Gru was out front, meeting fans...
... while his daughters posed outside their old home.
For theme park fans who've experienced the original Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Florida in Orlando, the show here is the same. But Universal's taken this opportunity to substantially expand the experience around the show itself for its Hollywood installation. If you haven't been on the Florida version, we'll take a photo tour through this "Despicable Me," a 3D movie and motion simulator experience.
Before you enter, don't hesitate to ring the doorbells on the homes along Gru's street. There are some surprises awaiting you! But if you want to experience life as a minion, you'll have to walk through Gru's front door.
Once through, you're in the bulk of the queue for the ride, which is the one place where the attraction still looks like its previous incarnation as the Terminator 2: 3D show.
Be sure to look for the back of Gru's car, though.
Recruitment posters line the queue. Gru's looking for a few good minions, and he wants to convert you. Literally.
A big difference between this version of Minion Mayhem and the original is the addition of a second theater, which should help slash the long waits often found on the east coast. Once you pick up your 3D glasses, you're ushered into one of two versions of Gru's living room.
On the screen, the minions explain the right, and wrong, way to wear your 3D glasses.
After this initial preshow, you walk through the doors into Gru's lab.
Inside, you'll meet Gru, who explains his "minionizing" ray, and subjects you to a laser body scan. "Do not worry," he says, "this will not hurt... me."
After a blast from Gru's "fart gun" (which smells suspiciously like bananas), it's into the theater for the show. You'll sit four across in motion simulator seats, with a lap bar helping to hold you in place.
The show offers one sight gag after another, including a neat moment when it feels like you're riding upside down through a corkscrew slide. It's the anniversary of Gru adopting his daughters, whom he's left in charge to blast you with the minionizing ray, then put you through your minion training. Of course, it all goes horribly wrong, but I don't think we're spoiling anything to say that it all works out okay in the end.
There's even a minion dance party awaiting you!
The exit is through the gift shop, of course, but there's more awaiting you outside.
In addition to the impressive front facade, Universal has added Super Silly Fun Land to the mix in Hollywood.
A wet and a dry play area will surround the Silly Swirly spinner ride, which were not yet completed today.
But Gru's Lab Cafe was getting ready for business.
Gru's is a slide-tray quick service restaurant that will serve barbecue chicken, grilled cheese with pulled pork and BBQ sauce, meatball sandwiches, chicken nachos in a tortilla bowl, and "Dr. Nefario's Lab Salad," a mixture of Udon noodles, greens, chicken, and shrimp, in a Ponzu dressing.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Super Silly Fun Land will open officially on April 10.Tweet
I had the extreme thrill of lucking into being one of the test-riders on the very first day of technical rehearsals for this ride in Florida back in early June 2012. I enjoyed reading your description of the ride, because it matched my experience as I detailed it in my trip log - practically word for word. Okay, I exaggerate - a little. But you describe it just exactly as I remembered it. With one small exception. I really felt for the employees who were so green at this ride that they struggled horribly with their clipboards to try to figure out how to properly fill up the rows of seats. I now understand why they have to do tech rehearsals on these things. It has nothing to do with the ride itself. That they can test without bodies, am I right? It was about working out the higher level mathematics of calculating the correct combinations of butts in seats. So glad I was there to help!
Can't wait to compare my Florida experience with the new ride/land when I visit USH in just three short months!
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