This week, while at Universal Studios Hollywood, we finally had a chance to check out it’s newest attraction; Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem! The ride and its new designated themed area look wonderful, especially since last time we visited the park it was still in an earlier stage of construction.
Riders will enter the brand new attraction through Gru’s house after they approached the ride through either ‘little England’, or ‘little France’. After entering the house, Gate-A riders will be sent up to the boarding level, where they receive their 3D ‘minion’ glasses. Riders that do not use Gate-A passes will exit Gru’s house on the left, merging into the switchbacks. Most of the switchbacks are covered and filled with many interactive TVs, though the overflow switchbacks (located off to the side off Stage 22, behind the ride) do not have shade or TVs.
Once riders have received their minion goggles, they will be sent to either pre-show room. This is different from Orlando, as the new Hollywood version features 2 theaters. The rooms where guests board feature 6 rows, in which the crowds will be divided equally. In the rooms, which are themed to living rooms, riders will watch 3 screens on which the Minions, Gru, and his three daughters give instructions and entertain the crowd.
The doors of the living room will open, and guests are now moving on to the prep-lab pre-show, where Gru speaks to the guests, before they’ll enter the real ‘lab’, where the guests will be ‘turned into minions.’ In the prep-lab, guests will experience antics such as being scanned by high-density lasers, and shot by a ‘fart-gun’, as featured in the film. Through a series of events, and a humorous approach, riders will find out that Gru’s daughters will be training them how to be minions.
Once riders enter the actual theater, they will take place in one of the several rows of seats, that match their boarding rows from the first pre-show. Once the attendants lower the lapbars, riders are required to start wearing their 3D ‘goggles’, and the ride can begin!
The ride begins with riders with one row of riders being put on screen, while the minion transformation gun is shot at all riders in the theater. Once riders are shot, the row on screen shows all riders being changed into minions, as well as does a monitor on each row. Riders, now as minions, are dropped into a rigorous training course in which they must pass obstacles, such as dodging lasers, jumping over a prickly cactus, and stopping on cue to avoid being hit by a giant boxing glove. Unfortunately, through a series of mishaps, the riders end up on Gru’s restricted floor, where he is clearly testing large explosives, and then into the anti gravity recycling room. Before riders and Gru’s three daughters are crushed to death, the anti gravity room is turned off by Gru, and he takes everyone to the girls adoption anniversary party. This is set up to be an elaborate theme park like room, where riders experience some rides, before being hit by accident by the transformation gun again and being turned back into humans. The ride ends and riders enter the post show, a room surrounded by screens, one showing a minion DJ, and the others showing the riders on screen partying with minions.
For what may be considered a ride for younger audience, this ride is surprising forceful and a must ride for all visitors looking for a good time. Looking like an obvious family ride, we were very surprised with the ride. It’s a great ride for people of all ages, and it’s one of the very few rides in the world where the pre- and post- shows really match the ride-experience, in a fun and interesting way.
The lines for Minion Mayhem are likely to get long, but the waits are totally worth it. The line moves at an incredible pace, and due to the double theater, guests will find themselves walking through the many switchbacks rather than standing still. We were required to wait through all covered switchbacks, and the wait-time was indicated to be 55 minutes. But, due to the quick boarding we got through the line in a mere 30 minutes. Also, there are plenty of drinking fountains throughout the line.
Overall, the new Minion Mayhem is a great ride experience, and we advise everyone that visits Universal Studios Hollywood to check it out during their next visit! Stay tuned for our Super Silly Fun Land article, reviewing the other side of this brand new area and ride!