Universal Studios Florida Is Going All-In On Minions With A New Attraction And More

Minions in Minions: The Rise Of Gru
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

You need only look at the global box office numbers to understand that there is very little on the planet earth more popular than Illumination’s Minions. The most recent entry in the franchise Minions: The Rise of Gru, the fourth highest grossing movie of the year worldwide with box office totals just short of $1 billion. This makes it little surprise that Universal Studios Florida is going to be dedicating a section of the park to the little yellow guys, as it just announced that a brand new attraction, Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast, will open next year.

The brand new Minions experience will be replacing the Shrek 4D movie that closed down 11 months ago. At the time it was strongly hinted that something Minions related would be replacing it, and rumors and leaks indicated what the attraction would be, and it appears to be exactly what we’re getting. 

The experience will be an interactive experience where guests attend Villain-Con and blast away at targets in an attempt to become part of The Vicious 6, the group of supervillains from Minions: The Rise of Gru. While we’ve seen attractions that offer this sort of interactivity before, including Men in Black: Alien Attack in the same theme park, this one has some unique elements going for it. First and foremost, rather than putting guests in any kind of ride vehicle, it will use a moving walkway. In addition the attraction will use a combination of screens and physical sets. Most attractions tend to limit themselves to one or the other.

Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast will be the second Minions-themed attraction at Universal Studios Florida, following Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. The two rides together will come together in a new Minions Land, which will also include a Minion Cafe, replacing the former Monster Cafe that closed down earlier this year. It’s becoming commonplace to see theme park lands based on particular IP rather than more general concepts, but in most recent cases these lands have been built from the ground up to be that, in this case we’re seeing Minions Land build itself a space in the existing park.

It’s not exactly a shock to see Minions Land become a thing. The Despicable Me/Minions franchise is one of the most successful animation properties ever. Of the five films in the franchise, four of them have grossed over $900 million globally. These characters are incredibly popular not only in America but all over the world. 

Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast is set for a 2023 opening, but nothing more specific has been revealed. We usually see new attractions open in the late spring or early summer, in time for the vacation season, and since this will likely be the major attraction opening for the year, Universal will want to have it ready in time for the busiest season. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.