This morning via a special media-only webcast, Universal Orlando has announced after weeks of dropping hints online that the Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast ride at Universal Studios Florida will indeed be replaced by a new attraction based on the hit film “Despicable Me.”
From the moment Universal first announced that the Jimmy Neutron attraction will be permanently closing on August 18, rumors quickly surfaced that a “Despicable Me” themed attraction would be taking its place. Now it has been confirmed to open in 2012.
Here’s a replay of the Despicable Me announcement webcast:
The new “Despicable Me” attraction will feature a 3D film that brings Gru and his daughters on another adventure with guests seeing familiar scenes from the popular movie, with a sequel to the film on the way to theaters. Guests will be transformed into Minions as part of the attraction and ultimately join in an interactive Minion Dance Party for its finale.
I asked Universal for clarification as to whether the new attraction will follow in the same pattern of Jimmy Neutron taking over for the old Hanna-Barbera attraction by (more or less) simply replacing the film and was told, “The Despicable Me attraction will be located where [Jimmy Neutron] once was, but it will be a completely different experience for guests using all-new technology. [...] there’s definitely more to come!” So perhaps we will see more than just a 3D update.
Just after the online announcement, a flash mob formed outside the entrance to Universal Studios Florida, featuring Minions and hundreds of others dancing to “Boogie Fever”:
“Despicable Me” will become the first-ever Universal animated film to be transformed into a theme park experience. The Universal Creative team is working closely with producer Chris Meledandri, the founder of Illumination Entertainment, to create new animation for the new “Despicable Me” adventure.
Characters to be featured in the new attraction include Gru, daughters Margo, Edith and Agnes, and of course, Gru’s not-so-bright pit crew, and the minions. Locations from the film that will be seen in the ride include Gru’s lair and his secret lab where guests will be transformed into minions.
Gru 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.
Here are a few sound bites from “Despicable Me” producer Chris Meledandri about the new attraction:
And the video announcement from Universal Orlando posted on their YouTube channel:
In the same webcast, Universal Orlando also announced that the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is receiving 4K digital upgrades to replace the film projections used in the ride since it opened.
Watch the webcast announcement of the Spider-Man upgrade with Universal Creative’s Thierry Coup and an appearance by Spider-Man himself:
And a new render from the updated ride:
The ride film is being reanimated in 4K HD and will feature new details. The upgrades to Spider-Man will also be completed in 2012.