Readers' Opinions

From Bob Liebe on July 2, 2012 at 4:53 PM
Great report! The ride sounds fun and it will be a good addition to USF! I had originally planned on waiting to visit Universal until this ride was open, but I had to go last April due to work schedule issues. I can't wait to try this ride out, but sadly it might be a little while :(
Maybe I'll wait to see what becomes of Sound Stage 44 and more of Fantasy Land to open up before I get back to Orlando.
From N B on July 2, 2012 at 5:40 PM
Despicable Me was great, BTW.
From Robert Niles on July 2, 2012 at 6:21 PM
Thanks for covering for us, Domenik!
From James Trexen on July 2, 2012 at 7:51 PM
Finally got on the ride today. While not exactly thrilling, Despicable Me is a fun addition that is a sure winner among families, especially those with little ones. Definitely glad to see something good go in Jimmy's place.
From Dominick D on July 2, 2012 at 9:54 PM
I'll be riding it in the near future (early August probably), and it looks like a promising replacement to Neutron! How long was the average wait all day?
From Manny Barron on July 2, 2012 at 11:55 PM
The ride looks wonderful. The question now is will Universal bring this ride over to Hollywood as it has been rumored.
From James Trexen on July 3, 2012 at 4:06 AM
To answer Dom, constant waits of 60-75 minutes.
From Dominick D on July 3, 2012 at 5:26 AM
Manny, inside sources confirm it's replacing Terminatornext year.

James, that's not too bad considering it just opened. Inside the Magic was reporting it opened to 90 minutes.

From Anon Mouse on July 3, 2012 at 7:33 AM
There is no ride description. What exactly happened? Or are you saving the spoilers. Also, there's no description of the dance party ending. I didn't get what the ride is about.
From Russell Meyer on July 3, 2012 at 8:06 AM
This revamped attraction is getting great reviews. With Kong 360, Disaster, The Simpsons Ride, Spiderman, and now Despicable Me, Universal has a string of succesful ride platform refreshes. The rest of the industry should really take notes from what Universal has been able to do with limited budgets. Everyone thought the company would be seriously cash-strapped and financially limited after the Harry Potter expansion (reportedly nearly $1 billion including rights), but the company has gotten some serious bang for their buck by revamping older attractions through new IP purchases or through modernization.

Other theme parks have tried and failed miserably to update aging ride systems, but Despicable Me is just the latest example of when it's done right, it can be extremely succesful and be a fraction of what a completely new ride platform and attraction would cost.

From Rob Pastor on July 3, 2012 at 8:09 AM
Russell: Excellent points!
From 216.64.80.82 on July 3, 2012 at 12:53 PM
I rode it the other night and it was cute, I can see the kids liking it and the 3D graphics were very good.

For anyone with motion sickness issues, I suggest the stationary seats in the front. I sat there and it made the whole experience much better as the moving seats would not have been a good thing for me...LOL.

From Eric G on July 5, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Everyone thought Universal would be cash strapped after Harry Potter? Are you kidding? It was hardly a gamble and it was almost assured to be a smashing success.

I don't think the rest of the industry needs to take note of what they've been doing. Most of the Universal attractions you mentioned may have limited budgets by Universal standards, but by regional park standards they were huge investments. Universal Studios Florida and Hollywood rank in the Top 10 for attendance. Most other operators don't have properties in this league with attendance to drive capital improvement budgets like this.

However, refreshing or updating old attractions is not new. Disney has upgraded a number of their attractions - Haunted Mansion in Florida and Space Mountain in California just to name two.

Six Flags has also done the same. X became X2 with new trains, audio and pyro effects at Six Flags Magic Mountain. They upgraded the Superman roller coasters at both Magic Mountain and New England. They also upgraded Medusa to become Bizarro at Six Flags Great Adventure and the biggest refresh of them all was the New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas.

I also really doubt Despicable Me will replace Terminator at Universal Studios Hollywood. Here they applied new creative to an existing motion ride system. Terminator does not utilize this technology. For the industry this particular ride system is dated technology and I doubt Universal will be purchasing more of it in the future.

The Hollywood park has limited expansion opportunities. When they choose to replace Terminator they're going to use that valuable real estate to replace it with an attraction of much higher value and one that will have a longer shelf life.