humor.
Set to open in April, the 3-D attraction follows a story based on the “Despicable Me” animated films that starred Steve Carell as the super-villain Gru. The first two installments in the movie franchise grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide with a third installment planned for 2017.
The new attraction in the former Terminator 2: 3-D theater is double the size of the “Despicable Me” ride in Florida, which opened in 2012 at Universal Studios Orlando in place of Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast.
Passing through a facade of Gru’s house, visitors will wind through a living room queue brimming with bizarre family portraits, twisted taxidermy and world-dominating weaponry -- including the moon-shrinking SR-6 shrink ray.
A series of video screens lay out the back story: Gru is looking for new minion recruits to execute his latest nefarious plan and you fit the bill.
After passing through Gru’s laboratory (watch out for that fart gun), riders board motion-simulator “transformation pods” before undergoing a “minionization” process.
Spoiler alert: What follows is a detailed description of the ride. If you want to be surprised, consider yourself warned.
As newly minted minion recruits, riders embark on a four-minute journey on a roller coaster-like simulator ride that plays out on a towering movie screen.
Entering a maddening training facility that’s equal parts obstacle course and torture chamber, you travel along a seemingly never-ending series of chutes and slides as Gru’s adopted daughters offer advice and encouragement from a levitating hovercraft.
Along the way, you must navigate loops, leap chasms and catapult cactuses while trying in vain to avoid water cannons, fly swatters and laser beams controlled by the mischievous minions.
After testing your strength, speed, agility, reasoning, teamwork and “ability to not die,” you must escape a restricted area before stumbling into an anti-gravity recycling room. The finale features a fireworks display celebrating the anniversary of the girls’ adoption.
As the ride concludes, the “minionization” process reverses and Gru exclaims: “Ah man, they’re human again. Bring in the next group.”
Riders then head into a post-show minion dance party to the tune of “Boogie Fever” before exiting through a gift shop.
As part of the Despicable Me expansion, the area around the former Terminator theater will undergo a transformation into Super Silly Fun Land, the fictional waterfront amusement park featured in the film.
The former Coke Soak water play area will be converted to a “Despicable Me” theme complete with fountains, splash pools and water dumps. A similar Curious George water play area was recently removed to make room for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion.
Also included in Super Silly Fun Land: A Dumbo-style spinning ride dubbed Silly Swirly Fun Ride, “Despicable Me” themed midway games and a counter-service restaurant with a Gru-inspired menu.
Related theme park stories and photo galleries
Universal Studios Hollywood: Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Six Flags Magic Mountain: Full Throttle
SeaWorld San Diego: Aquatica