Universal announces spring debut for Secret Life of Pets ride

January 22, 2020, 12:24 PM · Universal Studios Hollywood's new dark ride will open this spring, the park announced today.

The park also revealed today that The Secret Life of Pets - Off the Leash! will cast park visitors as stray puppies. From Universal's press release,

The innovative ride will blend live, dimensional and animated characters with hyper-realistic media and projection mapping to fully immerse guests in a bustling New York City landscape. Seated within ride vehicles that resemble cardboard boxes—reminiscent of where Katie first finds her beloved Max as a puppy—guests will travel along a track towards the Pet Adoption event and the ultimate happy ending: forever homes.

The ride will employ facial recognition with gesture tracking to animate riders as unique puppy characters. "Every time guests experience The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! they will likely see themselves characterized as a different stray puppy, creating a uniquely new experience with each ride," the park said.

Cast members from The Secret Life of Pets 2 reprised their vocal roles for the new ride, including Patton Oswalt as Max, Kevin Hart as Snowball, Eric Stonestreet as Duke, Jenny Slate as Gidget, Tiffany Haddish as Daisy, Lake Bell as Chloe, Dana Carvey as Pops, Steve Coogan as Ozone, Chris Renaud as Norman, Hannibal Buress as Buddy, Bobby Moynihan as Mel, Jessica DiCicco as Princess and Tara Strong as Pickles.

The Secret Life of Pets ride will operated in a new building on the site of the former Globe Theatre on Universal's Upper Lot. Universal is renaming the former Baker Street setting as "Pets Place." "With the installation of all-new store front facades, Pets Place will capture the charm of a busy NY street, including an iconic NYC subway station," the park said.

Although Universal now has committed to a "spring" opening date, we do not yet have a more specific debut date than that. Stay tuned.

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Replies (5)

January 22, 2020 at 12:59 PM

"The ride will employ facial recognition with gesture tracking to animate riders as unique puppy characters. "Every time guests experience The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! they will likely see themselves characterized as a different stray puppy, creating a uniquely new experience with each ride," the park said."

So Instagram Filters crossed with the Hitchhiking Ghosts?

Also, the description seems to confirm that this is a tracked dark ride instead of the trackless ride system that had been rumored ("travel along a track").

January 22, 2020 at 1:41 PM

This sounds like the HoloTrac tech that Legoland is using on its Factory Tour ride in the upcoming New York park to animate riders as Lego Minifigs (and that I previewed last fall at IAAPA), though I do not have any confirmation that Universal is using the same system.

January 22, 2020 at 5:38 PM

How will people process this? Fanboys HATE screens, but so, so, many people love to see themselves with snapchat style filters.
Is this Universal ultimate revenge? An absolute snake eating it's own tail?
"I hate Screens in rides!"
"I love seeing myself on Screens!"
"I can't decide how I feel seeing myself on a screen in a ride!!!"
"I, I, I don't know how to feel about this!"
I have not ridden Space Mountain at The Magic Kingdom in many years, but it never failed to amaze me that in this modern age, people still slowed down on the speed ramps leaving the building to google at themselves on the video screens.
I almost don't even care about the ride at this point. I just want to see how people can complain about it when it's their own faces that will be appearing on the screens on the ride.
Well played Universal Studios...well played.

January 22, 2020 at 10:37 PM

Sounds like Patton Oswalt will the theme park actor of the year with Pets and Ratatouille rides opening.

January 23, 2020 at 5:47 AM

Space Mountain is awesome!

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