Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem is a simulator ride manufactured by Intamin located at Universal Studios Florida. There are similar versions at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan, but today we will be looking at the one at Universal Studios Florida since that is the only one I have been on.
This ride opened in 2012 and is located in the Production Central area of the park. Before this, the ride was under two different themes, The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera (1990-2002) and Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast (2003-2011). After Nicktoon Blast, the Minions invaded and Minion Mayhem took over with keeping the same ride system as the previous two iterations.
But now back to present day and the current experience! When you enter the queue, you will most likely start on the outside switchback section of the queue. This part of the queue really doesn’t have any theming, just some TV’s to explain the backstory of the attraction. When you eventually get inside the show building, you will enter into Gru’s house and be handed your “Minion Goggles” and be put in a row. There is a pretty funny video about the rides safety precautions starring the Minions while you wait to go into the preshow room. There is so much detail in this little room that it does feel like Gru’s house right out of the movie, it’s really cool!
The automatic doors to your row open and you enter the main preshow. This preshow is basically setting up the story for the attraction. Shown on a large screen, Gru tells the riders they are about to undergo training because they are going to become Minions. The three girls, Margo, Edith, and Agnes come in and interrupt Gru and want to talk to him, because it is their one year anniversary of them becoming a family. Gru tells them that he’s busy and the girls think he forgot, they want to give him a present to commemorate the occasion. The girls want to lead the Minion training and Gru gives them the OK. This preshow is very fun as typical shenanigans in sue and it the tone for the attraction!
The doors then open to the main attraction and you are seated in eight person ride vehicles with four riders per row placed in front of a large IMAX screen. There are a lot of these vehicles so in retrospect it has good capacity, the downside is that there is only one theater, so the capacity isn’t the greatest.
The lapbar will come down and the ride begins. The ride begins with the riders transforming into Minions and going through a series of obstacles. The girls then lose their present, so most of the attraction is a quest to get the present back. There is a point where Agnes is about to get crushed by spikes, but Gru breaks the spikes and rushes her out of there. The girls then give Gru their present, and in return Gru gives them a celebration by going on a colorful coaster ride. The ride ends with the riders being turned into humans again and the riders exit out into the post show area and gift shop
Here are my personal thoughts on the ride. I don’t really like it too much. I don’t hate it, but it’s defiantly not one of my favorites in the park. I feel like due to the older technology, the vehicles are very limited in movement. It results in the ride seeming like you are watching a screen with slight movement in your seat. I really felt like it wasn’t anything too special. It was actually kind of disappointing because I wanted to like this ride more. I’m a big fan of the Despicable Me movie series, they always seem to get a good laugh out of me. As much as the ride was funny, I just wish it was a little more thrilling.
Tips: This ride is very popular among the younger crowd. Universal doesn’t have too many attractions the entire family can do, this is one of the few that come to mind so that results in long lines. The line easily reaches an hour plus on a normal day and about 90-120 minutes on busy days. Do this right upon entering the park, as the line will start building within the first hour and never let up. There is also stationary seating for those who are extremely prone to motion sickness. Normally there is a separate line for it, so ask the greeter at the entrance to clarify.
Final Thoughts: This is a really good fit for Universal as it gives them a modern attraction for the entire family to do, something that is hard to find at the resort. For me personally, I see the appeal, the experience itself is really well done as the story is very charming, but the ride itself kinda doesn’t feel as immersive as some of the other rides in the park. I would ride again if there was a 15-20 minute wait, but no more than that.