Universal Orlando confirms Despicable Me attraction for 2012

May 19, 2011, 7:42 AM · Universal Orlando Resort confirmed in a live webcast this morning that it will debut Despicable Me at Universal Studios Florida.

Universal Creative president Mark Woodbury announced the new ride, revealing that Gru will be bringing his daughters to Universal Orlando, and transforming the audience into Minions as part of the adventure. The show will also take visitors into Gru's lab and the end of the show will feature an interactive Minion dance party. The show will be installed in the building that now houses Jimmy Neutron.

Woodbury showed a snippet of video during the webcast, which reminded me of The Simpsons Ride, as we saw Gru and his daughters on an amusement park roller coaster.

Universal also confirmed that the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride at Islands of Adventure will be entirely reanimated with 4K high definition and an Infitec 3D projection system. Universal Creative's Thierry Coup, the creator of the Spider-Man and Harry Potter rides, also said that the new animation will include fresh detail, though he didn't reveal what that would be.

Despicable Me will be created using the same HD 3D technology as Spider-Man, Woodbury said.

Update: Corporate synergy fail? Here's a screen grab of Universal Orlando's YouTube page, just after the announcement:

That's right, NBCUniversal blocked Universal Orlando's video of the Despicable Me attraction announcement because... it used video from Despicable Me?

Update 2: Snafu fixed. Here's the video:

Replies (19)

May 19, 2011 at 8:02 AM · Not sure about the dance party, but I am glad Spider-Man is getting the love it so richly deserves. Good stuff! Thanks for reporting the news, and confirming the expected changes.
May 19, 2011 at 8:13 AM · About time Neutron was updated....but, in seeing a fresh king kong and a transformers ride in california universal, just makes me wish the orlando parks could come up with either. No doubt potter has saved the day for the orlando parks, but, c'mon, they are competing with disney which always grabs the top 4 spots in attendance...no doubt land an issue for big expansion, but, guys, put the thinking caps on...potter proved you can bring the fans in, do more and more will come...honestly, just do not see despicable me, just drawing in thousands of people to come and see it...its not an oh wow kinda thing..
May 19, 2011 at 8:13 AM · I wanted to see that video, but why did NBC Universal block it? Anyways, I hope it will be a 4D simulator and not a 4D show, because we already have Shrek 4D.
May 19, 2011 at 9:06 AM · What a disappointment! They should have done a "How to Train Your Dragon" attraction.
May 19, 2011 at 9:21 AM · Love the fact they are giving Spider-Man some TLC. Just wondering if anyone heard when they are giving this upgrade. I am going to be there the fist week of October and was wondering if it would be done already by then or if not if would be closed doing the upgrades.
May 19, 2011 at 9:32 AM · I happy that Despicable me is coming to Universal and I 'm also happy that there upgrading the popular Spider-man Ride I know it will be done when I go next year for my 30th birthday I'm so excited.
May 19, 2011 at 10:26 AM · I am extremely excited about the new updates. Are they "huge news" no not really we all knew a couple months ago, but still exciting. In the US Announces topic I have posted picture of what Spiderman is supposed to look like when all said and done, and let me tell you, it's amazing! I think it is going to feel like a completely new ride that we can ride 10X as many time as we used to... and that's a lot!

As for Despicable Me I think it is a good choice. While HTTYDragon would be fun and exciting I feel as though they have a lot more they can do with Despicable Me. With the second movie coming out in 2013 and spin offs, aka mini movies, being released as extras with the Blu Rays I just feel as though this is more relate-able and exciting to kids and adults. I personally love this movie and so does my family. Although I feel as this will out date itself within several years I feel as though HTTYD would out date itself even quicker. I'm excited to see what they do with this ride, even though Im not so sure about the dance party, but we'll see.

May 19, 2011 at 10:32 AM · Great news about Spidey getting the love. I took a backstage tour of Spiderman a couple of years back and the guy in charge of all the projectors on property (can't remember his name) had told us back then that they were already looking at replacing all the film projectors in the ride for digital but that for the time they were just making digital backups of each segment. Fun Fact I learned that day, The film on the ride has to be changed out on each segment every 2 weeks, that's how fast they burn through the entire reel. Remember each segment is only 20 seconds or so long. That's a lot of film!

