Last year Universal Resorts in Orlando, FL (sister company of Universal Studios) invested heavily in recreating Hogwarts and other familiar scenes from the multi-billion dollar Harry Potter franchise for their attraction The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Keeping in the spirit of of turning their highly popular movies into theme park attractions, Universal Resorts recently announced they would build a new attraction based of last summers' highly popular and successful animated film Despicable Me.
The ride will open in the Summer of 2012 and will stand in the place formerly occupied by the Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius attraction.
Here is the official press release regarding the upcoming Despicable Me attraction:
Gru, one of the world’s greatest super-villains, is bringing his high-tech empire – and his three adopted daughters – to Universal Studios, and he is looking for all the help he can get. First, he will transform guests into an army of mischievous, scene-stealing minions. Then he will train them. And that kicks off an unforgettable ride experience that creates a hysterical mix of chaos and family fun.
- Laugh as they embark on an entirely-new, high-tech 3-D digital adventure with their favorite characters from the film – Gru, daughters Margo, Edith and Agnes, and of course, Gru’s not-so-bright pit crew, the minions
- Marvel as they explore Gru’s lair and descend into his secret lab
- Shriek as the entire family is transformed into minions
- Celebrate as they are swept into a first-ever, minion-inspired, interactive dance party where they can show off their best moves
To celebrate the announcement Universal Resorts staged a minion "flash mob" dance party near the entrance to the theme park. Okay, so it's more of a performance then an true flash mob - but it looks fun regardless.
Break out your work goggles and put on your blue suspenders, then join in the fun below.
Illumination Entertainment founder and Despicable Me producer Chris Meledandri is working closely on the project with Universal Creative and had this to say about the new attraction:
"As we write, design and animate our films at Illumination, it is our singular goal to bring to life endearing and, hopefully, enduring characters. With the creation of next year’s ‘Despicable Me’ attraction at Universal Orlando, audiences will be able to immerse themselves in Gru’s world for many years to come.”
The President of Universal Creative, Mark Woodbury, added this statement during the announcement:
“The Despicable Me attraction is the latest example of how we tap into pop culture’s most compelling stories and turn them into extraordinary theme park entertainment. This is a perfect fit for Universal Orlando, and we can’t wait to bring this one-of-a-kind experience to life.”
Gru, voiced by Steve Carrell (The Office), and his band of humorous yellow minions helped Despicable Me become one of last summer's blockbuster successes - raking in over $500 million in worldwide box office receipts. Those numbers made the film the 10th biggest animated film in U.S. history.
Universal is making a smart decision in trying to capitalize on the film's popularity. By continuously building new attractions based on their popular films Universal is ensuring they will always compete for new visitors in a town historically dominated by Disney.
Despicable Me the theme park attraction opens in the summer of 2012.