Universal Villain-Con Minion Blast ride in soft opening

Universal Studios Florida theme park has begun technical rehearsals for Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast, a giant video game ride with a moving sidewalk.

An official opening date for Minion Blast has not been announced, but the general public was allowed to participate on Saturday.

Members of the media also dropped in on Saturday morning. Not all features have been made available, but here are some first impressions of the attraction, which aims for players to prove themselves worthy of being a member of Vicious 6.

Have a blaster

Each competitor is issued a blaster called the E-Liminator X. This is a two-handed operation with two triggers, one with unlimited ammo, one with burst but limited (and unspecified) flashes. It’s a sci-fi device with a glowing dome on top. The color of the dome matches the indicator on the screen, which shows exactly where you are aiming. (Photography was not allowed behind the blaster shelf during the media preview.)

A small display keeps track of the score and whether you deviate from your assigned sidewalk spot. The best scores of the day are displayed on the screen in the Evil Things Gift Shop / at the exit. Otherwise, you don’t see any other points, so it’s an honor system among your fellow players.

Riders are issued an E-Liminator X which has two triggers and keeps a running scoring. (Dewayne Beville/Florida Today News)

Get moving

After receiving the blasters, the contestants move to designated locations – staggered orange and blue dots – on the moving sidewalk. It’s a winding path that glides between rooms with giant moving target screens. These are missions tailored for each villain.

Players must not walk back and forth on the pavement to advance or retreat. When I moved a little back from my point, maybe half a step, the E-Liminator display warned me not to move and for a while I couldn’t shoot or thus accumulate points.

The sidewalk isn’t fast, probably a little slower than most people walk, and not as fast as the moving sidewalks that connect Universal CityWalk and the resort’s mega-car parks. And the curves aren’t as sharp as, say, the baggage carousel at Orlando International Airport.

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The result can be an almost continuous “load” into the ride. There are no crossbars to set up or belay pins to endure.


Images on large screens are clear, bright and active. Among the targets are medallions, various boxes and flying characters. They are seen high and low (the ceilings in the former Shrek 4-D building are high).

It’s possible to shoot at the swarming minions you see, but the result on screen isn’t as explosive as hitting inanimate objects. I was told that the idea is to create chaos that impresses the Vicious band.

So, as with many point-and-shoot theme park games, it’s smart to keep shooting. Point values ​​were not displayed on the screen, and large point objects were almost certainly hidden.

This is where visitors meet the members of the Vicious 6 voiced by Taraji P. Henson, Lucy Lawless, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren and Danny Trejo, who were also heard in Minions: The Rise of Gru.

The final scene includes iconic images from Universal Orlando, including the Islands of Adventure Lighthouse and the volcanic centerpiece of Volcano Bay Water Park.

Unlawful Outfitters is one of the Villain-Con exhibitors lined up for the new Minions attraction at Universal Studios Florida. (Dewayne Beville/Florida Today News)

Queue up

The line is villain-themed and begins outdoors (albeit under a canopy) with promotional jargon (“So much fun, it’s a crime”) and ads from vendors such as Corrupt Companions (“Home a furry villain today!”) and Malicious Motors (” Act like you stole it!”)

In the end, there is a conditional installation (indoors, with AC) with these objects and some further instructions. The plan is to let people linger in this area before taking their blasters and hitting the pavement if they so choose.

The room is filled with details from Villain-Conners, including an exit plan showing stops such as a doomsday device storage area and clothing check, a blaster charging station, escalators to the lower dungeon, user photos, and a false sense of security. Room.

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The list of Villain-Con breakout sessions includes “Mind Control Masterclass: You Already Answered.”

What will the application do

Eventually, the Universal Orlando app will be connected to the ride. It will remember high user scores, average scores, and cumulative scores that lead to other abilities, “evil perks,” and options for future passes and exits to Illuminations Avenue in the park.

Blasters will be able to have default settings between Freeze Beams, Banana Bombs, and Explosive Nunchucks.

Accumulating points is “important because it allows you to level up over time, and as you level up you can unlock more weapons, more special abilities, more options to upgrade your blaster,” said Victor Lugo, director of immersive experiences, before presentation. media preview.

Times and availability of technical rehearsals (also known as soft openings) may vary. Universal keeps saying it will officially open someday “this summer”.

Email me at [email protected]. My Threads account is @dbevil. You can subscribe to Theme Park Rangers newsletter at orlandosentinel.com/newsletters.

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