Also after the annoucement, Univeral Orlando put on a flashmob featuring the minions right outside the front gates to Universal Studios.

Found a video here: http://qik.com/video/40242957

May 19, 2011 at 10:39 AM · Not sure how HTTYD would be outdated, considering that it takes place during the time of the vikings. As well as the fact that they are considering making SEVEN sequels to it. That seems like HTTYD would have a sizable amount of future relevancy. Nevertheless, the simple reason that Despicable Me is replacing Jimmy Neutron is that Universal already owns the rights. HTTYD is a Dreamworks film. Yes, so is Shrek, but corporate synergy allows Universal Orlando to keep all the merchandising revenue as well as promote future sequels for DM. Makes perfect business sense.
May 19, 2011 at 10:51 AM · I might be wrong about this, but the new Dispicable Me ride sounds like Jimmy Neutron 2.0. You have a hot movie that does well in the box office, so you make an attraction out of it. The thing is, none of these franchises have what they need: staying power. HP has it; as do Marvel, Star Wars, etc. When this new attraction comes out, the movie will be two years old. That's a lifetime for a summer popcorn flick (and trust me, that's all that movie was, at best). So they make a Dispicable Me 2...it'll make 2/3rds what the first one made and be 10 times worse. That'll buy another, what, 3 years for the ride? But maybe that's what Universal wants, a turnstile attraction.
May 19, 2011 at 10:55 AM · I think this sums up this announcement.

"What the heck is Despicable Me?"

Never heard of it.

May 19, 2011 at 12:50 PM · "...the end of the show will feature an interactive Minion dance party"

Despicable Me isn't just going to be a case of 'new film' and a new theme into JN is it? "Dance party", if that is an exaggeration, is that similar to the birdie song at the end of JN where we are forced to "dance?"

I thought that this was getting a whole new ride system! I may have read too much in to Dance party though.

May 19, 2011 at 5:08 PM · Can't wait to check out Despicable Me and the Spider-Man updates. Universal never disappoints.
May 19, 2011 at 7:46 PM · Enjoyed Despicable Me so look forward to the new ride, but even more excited by the Spidey update news...as classic a ride as it is, long overdue for an upgrade. Great news!!
May 19, 2011 at 9:52 PM · There is no possible way Dreamworks has planned SEVEN movies ahead of time. They don't even know how well ONE sequel will do. They MAY have said this in passing but I highly doubt they have officially, formally, or even seriously considered seven sequels. Plus Universal already owns rights to Despicable Me.
May 19, 2011 at 11:02 PM · Jeffrey Katzenberg, the head of Dreamworks Animation, has gone on record saying that there WILL be at least two more HTTYD films. He also stated that, if there is public demand, there would be a total of 8 HTTYD movies since there are that many books in the series. Based on critical and audience reaction to the first HTTYD, I would say there is a good chance that they could get through most of those sequels. Obviously, one never knows. Of course, the same is true for the Despicable Me franchise. Either way, HTTYD is less likely to become outdated than DM.

As far as those expecting a radical new ride system for Despicable Me, it really isn't possible considering the small size of the Jimmy Neutron building. It pretty much has to be a 4D-film or simulator.

May 20, 2011 at 7:30 AM · The concept of a Despicable Me attraction sounds boring to me. HTTYD 4D simulator would be awesome though! Just imagine flying on a dragon's back over the sea as you get hit with mist and wind. It'd be awesome.
May 20, 2011 at 2:05 PM · I'm not too excited for DM. I want more dark rides or thrill rides. I cant get 3D at the movies, and simulators are abound. And I certainly hope it's not going to be a lame version of Star Tours. I think it is time Universal consider another radical ride in the Studios park, more along the lines of HP. Between Shrek, Terminator, Simpsons and even half of Twister is looking as screens. I think they can do better.
May 23, 2011 at 4:35 AM · I'm off to Florida this october and I'm really looking forward to going to universal. But does anyone know if spiderman would've already been revamped or will it be closed?
I really hope not, it's my favourite ride. It deserves an upgrade ;)

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